New Mexico State vs. Arkansas State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Aggies and Red Wolves.
New Mexico State vs. Arkansas State Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 12 – 3:00 p.m. ET
Where: Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR
Arkansas State has erased an 0-4 start with four consecutive wins to climb back to .500—and remain in the thick of the Sun Belt Conference title chase. The Red Wolves defeated Georgia State, 31-16, last Thursday to continue a most improbable in-season turnaround. But the team can’t look ahead to Troy, because it’ll spend the final three weeks of the regular season playing outside of Jonesboro. New Mexico State comes out of a bye week looking to alter the course of the season. The Aggies have dropped three straight and four of their last five for coach Doug Martin.
What To Know About New Mexico State
Defense has been the Achilles heel in Las Cruces, as the Aggies have allowed at least 52 points in four games this fall. They have a couple of quality linebackers at the second level in Rodney Butler and Terrill Hanks, but it hasn’t been enough to slow down opponents. Even worse, the offense has failed to score more than 23 points in any of the last three games. New Mexico State is moving the ball with quarterback Tyler Rogers and star running back Larry Rose, but it has too often stumbled on third downs and in the red zone.
What to Know About Arkansas State
There have been two different seasons in Jonesboro, the first four games and the last four. Over the past month, the Red Wolves have been especially stout on defense, led by the push of defensive end Chris Odom and the range of the linebackers and safeties. However, the offense needs to find a new gear for Arkansas State to beat out Troy and Appalachian State for the league crown. Better defenses have contained the Red Wolves, like Georgia State, which last week sacked quarterback Justice Hansen five times and limited him to 15-of-35 through the air.
Offense: Push. Both teams currently lack consistency, though Rose is the type of player who can tip the scales toward the Aggies if he gets help.
Defense: Arkansas State. These two schools are going in opposite directions on defense, and an Aggie D with six sacks all year won’t exploit ASU’s line worries.
Special Teams: Arkansas State. The special teams led the Red Wolves to last week’s win, generating scores on a blocked field goal return and a Blaise Taylor punt return for six.
Coaching: Arkansas State. Bake Anderson is proving his mettle in 2016 by piloting a turnaround when his kids could have packed it in for the season.
Intangibles: Arkansas State. Yeah, New Mexico State is coming off a bye week, but the Red Wolves are streaking and motivated by the quest for a conference title.
Matchup To Watch
Arkansas State backs Warren Wand and Johnston White vs. Butler and Hanks
The Red Wolves must get the offense on track before traveling to Troy. And while Hansen is certainly a part of the equation, the team will first work on getting Wand and White into space, both as runners and receivers.
New Mexico State at Arkansas State Betting Odds
Spread: No line as of post
Over/Under: No line as of post
New Mexico State at Arkansas State Prediction
Is it possible that Arkansas State is looking past New Mexico State? Sure. Will it matter in the end? No. The Aggies, who’ve been a hideous road team, are the perfect elixir for a struggling Red Wolves offense. ASU will get back on track Saturday, with a mix of Hansen’s throws and the running of Wand and White. Meanwhile, the surging defense will direct its attention to stopping Rose and putting the game in Rogers’ hands. By early in the fourth quarter, Anderson will be focused on next week’s showdown with the Trojans.
New Mexico State at Arkansas State Score Prediction: Arkansas State 40, New Mexico State 17