Arkansas State Seeking Revenge Against Louisiana

Arkansas State Red Wolves player concentrated

Rainman M.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 2:45 PM GMT

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 2:45 PM GMT

Arkansas State (3-2) will try to avenge last year's upset loss at Louisiana (3-3). The Red Wolves are favored by 12.5 or 13 points when they host Louisiana Thursday night at 7:30 PM ET.

Louisiana vs. Arkansas State

Arkansas State's offense revolves around its passing attack.  Quarterback Justice Hansen is averaging over 300 yards per game. He benefits from a receiving crew that returns upperclassmen and has the advantages of size, experience, and talent against Louisiana's largely unproven secondary.

Louisiana's pass defense, which features two new cornerbacks and a strong safety in Travis Crawford who is struggling with injury and listed as 'questionable' for Thursday's game, ranks 96th in passing yards allowed. The Cajuns are already 0-2 ats this year when allowing 300+ passing yards. Justin Hansen has achieved 300+ yards in 3 out of 5 games this season.

The Red Wolves seek revenge after losing last year as 6 point favorites in Louisiana. In that game, they dominated the Cajuns in terms of yardage but were not able to capitalize in terms of scoring opportunities. Last season, the Wolves ranked 98th in red zone scoring percentage. This season, they have improved this rank to 47th. Expect a more efficient Arkansas State offense to take advantage of its scoring opportunities, which they will achieve with a solid pass attack.

The Cajuns will try to counter by following SMU's blueprint. SMU shut down Arkansas State by controlling time of possession with their run game. Arkansas State ranks 125th in allowing 48 rushes per game and 125th in allowing 271 rush yards per game.

Louisiana is also a run-first team. Their rush attack struggles with depth, however, due to the season-ending injury which backup running back Elijah Mitchell suffered on October 7th. Without Mitchell, freshman Trey Ragas has been forced to carry the load. This extra weight upon his shoulders is reflected in his statistics: in September, Ragas averaged 8.2 yards per carry on 46 carries. His longest run was 54 yards. In October, he is averaging 4.2 yards per carry on 36 carries. His longest run has been 19 yards.

The Cajuns will definitely amass plenty of rush yards against Arkansas State. The problem for Louisiana backers is that massive rushing numbers have yet to bear significance in a betting sense against Arkansas State. The Red Wolves are 3-1 ats so far when allowing 190+ rushing yards in a game. 

The key for Louisiana, as it was for SMU, will be to control time of possession in order to take Arkansas State out of its rhythm offensively. This key will be difficult to achieve against a Red Wolves squad who can start out fast and make Louisiana have to pass the ball in order to come back. Arkansas State is 16th with 9.5 points per first quarter, so far. Hansen has 6 touchdowns to 1 interception in the first quarter this year.  

Louisiana quarterback Andre Nunez has only faced bottom-ranked secondaries and anemic pass rushes. He receives a different test in Arkansas State, whose team sack percentage, dating back to last season, is over 9% at home, which places them in the top 10.

A strong passing attack should help the Wolves control time of possession against a Louisiana squad, who failed to win the battle for time of possession in its two non-covers against passing attacks which accumulated more than 300 yards.

 

The Verdict

Arkansas State, hungry for revenge on our NCAAF Picks, should light up Louisiana's secondary and take advantage of scoring opportunities with improved efficiency in the red zone. Louisiana, with its lack of proven quality at quarterback and lack of depth at running back, does not have the tools on offense to keep up with the Red Wolves.

 

Free NCAAF Pick: Arkansas State -12.5Best Line Offered: Pinnacle

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3187453, "sportsbooksIds":[238,19,43,1096,93], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1 }[/]

comment here