2018 Arkansas State projections on the Hour Glass
By Mitch Davis
Coming off an impressive 6-2 Sun Belt record and a 7-5 overall record, the Red Wolves are primed for a breakout year under head coach Blake Anderson. Arkansas State is coming into 2018 with a lot of experience and a very favorable schedule for a record-breaking year in Jonesboro.
Heading into the spring the Red Wolf’s looked to improve off the red zone blues of last season and also the no quit attitude that Coach Anderson and staff preach to each player. Starting left guard Dalton Ford said, “Weight room was a huge part. We have gotten a lot bigger and stronger. But the main focus being red zone scoring and our drills were focused in that area” With that being said the Red Wolf’s will return nine on offense, including quarterback Justice Hansen and running back Warren Wand.
On the other side of the ball, the Red Wolves were a terror to face in the Sun Belt only giving up 26 points a game. Blake Anderson was all praise for the defense following the Red Wolf spring game saying, “I thought the defensive energy was better than the offensive today. It was our worst day in terms of productivity as far as throwing and catching and we didn't do a very good job. Good to see us finish up at the end with some productive plays. The biggest thing for them as we did not turn the ball over and that is where it is going to start. The defensive side of the ball will be crucial for Arkansas State heading into next season as the offense is expected to lead Arkansas State to the Sun Belt Championship game.
One offseason question for the folks in Jonesboro, Arkansas have had for years is when will the Arkansas Razorbacks play Arkansas State? One of the options that Red Wolf fans have proposed is to play in Little Rock for the Razorbacks annual game at War Memorial Stadium. The sole reason for Arkansas not playing Arkansas State is the Razorbacks would have everything to lose from recruiting to the shame of losing to the smaller school, however, given Arkansas State’s recent success compared to the Razorbacks mediocrity, some would say Arkansas State would hold the upper hand and would end up defeating the big boys at Arkansas. One of two things would have to happen to make this game a reality in the state of Arkansas. The first being two strong-minded AD’s putting the game together and breaking the norm. The second being state legislation putting together a bill to force the two to play each other. Either way, the state of Arkansas deserves to have this game played every year for the state championship and bragging rights for a whole year.
Heading into the upcoming season Red Wolf fans have a lot to get excited with a team that in Jonesboro that is likely to compete for the Sun Belt crown. Starting Center Jacob Still had this to say about the upcoming season: “We have the potential to be very good with all of the offensive weapons we have, we just have to focus on the details and the importance of them on each play. The mood around the locker room is that we have to go out and prove again that Arkansas State belongs at the top of the conference.” One thing is for certain come September 1st, the Red Wolves will be ready to take the field as they host Southeast Missouri State while gunning for a Sun Belt crown. Red Wolf nation is bound to be in for a treat with this team and future teams under Blake Anderson.
HG analytics pick: 11-1, 1st in the SBC West and overall winner.
Hour Glass National Recruiting Ranking: 95th – OUTSIDE our College Football Playoff bust line on our talent index.
National Coaching Rank for Blake Anderson on HG Scale: 6th in G5; 22nd overall (Anderson Stamp at 12) – Average coaching value for 2018 set at 3.75.
Returning Arkansas State quarterback play rated 3rd in the country in our overall rankings with a stamp of 26. Average quarterback stamp nationally for 2018 is 8.3.