Arkansas State Red Wolves College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
Arkansas State Red Wolves Biggest Key: Offense
Put the biscuit in the basket. Arkansas State didn’t have any problems moving the ball – it led the Sun Belt and was 14th in the nation in total offense – but it had a hard time finishing off the drives with points.
Turnovers were a bit of an issue, but scoring in the red zone was just as big a problem. The Red Wolves scored just 78% of the time when getting inside the 20. For a team that played five games decided by a touchdown or less, everything matters.
Arkansas State Red Wolves Biggest Key: Defense
The pass defense needs to show up. The experience is there in the secondary, and the pass rush should be better under the new coaching staff and with the talent coming in from the transfer portal, and now there has to be an occasional stop.
The Red Wolves were ripped to shreds for 314 passing yards per game, allowing 33 touchdowns on the season with just six picks – and two of those came against Central Arkansas from the FCS.
Everyone threw for more than 200 yards against the ASU D, making it a run of 13 straight games going back to 2019 doing that.
Arkansas State Red Wolves Key Player To A Successful Season
DT Quay Mays, Sr.
The 6-1, 300-pounder didn’t do a whole lot in his time at West Virginia – he made four tackles last year – but he was considered a strong JUCO transfer who was a nice interior pass rusher and active presence for Mississippi CC. Now he needs to help bring the bulk to the ASU line.
338-pound Forrest Merrill was a good one on the nose – making 42 tackles with two sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss – but he’s gone to the NFL and now there’s not a whole lot of size for the spot. Mays has to at least be a key part of the rotation.
Arkansas State Red Wolves Key Game To The 2021 Season
Louisiana, Oct. 21
The Sun Belt West is far, far lighter than the East, but the Red Wolves have to deal with everyone but Troy on the other side. On the plus side, the dates with Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State are at home.
Arkansas State almost certainly can’t win the West without beating the Ragin’ Cajuns.
The Red Wolves get a week off before the showdown, and Louisiana – who has won three straight in the series – has to play Appalachian State the week before.
2020 Arkansas State Red Wolves Fun Stats
– Onside Kicks: Opponents 3-of-3 – Arkansas State 1-of-3
– Rushing TDs: Opponents 18 – Arkansas State 7
– Punt Return Average: Opponents 6.3 yards – Arkansas State 1.8 yards