1) Arkansas State lost a ton of production from last season with QB Fredi Knighten, the leading rusher, and the top 4 receivers all having moved on. What do the Red Wolves have to replace those key cogs from the 2015 Sun Belt Championship team?
It appears that Chad Voytik will be the quarterback going forward. He is a graduate transfer from Pitt and had a rough start in the new system last Friday night in the 31-10 loss to Toledo. His stats on the night 11-24, 124 yds, 0 Tds, are reflect e of the amount of pressure he was constantly under. There is excitement at what can be out of the backfield with a trio of running backs, Warren Wand, Johnston White, and Armond Weh-Weh. Wand and White combined for 1300 yds and 19 Tds last year but White is battling a hamstring injury currently. There is also anticipation at what can be, when getting the ball into the hands of former TCU WR Cam Echols-Luper and former Texas WR Kendall Sanders.
2) ASU finished 94th in scoring defense last season and 117th in total defense while allowing 31 points per game. Toledo scored 31 on them just the other night. How do you feel about this year's defense so far?
The defense last year also led the country in interceptions (26) and defensive touchdowns (8), and has a lot of parts returning. I think as the season goes this unit will gel and will be very solid. Look for big plays from LB Xavier Woodson- Luster and DE Ja'von Rolland-Jones, considered to be the best pass rusher in the Sun Belt.
3) What match-up do you see the Red Wolves being most capable of exploiting in this game?
I think they have to get back to their aggressive ways that led to all those INTs last year and defensive TDs and part of that is getting pressure in the backfield. They won't be able to bull through the Auburn front, so I look for a variety of blitzes and really mixing up the coverage to try and confuse whatever QBs play for the Tigers.
4) What match-up are you most worried about?
The deep and talented defensive line is the biggest concern. Auburn used 11 guys up front against Clemson and held them to 3.4 yards a rush.
5) Any chance ASU wears those strange uniforms they wore in 2013? I recently got to speak with Auburn PA announcer Ric Smith and he said those were the absolute worst uniforms he's experienced in his 10 years of calling games just because they absolutely could not read the numbers or so who was making what plays for ASU during the game.
Edit: The answer here is irrelevant, now, since it's been confirmed they're wearing contrasting uniforms.
6) Predictions for how this one will play out?
I see Auburn wearing the red wolves down slowly over this game but Gus never seems too determined to score a ton of points just to prove a point. Unless, of course, it was against Alabama. Let's say 42-13 bad guys.