Arkansas State versus UL-Lafayette. Wolves fight'n Cajuns. Two original gangstas of the Sun Belt trading punches on a Tuesday Night before a worldwide audience. The hatred between Michigan and Ohio feels like a baby's kiss compared to the laser-hot animosity between Cajuns and Red Wolves. We've played this game since 1911, the very first year of A-State Football, when First District Agriculture School was lead by the immortal F.T. Parks.
More than a century later, the two programs return for a Tuesday night donnybrook, opening the week of college football with a blast of the hottest Sun Belt Heat. Nothing less than the conference championship hangs in the balance, as both programs are undefeated in SBC play.
Tuesday Night's for fighting, and ESPN could not have picked two more entertaining and hostile contenders. Let's rumble, y'all.
Start Time: 7 P.M
Broadcast: ESPN 2, The Official Channel of the Sun Belt (Tuesday Night Only)
Weather Forecast: Bring a blanket and your sizzling hatred
Location: Centennial Bank Stadium, Jonesboro, AR
A-State Color Scheme: Currently shrouded in mystery. The Red Wolves are keeping Tuesday night's color scheme close to the vest, but there is great anticipation nonetheless.
Even Brian Boyer, A-State's head women's basketball coach, felt compelled to weigh in.
@AStateFanRules yes, they will be wearing them...I've confirmed it ...you're welcome, now going back to coaching basketball— Brian Boyer (@stAteBoyer) October 19, 2015
Everybody's got jokes. Keep'm coming. I'll be here all week. Meanwhile, rumor has it that A-State is unveiling something new. That's all I got.
Update: It appears we'll be celebrating our nation's fighting forces tonight with a black and star-spangled helmet
HERO'S NIGHT... One word "RESPECT" Thank you to all who do & have served our Country and Community. pic.twitter.com/Z4io7SFDBB— Blake Anderson (@CHbanderson) October 20, 2015
Radio: 107.9 KFIN (A-State), 107.9 KHXT-FM (Cajuns)
Series Record: Cajuns lead the series 23-18-1.
Betting Line: Currently -8.5 Red Wolves. Up 2.5 points since opening. Money's on the Red Wolves.
#SunBeltHeat: The Sun + Lava x Ryan Gosling's smoldering eyes
A-State's ESPN FPI Chances: 73.5%
Amusing Fact For A-State Fans: Surprisingly, Arkansas State dominates ULL in NFL Draft picks, 53-7. We expected more from the Cajuns.
Should We Start Calling ULL "Louisiana:" Considering what happened to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, I support any program distancing itself from its "flagship" university. However, because we are arch enemies, Louisiana shall always be ULL to me. Sorry.
When Last These Titans Met: The Cajuns enjoyed a pleasant evening of exploiting the Red Wolves run defense to the tune of 419 yards on the ground. ULL rolled into the end zone 8 times, led by merciless super-beast Elijah McGuire's 265 soul crushing yards. The Red Wolves also attempted a fake punt from our own seven yard line that failed miserably. Final score, ULL 55, A-State 40.
ULL is The Beast With Two Backs: Elijah McGuire and Torrey Pierce led the Cajun rushing attack, and they have 11 rushing TDs between them. The Cajuns bring the nation's 16th ranked team for rushing yards-per-game to Centennial Bank Stadium on Tuesday Night, providing the revamped Red Wolves defense with one of the season's toughest challenges.
Double 49er: Early season offensive woes have made an impression with the Red Wolves faithful.
Going to dress up as the AState offense and not show up to your Halloween party.— Rex Steele (@Answer2Anderson) October 18, 2015
Burn! But since laying an egg in Toledo, the A-State offense (with a major assist from the Defense) has posted a pair of 49 totals. Signs point to a return to dominance on the offensive side of the ball.
Amusing Stat for A-State Fans 2: The only two teams to score more points on Missouri's 16th ranked defense than the Red Wolves (20 pts): Kentucky (21 pts) and Florida (21 pts).
Stat to Exploit: The QB tandem of Jalen Nixon and Brooks Hack have led the Cajuns to rank 115th in passing offense, giving up six INTs (but also only six sacks). With only 154 pass attempts this year (111th in the nation), the Cajuns look to make this game a grinder for A-State's defense, who won't have too many opportunities to convert turnovers into big plays.
Maybe We Have More in Common That We Thought: ULL is thought to be a "ground'n pound" kind of offense, but the Red Wolves have enjoyed similar success in the trenches. Check out the numbers:
Red Wolves: 15 Rushing TDs, 8 Passing TDs
Cajuns: 15 Rushing TDs, 5 Passing TDs
Perhaps we should set aside our differences and partner to rule the Sun Belt? (Nah, let's fight.)
Stat to Exploit 2: The Cajuns rank just 106th for total defense and has forced few turnovers. If our last two meetings are any indication, expect ULL to attempt to leverage time of possession to keep their D off the field.
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Don't miss out on all the excitement tomorrow night as A-State Football takes on Louisiana-Lafayette in front of a national television audience on ESPN2 at 7 PM!Purchase your tickets NOW at AStateRedWolves.com/tickets!#WolvesUp #BeatULL #BIGTIMEPosted by Arkansas State Athletics on Monday, October 19, 2015
Who Should The Red Wolves Fear (Outside of Elijah McGuire): I posed this query to Underdog legend Jeremy Adcock, and this is what he said!
ADCOCK: Jalen Nixon. The junior quarterback is basically Terrence Broadway with a better upside as a passer. He struggled to earn the starting spot early, but it is clear that the coaching staff loves what he can do as a dual threat and take some pressure off of McGuire. He was finally healthy and in charge for the Texas State game and threw for 238 yards, rushing for another 45 yards.
Official Game Prediction, Yo