Sunday, August 29, 2010
Sun Belt 2010-Arkansas State Red Wolves
2009 Record: 4-8 (3-5)
Head Coach: Steve Roberts (9th season, 41-55...90-88-1 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Hugh Freeze (1st season)
Defensive Coordinator: Kevin Corless (9th season)
2009 Bowl Game: Were expected to go bowling, yet didn't
Offense: Hugh Freeze is the new OC, and junked the old offense for a no huddle spread attack...of course he did. There is a two man QB battle brewing between Ryan Alpin and Phillip Butterfield. No matter which wins, they will be young as Alpin is a sophomore and Butterfield is a freshman. Alpin failed to lock down the job in the spring, as he injured his shoulder. Derek Lawson is expected to be the main back, while Taylor Stockmemer, Dwayne Frampton,and Allen Muse are expected to join TE Kedric Murry as starters. Here is the bad news. None of the skill players mentioned above were starters last season. Alpin did start 3 games at QB before getting hurt. Here is the good news. The line returns intact.
Defense: Lots of new starters in the front 7. Only 3 players from this group (DT Bryan Hall, LB Demario Davis, LB Javon McKinnon) return. Roberts hit the national JC scene heavy to get players in to fill the holes, but the JC game is so much different than the D1 game. The CB jobs are both open, but MD Jennings and Kelsie McCray return at the safeties. The returnees are solid players, so hopefully they can lead by example and get this group together quickly.
Special Teams: Another black hole. Nobody returns from this group. Brandon Parker looks like the new PK, while Neely Sullivent is in the lead to be the Punter.
Wins: 9/11 Louisiana-Lafayette, 10/9 North Texas, 10/23 Florida Atlantic, 11/13 Western Kentucky
Toss Up Games: 9/18 Louisiana-Monroe, 11/27 @ Florida International
Losses: 9/4 @ Auburn, 9/25 @ Troy, 10/2 Louisville, 10/16 @ Indiana, 11/2 Middle Tennessee, 11/20 @ Navy
The schedule is not a good looking thing for A State. The games against Auburn and Navy are just brutal, and there is not a non-conference 1-AA cream puff to kick ass on. Credit is due to ASU for not taking the easy road. 6 wins would be a miracle due to the rebuilding offense and lack of depth on the front 7 defensively.
Outlook: Steve Roberts should be feeling some heat this season. He is entering his 9th season, and his record is well below .500. His overall record will go sub .500 as well this season. Add the fact that ASU was supposed to be very competitve in 2009 and only won 4 games, and you have a perfect storm. The offense could very well be a mess, and the defense may fall apart under the strain. It doesn't look good.