The Arkansas State Red Wolves travel to face the South Alabama Jaguars in Sun Belt action on October 13 in the first Tuesday night college football game of the season. The Red Wolves have won all three meetings between these teams over the past three years, including a 45-10 home win in 2014.
Arkansas State (2-3, 1-0 Sun Belt) was victorious in its conference opener last week against Idaho. It topped the Vandals 49-35 behind a huge game run running back Michael Gordon, who rushed 26 times for 221 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
South Alabama (3-2, 1-0 Sun Belt) also earned a victory in its conference opener at Troy. The Jaguars upset the Trojans 24-18 as 6-point road underdogs. Their defense really stood out in this game as they held the Trojans to just 265 yards of total offense.
Kickoff inside Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, AL is scheduled for 8:00 EST Tuesday night with ESPN 2 providing the television coverage. If you are looking to wager on this game, you’ll find Arkansas State as a 6-point favorite over South Alabama.
The Arkansas State Red Wolves are arguably the best team in the Sun Belt Conference this year. But because they have opened just 2-3, they are flying a little under the radar right now. When you look at the losses, it’s easy to see why this team has already suffered three defeats.
The three losses have come at USC, vs Missouri, and at Toledo. These are three teams who have been ranked in the Top 25 at various points in the season. The Red Wolves nearly upset Missouri in a 20-27 home loss in Week 2. Star QB Fredi Knighten suffered a groin injury in that game, and he has missed each of the team’s three games since. But Knighten is expected to start against South Alabama on Tuesday as he is finally recovered from that injury.
Arkansas State had little trouble with Idaho last week even in the absence of Knighten. It led the Vandals 49-21 early in the 4th quarter before allowing a couple of garbage touchdowns late to make the final score 49-35. I believe that final being closer than the game really was also has the Red Wolves undervalued here.
Without Knighten, the Red Wolves have really gotten their ground game going. They rushed for 344 yards in a 70-7 win over Missouri State, and 333 yards in that win over Idaho last week. This ground attack is going to find plenty of holes against a South Alabama defense that is giving up 205 rushing yards per game and 5.1 per carry against teams that average 174 yards per game and 4.1 per carry. This is one of the worst rush defenses in the country.
South Alabama is overvalued due to its 3-2 start to the season. Remember, this is a team that returned the fewest starters (5) in the conference, and it will be up against an Arkansas State team that returned 15 starters from last year. The Jaguars did have a good win at San Diego State (34-27) in Week 3, but their other two wins have come against lowly Gardner Webb and Troy teams.
More telling was their blowout losses to the two best teams they have played this year. They lost to Nebraska 9-48 on the road and were outgained by 229 yards. Nebraska is 2-4 this season. They also lost to NC State 13-63 at home and were outgained by 328 yards. NC State has opened 0-2 in ACC play with losses to Louisville and Virginia Tech.
Arkansas State is 3-0 SU & 2-1 ATS against South Alabama over the last three years. The Red Wolves dominated the Jaguars 45-10 at home last year as 11-point favorites, outgaining them 400-201 for the game.
Arkansas State is 3-0 SU & 2-1 ATS against South Alabama over the last three years. The Red Wolves dominated the Jaguars 45-10 at home last year as 11-point favorites, outgaining them 400-201 for the game. Knighten threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 80 yards and a score to lead the way. Again, he’s expected to be healthy and ready to play in this game, and I expect the Red Wolves to improve to 4-0 against the Jaguars.
The Red Wolves are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 games vs. a team with a winning record. Arkansas State is 26-10-1 ATS in its last 37 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in its previous game. South Alabama is 1-7 ATS in its last eight home games. The Jaguars are 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a win. South Alabama is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 games overall.