The cancellation of the long waited for game in Jonesboro against Miami (of Florida), was an unholy act of God. The game, scheduled years ago, had been marked as one of those “have to be there moments” in modern ASU football. The ‘Canes would come in looking to crack the top 10 with an impressive road win over a potential road trap game. The Red Wolves would be tested to see if they can get up two weeks in a row against its most formidable opponent this season after pushing Nebraska to the brink in Lincoln. But it was not to be. Hurricane Irma would eventually wipe out one maybe two weeks of football for most of Florida's FBS programs including the much anticipated feature at Arkansas State. So ASU drew an unscheduled bye week before batting in-state opponent UAPB. ASU fans grumbled as AD Terry Mohajir was empathetic with the situation but firm about how serious the Red Wolves were invested in this game and what they would do to keep it alive.
FWIW: Mohajir says he had found UM two Thursday night flight options and had offered to pay for the flight to Memphis.— Brad Bobo (@TheDriveOnKNEA) September 6, 2017
At that same moment across the state, Arkansas was stumbling against TCU after playing to a less than enthusiastic crowd of 37,000 in the season opener against FCS Florida A&M. Suddenly out of this situation, has come a surpassing revisiting of the ASU vs Arkansas non competitive situation. There are polls on TV stations, heavy discussion across a variety of media including TV morning shows and on various formats of radio, as well as UA AD Jeff Long trying to address the multiple questions he faced on the topic. ASU AD Terry Mohajir and HC Blake Anderson jumped on the topic letting there be no doubt about the school’s stance on playing UA.
But somehow during this flame up of the talk about an in-state matchup that doesn't exist, that this Saturday a very real matchup with in-state opponent UAPB does exist.
Start Time: Saturday, September 16, 6pm CST
TV: Streaming on ESPN3
Radio: EAB Red Wolves Sports Network (107.9 FM, flagship)
Location: Centennial Bank Stadium (30,406)
Series: ASU leads 1-0 (62-11 in 2013)
Live Stats: AStateStats.com/AStateRedWolves.com
Live Game Notes: twitter.com/AStateGameDay
Vegas Odds: No official line
ASU finally gets its home opener after the Miami cancellation and the Red Wolves in-state foe the UAPB Golden Lions (1-1) from the SWAC. When last we saw ASU they were losing by a fingertip in Lincoln Nebraska to the ‘Huskers 43-36. The Golden Lions traveled to Akron and got blown out 52-3 after defeating Morehouse College 23-10 in the opener.
UAPB OFFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Brandon Duncan who has only thrown for 264 yards in the first two games to go along with 4 interceptions. If the Lions are to have any chance, it starts here with Duncan. UAPB coach Monte Coleman knows his QB has to develop into a true dual threat type player.
UAPB DEFENSIVE PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Danarious Dooley led all defenders in the loss to Akron with 9 total tackles including 4 solo.
THE PREDICTION: This will be a chance to work out the kinks of the unexpected week off and focus on getting back into live game rhythm. Look for a balance between run and pass plays on the offensive side with a final big yardage number north of 500. The defense will flex its muscle and show its speed, look for a big day from DE Ja’von Rolland-Jones.