Yes, there are plenty of negatives to take away from Arkansas State's loss to USC. For example, we've played a full game of pigskin and we still have no idea if the Red Wolves are capable of booting a football through the uprights. A-State is also 0-1 in curiously timed trick two-point conversions, and Fredi Knighten 8-for-23 passing performance left a lot to be desired.
But rest assured, the Red Wolves left Southern California with fresh sun tans and plenty of positives. Let's climb off the ledge and read the rest of this penetrating article (that I wrote on Labor Day).
Believe in Warren "Magic" Wand
Warren runs like Mario karts, and at 5'5", he's like tacking a cannonball fired out of a, er, cannon.
Wand finished with 10 carries for 52 yards. Expect to see more Magic in the weeks to come.
The Defense Gave Up 7 Touchdowns and Is Still For Real
You wouldn't know it by looking at the scoreboard (also, your eyeballs would burst into flames), but the Arkansas State defensive was vastly improved over last year's version. Yes, Tre Madden (106 yes) and Cody Kessler (4 tds) had stellar performances, but the Red Wolves planted 5 sacks on USC and forced six punts from the high-powered Trojans. Making up for four A-State turnovers did the Red Wolves' defense no favors.
A-State Left Southern California Intact
USC's training staff saw more action last night than the Red Wolves training staff, which is good news for an A-State team decimated by injuries last year. Arkansas State should be healthy for next Saturday's home game with Missouri.
Freshman LB Tajhea Chambers is a Legitimate Sack Monster
With Xavier Woodson trapped in the Suspension Phantom Zone, it fell to freshman QB turned linebacker Tajhea Chambers to step up. All he did was deliver 2.5 sacks and eight tackles, joining Ja'Von Roland-Jones and Charlston Girley in the Let's Dump Kessler parade. The pressure didn't stop Kessler from padding his Heisman resume, but Chambers certainly cemented is place as another Arkansas State Sack Monster.
JD McKissic is back
Injured for too much of 2014, JD McKissic looked physical and spectacular against USC, rising above disappointing QB play to make circus receptions. JD led the team with five receptions, drawing praise from PAC12 announcers which isn't really a plus, but it was preferable over hearing "Touchdown, USC!"