While the casual football fan may not be overly excited about this matchup, I can assure you that the Red Wolves will be fired up for two distinct reasons: (1) a win completes a perfect 8-0 conference record and the Sun Belt crown, and (2) the opportunity to avenge a 45-27 upset loss to Texas State on Senior Day last year. Arkansas State should win this game by at least thirty points and the Red Wolves are 18-10 ATS as home favorites and 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in home finales.
The Red Wolves will be able to name the score on offense as they are averaging 44.8 points and 463 total yards per game at 6.1 yards per play and 10.3 yards per point at home this season. Since returning to from injury on October 13 against South Alabama, starting quarterback Fredi Knighten has been unstoppable, leading the Red Wolves to six straight wins (5-1 ATS).
Over that span, Arkansas State has scored 49, 37, 48, 40, 59 and 52 points, respectively. The Red Wolves can also move the chains on the ground, averaging 226 rushing yards at 4.8 yards per carry overall, including garnering 274 rushing yards at 5.5 yards per carry at home.
Texas State is 0-5 SU and ATS on the road this season because of a truly inept defense that is allowing 48.4 points and 579 total yards per game at 7.6 yards per play and 12.0 yards per point on the road. Overall, the Bobcats’ stop unit is allowing 6.9 yards per play to teams that would combine to average just 5.9 yards per play.
The most shocking aspect of Texas State’s defense is its secondary, which is yielding 270 passing yards at 8.9 yards per pass play to a group of quarterbacks that would combine to average just 6.1 yards per pass attempt. The Bobcats’ front seven is also 1.0 yards per rush play worse than average on the year, yielding 5.6 yards per carry to teams that would combine to average 4.6 yards per carry.
The dynamic trio of Michael Gordon, who is averaging 6.3 yards per rush attempt with 8 touchdowns, Warren Wand, who is averaging 6.2 yards per rush attempt and Johnston White, who is averaging 6.0 yards per rush attempt with 13 touchdowns, should exploit a porous Texas State run defense.
Meanwhile, Knighten will have no problem finding his favorite targets in J.D. McKissic, Tres Houston and Dijon Paschal. Again, this game has blowout written all over it, and I question whether Texas State will even bother getting off the bus. With Arkansas State standing at 5-1 ATS in its last six games following a win, lay the points with the Red Wolves in this college football clash.
Oskeim Sports’ Free College Football Preview & Best Bet: Arkansas State