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Georgia State Panthers vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves: Preview, Start Time, Betting Line, and Obligatory Halloween-ness

Undefeated in conference play, Arkansas State is poised to run the Sun Belt. But sinister Georgia State, coming off a big win against Ball State, is the boogeyman creeping beneath the Red Wolves' bed.

Halloween at The Cent
Halloween at The Cent
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas State hasn't played at home on Halloween since the 1970s. Red Wolves fans have been discussing costumes for months, but what we really want to know is who will the Red Wolves be on Saturday night? The Soul Crusher Wolves who pile on points while stealing the other guy's football? Or the Trick-or-Defeat Wolves who fake punt themselves in the loss column?

We're thinking Soul Crushers.

Fredi Knighten used his legs to ice Louisiana, but he has a chance to tune up his arm against GSU, who rank 116th in the nation for passing yards allowed. In fact, defense just isn't the Panther's thing, ranking 114th in total defense and 90th for red zone defenseZoiks!

But GSU can store points, putting more than 30 on the board for its two wins (New Mexico State and Ball). Nick Arbuckle's QB rating (150.2) is second best in the conference, and wide receivers Penny Hart and Robert Davis both rank in the conferences' top five for receiving yards.

The lesson? Turn your back on GSU at your own peril! Just when you think they're dead, Nick Arbuckle rises from the ooze and hurls footballs like bloody machetes.

Start Time: 6 P.M, the Witching Hour (in Jonesboro only, where bedtime comes fairly early, okay?)

Broadcast: ESPN3, The Official Channel of the Sun Belt

Weather Forecast: Not Naked Friendly

Location: Centennial Bank Torture Chamber in Terrifying Jonesboro, AR

A-State Color Scheme: Spoooooooky

Radio: 107.9 KFIN  (A-State), 88.5 WRAS-FM (GSU)

Series Record: Arkansas State leads the series 2-0.

Betting Line: The line opened at -18.5, but is now a frightening -17 Red Wolves

A-State's ESPN FPI Chances: 89.6%

Odds That A-State Has a #Howloween Promotion: 1,000,000%

Join us for "Howl-O-Ween" this Saturday at Centennial Bank Stadium as A-State Football takes on Georgia State at 6 PM. Visit AStateRedWolves.com for more details! #WolvesUpTickets: http://bit.ly/1GGugIG

Posted by Arkansas State Athletics on Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Last Time These Titans Met: It was an Atlanta slaughter house; a gory abattoir of sacks and points! Michael Gordon sliced up the Panthers for 188 yards and a couple scores. Fredi Knighten carved up the defense for 4 TDs. And the Red Wolves buried GSU alive 52-10.

The First Time These Titans Met: In 2013, the Red Wolves were expecting a quirky Hugh Grant romantic comedy, but got a Michael Myers marathon instead. No matter how many rusty daggers A-State put into GSU, the indestructible Panthers kept rising from the icy grave. Fortunately, A-State AD Terry Mohajir arrived to save the day, and the Red Wolves escaped with a 35-33 victory and their lives.

Why The Red Wolves Will Unmercifully Butcher the Panthers: It's "no mercy" time in Jonesboro. With Georgia Southern out-lasered by Appalachian State, the Red Wolves are firing up the chainsaw for a Sun Belt bloodbath. Look for Knighten to dismember the Panther's soft secondary while the monsters on A-State's defense terrorize Nick Arbuckle. There's also this:


How The Panthers Could Turn Turn This Game Into a Horror Show: A team that throws as much as Arbuckle and the Panthers have the potential to turn a situation dire quickly. If the Red Wolves secondary are off their game, the Georgia Panthers could lure the Red Wolves into a pit of pain and despair.

Red Wolves' Silver Bullet: The QB delayed keeper. ULL's Jalen Nixon destroyed A-State with this nonsensical trickery.
Good thing for the Red Wolves, Arbuckle ain't Nixon. He's run 29 times this year for a total of -59 yards. His longest run is nine yards. Arbuckle will try to beat A-State with his arm, not his feet.

Keys For Survival: The Red Wolves, who are finding themselves good and healthy, need to keep the pressure on Arbuckle, who can be dangerous when unthreatened. On the other side of the ball, Fredi must establish consistency and feed his talented host of receivers. A-State's effective running game should frustrate GSU's attempts at neutralizing Darion Griswold, J.D. McKissic and Tres Houston. McKissic especially needs to rebound after a horrifying -1 yard performance against Louisiana.

The Curse Is Broken: Prior to the Louisiana win, the Red Wolves had surrendered opening scores to every FBS opponent it faced. Unfortunately, another streak came to an end against the Cajuns: made XPs. Drew White doinked an XP on his first attempt, ending a streak of 25 consecutive XPs made.

Of course, the Red Wolves may have immunized themselves against all curses and hexes with this powerful ritual dance:


Then Again:



Official Prediction

Remember to boycott Pitt

Remember to boycott Pitt