Arkansas State Red Wolves at Missouri Tigers
Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium, Columbia, Mo., Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
Media: CSS, ESPN3.com, AStateRedWolves.com
ON TAP: Arkansas State continues its non-conference slate this weekend at Missouri, the second SEC opponent on the Red Wolves schedule this year. The Red Wolves, in the midst of three consecutive non-conference games, face the Tigers on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in a CSS-televised game at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium. . Live radio broadcast can be accessed through the A-State athletics Web site (AStateRedWolves.com).
THE PRINCIPALS: A-State will carry a 2-2 overall record into Saturday’s game after dropping a 31-7 decision to American Athletic Conference foe Memphis its last time out. The Red Wolves have alternated wins and losses through its first four outings, claiming a season-opening victory over UAPB and a win over Troy in its first Sun Belt game. Missouri is undefeated through its first three games and receiving votes in both the USA Today Coaches (2) and Associated Press (2) Top 25 polls. While the Red Wolves are looking for their first road victory of 2013, the Tigers are 2-0 at home this year. Both offenses are averaging over 450 yards per game, while the Missouri defense is giving up 386 yards per game to the Red Wolves 440.
THE ARKANSAS STATE-MISSOURI SERIES: Arkansas State visits Missouri on Saturday to play the first game of a home-and-home series with the Tigers. The return game is scheduled for Sept. 12, 2015, in Jonesboro. This season’s contest will mark the third meeting all-time between the two schools and the first since 2005. While the 2005 game counted as a home contest for A-State, it was actually played at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City and saw the Tigers come away with a 44-17 victory. ASU also played Missouri, then ranked No. 17 in the nation, in 2004 in Columbia and dropped a 52-20 decision. Arkansas State has played eight schools a combined 43 times while they were members of the SEC, but the 2015 game against Missouri will be just the second time the Red Wolves have ever hosted an SEC team. The only other time A-State played an SEC member at home was in 2001 against Ole Miss. While the Red Wolves tied Mississippi State 15-15 in 1993, they will enter Saturday’s game looking for their first win against an SEC team.
A-STATE vs. THE SEC: A-State is facing its second SEC opponent this season after catching Auburn on Sept. 7, giving the Red Wolves two games in the same year against a team from the conference for the first time since 2004 (Ole Miss and LSU). Prior to this season, the last time Arkansas State had played an SEC opponent was 2010. Although A-State has never defeated a team while it was a member of the SEC, it has picked up victories over two current schools prior to them joining the league. A-State defeated Ole Miss 10-0 in 1915 and has also tied the Rebels twice. The Red Wolves defeated Texas A&M 18-14 in 2008 as well while the Aggies were a member of the Big 12 Conference. A-State has played Ole Miss 23 times, more than any other current SEC member.
AN A-STATE VICTORY WOULD …: Make the Red Wolves 3-2 or better after their first five games for the first time since 2011 … Give it a victory over a team while it was a member of the SEC for the first time in school history … Give the Red Wolves at least two non-conference victories for the third consecutive year … Keep its streak without back-to-back losses in the same season since 2010 alive … Give the Red Wolves their second victory over a team from a BCS automatic qualify conference (def. Texas A&M, 18-14, in 2008) since joining the FBS in 1992.
STOP THE BLEEDING: While Arkansas State suffered a 38-9 setback at Auburn to snap a nine-game winning streak, it got back in the win column with a 41-34 victory over Troy. With the win, A-State still has not dropped back-to-back games in the same season since falling in the last two games of the 2010 campaign.
THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY: While Arkansas State converted just 4-of-15 third downs against Memphis, overall it has been one of the most successful teams in the nation this season converting third downs and ranks 33rd in the country with a .484 percentage. The Red Wolves converted 9-of-12 attempts vs. UAPB, 8-of-18 vs. Auburn and 9-of-17 vs. Troy.
HITTING TWO-HUNDRED: Arkansas State has rushed for at least 200 yards in two of its first four games this season and in six of its last nine regular-season games dating back to last season. The Red Wolves have won eight consecutive games when rushing for 200 yards or more, a streak that also dates back to 2011.
LEADING THE LEAGUE: Senior quarterback Adam Kennedy currently leads the Sun Belt Conference in total offense with 246.0 yards per game. Kennedy recorded a season-high 358 yards of total offense against Auburn and just missed going over 300 against Troy with 299 to his credit.
RUSHING RED WOLVES: The Red Wolves piled up 509 rushing yards versus UAPB, which were the most in the nation during the season’s first week and still stand as the second most behind BYU’s 550 against Texas. A-State’s total was also the fifth most in school history and the second most in Sun Belt history.