Arkansas State Preview

Who: #13 Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0, 0-0 ACC) vs Arkansas State Red Wolves (1-1, 0-0 Sun Belt)

Time: 4:08 PM

TV Coverage: Regional Sports Network (Mike Hogewood, John Bunting, Sammy Linebaugh)

Venue: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA (66,233 — Grass)

Series History: Virginia Tech leads 3-0

  • Last Meeting (2002): Virginia Tech 63, Arkansas State 7
  • Tech has outscored A-State 147-14 in three games between the squads.
  • This is the first meeting between the two schools with Arkansas State being the Red Wolves. They were the Indians until 2008.

Injury Report

  • OL David Wang – Out (foot)
  • TE Eric Martin – Probable (shoulder)

The Opponent

Arkansas State enters Saturday's contest coming off a 47-3 thumping of Memphis last weekend after falling 33-15 in the season opener at Illinois. The Red Wolves are under the direction of first year head coach Hugh Freeze, who was A-State's offensive coordinator last year. Freeze has just two years of head coaching experience, both at NAIA Lambuth University.

This team is senior-laden, with 15 senior starters speckling the roster. However, that stat is a bit deceiving as a majority of ASU's roster is juniors and seniors that have transferred from junior colleges.

On Offense

Their Last Dance: Arkansas State

For college football teams last impressions are the ones that matter most. These are notes, observations and food for thought on our opponents' last game.

Arkansas State found the perfect beat against Memphis last Saturday. The Red Wolves put an old-fashioned on the Tigers, a 47-3 rout that saw Mephis outgained by 442 yards, a margin that could have been even greater had Arkansas State played their starters the entire game. But, BREAKING, Mephis is a terrible team.

--For the third week in a row Tech will play against a variation of the spread. Arkansas State's offense was explosive. They are currently T-21st nationally with 33 plays gaining 10+ yards, and T-7th with 7 plays gaining 30+ yards.

--It's a fast-paced offense with a lot of no huddle and calling plays from the line of scrimmage.

--There were pistol sets too!

--Redshirt freshman running back (Rivals 3-star) Frankie Jackson was very good. He's got take-it-to-the-house speed, but he'll also lower the shoulder and take on a defender. He trucked at least two Tigers. ASU made it a priority to get him the ball in space: zone reads, pitches and lot's of swing passes.

--Arkansas State's kick coverage wasn't very good. There were a lot of arm tackles, and players getting out of their lanes.

Six Pick: Week Three

Last week did not disappoint, more quality matchups equaled more quality finishes. Imagine that. The weekend culminated at 11:30pm with a last second Michigan touchdown to beat Notre Dame in an all-time thriller. This week looks a lot like last week featuring 10+ quality games and a huge primetime matchup to boot. There is a very heavy southern presence, 9 of 12 teams are from the SEC or ACC. I just hope the ACC teams can prove they belong and get some conference respect back. Our conference can't perpetually be ass can it?

When you hear Brent Musburger say, "You are looking live at Doak Campbell Stadium ..." with the noise of 82k strong behind him, you know it's a big game. Brent can sometimes mail it in, but for big games, he almost always brings it. We'll get his focused attention throughout as it features no. 1 Oklahoma and no. 5 Florida State at 8pm Saturday night. The Sooners make the return trip to Tallahassee and are sure to be greeted by a loud, electric and lubed up crowd pumped full of Seminole-Backness. The Noles took a whooping in Norman last season, so they'll be looking for payback. This game has the makings of great theater, so even if you hate both teams, watch the game. The winner clears their biggest BCS Championship game hurdle.

Thursday, September 15th

East Carolina Roll Call

Obviously the coaches didn't throw a ton of players out there this week. And I didn't notice several guys, so I assume it was mostly special teams duty.

I liked how physical the team played. Our running backs embodied it, as did the offensive line for much of the game. But the mistakes were painful.

Let's look at the roster.

1. Antone Exum - Does anyone else think he plays fast and tough? He's going to get better at being in position earlier to make plays the longer he's on the field.

2. Josh Oglesby - Not enough people are talking about his performance. It's not easy to run near the goal line and he made several key plays. He's an important part of this backfield. He's best when he picks a lane and heads downfield. Not dancing. Again, beast performance on Saturday.

3. Logan Thomas - So much to say, but let me limit it to this: The key thing to watch is improvement. He is coming off his first road start. We saw Tyrod develop into a great QB. We need to watch for the same with Logan. And we're asking him to do a lot, more than I think we asked Tyrod in his second year. Here's a Tyrod stat line from Week 3 as a sophomore, in a 20-17 win over Georgia Tech in Lane: 9-14 for 38 yards. He averaged 3.4 yards per completion. But he rushed for 74 and a touchdown. LT3 can make plays when he's running with the rock. I want to see a healthy dose of him trucking people come Week 5.

Grillin' With Wolf: Arkansas State Baby Back Ribs

Arkansas State is the second largest college in Arkansas and is located on Crowley's Ridge in Jonesboro. ASU was founded as an agricultural school in 1909 and changed names multiple times finally settling on their current name in 1933. The Red Wolves, who are part of Sun Belt, finished 4-8 last year. ASU has put a lot of players in the NFL such as Ray Brown, Tyrell Johnson, Ken Jones, Ron Meeks, and Elbert Shelley. What comes to mind when you think of Arkansas? Barbeque should. Arkansas BBQ may not be as well known as NC, TN, TX, or KS, but is that because of the food or the people? Rex Nelson wrote an interesting article with his view that Arkansas BBQ is not often spoken of because the people of the state are modest.. Arkansas barbeque is almost always pork and is a mix between sauce and rub. So here is my interpretation of Arkansas baby back ribs.


Film Study: BBQ-Scented Potpourri

After re-watching the ECU game, I feel a lot better now about the team going forward than I did Saturday afternoon. Watching the game live wasn't easy on my eyes. The penalties, turnovers, special teams gaffs and little mistakes added up and overshadowed what was otherwise a clinic in power football supported by a tremendous defensive performance. We controlled the clock for 37:22, rushed for 241 yards, held ECU to 112 total yards and only won by seven points. We spotted ECU 92 yards on penalties, turned the ball over twice, only threw for 91 yards, got lucky ECU dropped some balls, missed a gimme field goal, shanked some punts and won by seven points. There's a very thin line separating wins and losses, and I'm happy as hell we're on the right side of it.

This week's film study won't have a theme, but will be a hodgepodge of things that caught my attention.

East Carolina Game Review (Focus on the Front 7)

Okay folks, lets not press the panic button yet. Yes, the Hokie offense struggled against a weak East Carolina defense, but the score of this game really should have been at least 26-10. I think this team shows a lot of promise, but there is vast room for improvement.

Before I focus on the critical, I would like to note some positives about the game.

Defensive line

Week 2 BlogPoll Ballot

My full poll is after the jump. As always I'm going to rely on y'all to keep me in check so leave your opinions, thoughts and suggestions in the comments and I'll adjust the poll as necessary.

  • LSU or Alabama - Last week you guys convinced me LSU should be in top slot, and for right now I'm leaving them there, but an argument can be made that Alabama deserves it. Both the Tide and Tigers have blown out lesser competition and strangled a top 25 opponent. I believe Oregon is better than PSU, but LSU won what was essentially a home game while Alabama did their dirty work on the road.
  • Texas - I have them higher than most. They're talented, but they don't have an identity. There may be a quarterback controversy developing, starter Garrett Gilbert was yanked for a rotation of underclassmen-- Case McCoy and David Ash. It wasn't a sexy win, but they beat what I believe to be a pretty good BYU and like him or not (I don't), Mack Brown is a damn good head coach.
  • Auburn - They took every punch Mississippi State threw and stood tall in end. They don't have Cam Newton, but they still have Michael Dyer, an under appreciated running back.
  • Michigan St. - Meh.


Any time LT3 runs someone over, it's getting GIFed.

Hey, do you guys remember this time last year when we were 0-2? That sucked. Thankfully it's 2011 and we're 2-0. An ugly, ain't no winning second prize in a beauty contest 2-0, but that's our record an I'm thankful for it. The Frankinator always says the biggest improvement comes between week one and two and right now I'm not buying it. Well...

The defense held ECU to 112 total yards (compared to 361 yards last season) and picked off a pass (that should have been a pair of passes). The defense straight hammed, and it's a relief to know we can once again bumble around on offense and win a game because the defense is there to get our back. Bud's ain't fooling around like last season.

Logan Thomas: 8/20 91 yards a pick and 11 carries for 66 yards.

/decreases Hype-O-Meter

ECU Live Blog

The live blog starts at 3:30. Eric will be moderating and approving your comments in between parenting, so hang in there if you don't see yourself showing up. #BeerControlFather I'll be there via Joe-mobile. Go Hokies!