Red Wolves to battle Trojans
Both teams prepare to protect their thrones
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013 00:09
“Brick by Brick.” That’s the new motto around the Arkansas State football program. It means being patient, being persistent and standing firm.
This week will test the foundation of that belief and the foundation of this team, as the Red Wolves face a short week after a tough 38-9 loss against the Auburn Tigers last Saturday.
“You don’t dwell on the previous game is the only difference,” defensive coordinator John Thompson said. “You turn the page and get going.”
The Red Wolves find themselves opening Sun Belt Conference play by facing a familiar foe, the Troy Trojans, who are coming off a 66-3 rout of Savannah State.
Combined, the Red Wolves and the Trojans claim the last seven Sun Belt Conference titles, with Arkansas State winning the 2011 and 2012 championships and Troy winning the five before those two.
One look at this Troy team and you can see why they were so dominant for so long.
The Trojans are led by senior quarterback Corey Robinson, who has been Troy’s starter for the last four seasons.
Robinson has been shocking college coaches this year by completing 92 percent of his passes, the second most in the nation behind Florida State’s Jameis Winston. Robinson has also had more touchdowns than incomplete passes so far.
Couple this deadly accuracy with one of the best wide receivers in the conference, Eric Thomas, and you have a deadly offensive attack.
“We’re going to play the way we’ve been playing,” junior defensive back Artez Brown said. “We’re going to mix up the defense and show them a lot of different looks. Mainly, we’re going to try to confuse the quarterback.”
On the other side of the ball, Troy hosts the Sun Belt Conference’s No. 1 defense so far this season, a defense that last season kept Arkansas State in check, as the Red Wolves went on to win a 41-34 thriller in Troy, Al.
The Troy defense is 6th in the nation on rush defense and 66th on pass defense (compared to the Red Wolves 38th against the rush and 26th against the pass).
“We’re going to have to pound the rock if we need to and we’re going to have to pass the ball if we need to,” senior running back David Oku said. “You have to be ready for both.”
Despite all this, the Red Wolves are unshaken, determined that they will be able to give the Trojans all they can handle.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at Liberty Bank Stadium.
More information about Red Wolves football can be found at www.astateredwolves.com