Thursday, March 2, 2017

Farewell to 2016: Arkansas State Red Wolves

Arkansas State Red Wolves
8-5 (7-1)

2016 Schedule
Lost to Toledo 31-10
Lost to Auburn 51-14
Lost to Utah State 34-20
Lost to Central Arkansas 28-23
Beat Georgia Southern 27-26
Beat South Alabama 17-7
Beat UL Monroe 51-10
Beat Georgia State 31-16
Beat New Mexico State 41-22
Beat Troy 35-3
Lost to UL-Lafayette 24-19
Beat Texas State 36-14
Beat UCF 31-13 (Cure Bowl)

MVP Offense: QB Justice Hanson
After the Red Wolves lost their first four games in 2016, Hanson put this team on his shoulders and tossed just three INTs during the last seven games. He finished up by passing for 2719 yards, 19 scores and eight INTs.
Hanson passed for a season high424 yards in a major upset loss to Central Arkansas, but managed to pass for 200 yards or more in five other games after that, and Arkansas State finished the season by winning eight of their final nine games of the season.
MVP Defense: DL Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, DL Chris Odom, LB Kyle Wilson
The Arkansas State defense was a crushing unit, allowing just 21.5 points per game all season. Rolland-Jones was a major force on the front line in 2016. He finished with 57 tackles, and posted an amazing 21 TFLs. He added 13 sacks and seven QB hurries.
Odom was a recipient of some amazing numbers alone as teams were forced to focus on Rolland-Jones. Odom finished with 53 tackles, 17.5 TFLs, 12.5 sacks, seven QB hurries, and four forced fumbles
Wilson was a beast at LB as well, as he finished the season with 80 tackles, 16 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, and nine QB hurries.
Others of Note
Warren Wand led the team in rushing with 879 yards and seven scores. He averaged just 15.38 carries per game.
ASU rushed for just 137 yards per game as a team, while passing for 242.2 yards per game.
Kendall Sanders led all receivers with seven TD receptions.
Blake Mack led the Red Wolves with 652 yards on 34 receptions.
Six different receivers caught 20 or more passes.
ASU recorded 78 tackles per game, while forcing 75.54. They narrolwly lose the tackling efficiency battle, but only just so.
Xavier Woodson-Luster led the team with 95 tackles.
The Arkansas State offense allowed 100 TFLs on the season, but the defense recorded 125.
ASU recorded 43 team sacks. Hanson was sacked 28 times.
Hanson was hurried just 17 times, as the ASU defense created 37.
The defense forced 15 fumbles, while the offense had 13 fumbles on the season.
Best Win: Troy 35-3
Troy was massively resurgent in 2016, and Arkansas State beat the Trojans into the ground. This was the fifth straight game that the Red Wolves won in conference play by double figures, and was the final win in a five game winning streak.
Worst Loss: Central Arkansas 28-23, Utah State 34-20
The Red Wolves lost just one more time in 2016 after an embarrassing loss at home to FCS member Central Arkansas. The Wolves went on a five game run following this disaster in which ASU had plenty of chances to win.
Utah State had their worst season of the decade in 2016, but yet somehow dominated the Wolves in a 14 point win in the first month of the season in which ASU would finish 0-4.
2017 Non Conference Schedule: 9/2 at Nebraska, 9/9 Miami, 9/16 Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 9/23 at SMU
This schedule is brutal for the Wolves in 2017. IT may be another long September for ASU, as they will lose games against Nebraska and Miami, and quite possibly at SMU. I do not see an FCS repeat situation against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, so one win is essentially guaranteed. Worst case here is 1-3, best case, 2-2, with a possible shot with SMU.

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