This is a huge game, and not just because A-State wants terrible revenge after Toledo's punishing GoDaddy Bowl win. I'm not going to say exactly why this game is important to A-State fans. I'm just going to say that, a couple weeks ago, something happened that made this game much bigger than a standard, out-of-conference, peer-to-peer match-up.
Don't press me!
Let's just say that there is more on the line here than a check in the win column, okay? Let's just leave it at that. I mean, if we win, it will look like a check in the win column, but A-State fans will see it as something else. Maybe fans of another football team (not saying who) will see the same thing, I dunno. Let's just leave it at that.
Start Time: 6 P.M
Weather Forecast: Damn Near Perfect
Location: The Glass Bowl, Toledo, OH
A-State Color Scheme:
TV/Streaming: ESPN3 and lucky bastards who have the ESPN College Extra Football package
ESPN3 Announcing Crew: Dave Weekley and Pete Najarian
Radio: 107.9 KFIN (A-State), 1370 WSPD (Toledo)
Series Record: Toledo is a cool 3-0 against A-State, including a 63-44 win at the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl
#SunBeltHeat: *Cheese inside a pizza roll*
A-State's ESPN FPI Chances: 32.5%
Catchy and Agressive #Hashtag:
Obviously, we know the villain behind this dastardly Facebook shutdown. #ToledoMustBeDestroyed— Rex Steele (@Answer2Anderson) September 24, 2015
The stomach virus has destroyed me the last 2 days. That only means 1 thing #toledomustbedestroyed— David Miller (@davidasufan) September 25, 2015
When Last These Titans Met: It was January 15th in Mobile, Alabama for the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl. Fredi Knighten threw for 403 yards. Xavier Woodson was tossed (and later suspended for two games) for getting getting salty with a referee. And Toledo's Kareem Hunt racked up 271 yards on the ground and five touchdowns in route to a GoDaddy MVP. And Danica Patrick presided over the coin toss.
What's Changed Since Then: Toledo lost five starters on the offensive line and a transfer from Alabama, Phillip Ely, takes over at signal caller. Meanwhile, A-State has lost all-world linebacker Q Lee, but the defensive line has gotten heavier and deeper. This isn't the same run defense that Toledo gashed for 365 yards.
Kareem Hunt Might Be Dinged: You always want to play an opponent when they're at their best. That said, Kareem Hunt is an NFL caliber talent who already diced up A-State for five scores this year. Hunt damaged his hamstring running all over Iowa State last week and, as of now, is questionable for Saturday's game.
Return of the Fredi: Back up QB James Tabary recorded a nice game against Missouri State last Saturday, but the Red Wolves need Fredi Knighten's dynamic playmaking ability to befuddle the Rocket's better-than-expected defense. Fredi is reportedly 100%, is may be extra motivated to put on a show in The Glass Bowl.
Who Else is Coming Back: Blaise Taylor expects to pick up punt return duties again, and the Red Wolves will need his speed in the secondary, too. Xavier Woodson and J.D. McKissic are also healthy. Question: Is Woodson still upset at Toledo? (Please be upset, X!)
What's At Stake for Toledo: A real shot at cracking the AP Top 25. The Rockets have an opportunity to enter conference play with three nice victories if they can solve the Red Wolves. Ignoring a 3-0 Rockets will be laughable, but also very likely all things considered.
What's At Stake for Arkansas State: There's the "avenging a bowl loss" factor, which can't be understated. Also, getting a non-con win on the road is always a morale booster. Plus it would bode well for the offense to get back on track before entering Sun Belt play. And, yes, there's motivation that we just won't discuss. It has something to do with an in-state rivalry that some don't even call a rivalry even though it feels a lot like a rivalry. Let's move on.
Come sit at my table and explain True Detective to me.