Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Warhawks and Red Wolves.
Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State Game Preview
When: Saturday, October 29 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR
Arkansas State returns to action, looking to build upon what it started before its bye week. The Red Wolves battled back from an 0-4 start to win consecutive league games over Georgia Southern and South Alabama. And as one of just three remaining teams without a conference loss, they remain in the mix for a Sun Belt crown in 2016. Louisiana-Monroe has two wins as well, but there’s a very different vibe around Matt Viator’s team. The Warhawks are trending in the wrong direction, highlighted by last Saturday’s 59-17 loss to New Mexico. The team has also lost 18 of its last 19 games on the road.
What To Know About Louisiana-Monroe
Since the defense ranks among the worst in America, allowing 41 points per game, an in-season turnaround will be the sole responsibility of the offense. But the Warhawks have lost starting quarterback Garrett Smith for the season, so running back Ben Luckett and a veteran ensemble of wide receivers will need to pick up more of the slack. While the attack flashed earlier in the month, scoring 71 points combined in games with Idaho and Texas State, incessant turnovers and the defense’s inability to get off the field is limiting the offense’s potential.
What to Know About Arkansas State
Understanding the Red Wolves means throwing out the numbers from the opening month. This has been a different team over the past two weeks, especially on defense. Arkansas State was paddled in the first two games with Toledo and Auburn, but have since stiffened around a stout and attacking front seven headlined by nose guard Waylon Roberson, ends Chris Odom and Ja’Von Rolland-Jones and linebackers Kyle Wilson and Xavier Woodson-Luster. In the last two games alone, Arkansas State has produced 22 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
Offense: Arkansas State. While neither team is dynamic, the Red Wolves are starting to get more from the ground game, primarily backs Warren Wand and Johnston White.
Defense: Arkansas State. Here’s where the largest gap exists between these two programs, especially as the Red Wolves evolve in the front seven.
Special Teams: Push. Both schools are struggling in special teams this fall.
Coaching: Arkansas State. Red Wolves Blake Anderson a better all-around head coach than his current mark might otherwise indicate.
Intangibles: Arkansas State. The Red Wolves are hot, rested and home, the recipe for a successful return to action.
Matchup To Watch
Odom and Rolland-Jones vs. the Louisiana-Monroe offensive tackles
The Red Wolves are beginning to tee off on opposing backfields, a major concern for a shaky Warhawk offensive line. If Caleb Evans or Will Collins is flushed from the pocket, he’s prone to forcing throws and making the kinds of mistakes that shift the momentum of a game.
Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State Betting Odds
Spread: Arkansas State -18
Over/Under: No line as of post
Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State Prediction
Arkansas State comes off its bye week with an ideal opponent for running its winning streak to three games. Louisiana-Monroe is sputtering without Smith behind center, and the defense is in disarray. The Red Wolves will dominate both sides of the ball, running Wand and White against a run D allowing more than six yards a carry, while the front seven torments Evans and Collins into poor throws, turnovers and stalled drives. ASU will pounce on the opportunity to move one step closer to .500.
Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State Score Prediction: Arkansas State 41, Louisiana-Monroe 16