Arkansas St Red Wolves 2022 College Football Preview
July 20, 2022
Record – 2-10
ATS – 6-6
It’s not easy to cut your win total in half from the previous season but the Red Wolves have pulled the trick two years in a row. They’ve got from 8-5 in 2019, to 4-7 during the 2020 CASEDEMIC season, to a 2-10 ABOMINATION in 2021. They had a couple of close calls vs solid squads along the way (Louisiana! Tulsa) but it was still a pretty gross performance overall.
Let’s see if there’s any hope for year two of the Butch Jones regime.
Arkansas St Red Wolves 2022 Outlook
The Red Wolves were as one-dimensional as you could get LY as they were dangerous thru the air (314 YPG #11 FBS) but pathetic with the ground game (82 YPG, #128 FBS). QB James Blackman got some good reps LY and should be just fine leading the THROW GAME full time in 2022. Blackman gets two of his top-three WRs back and the Red Wolves add Oregon St transfer Champ Flemings to the mix. They should be effective MATRICULATING the ball down the field with that WR group. The RB contingent doesn’t inspire confidence but they hope that former Ohio St (!) Buckeye can provide a spark. Arkansas St brings back just one starter up front but they do have some good size. Overall, this offense has the feel of another one-dimensional attack but we’ll see how things play out.
The defense greatly resembled PURE FILTH LY as they allowed 38.6 PPG (#124 FBS), were horrible vs the run (261 YPG, dead LAST FBS), struggled vs the pass (#104 pass efficiency D), and couldn’t achieve adequate PENETRATION (24 sacks, #87). Only five starters return on this side of the football (and just one of the T5 tacklers) but maybe that’s a good thing? Our DEEP SUN BELT INSIDERS project slight improvement on this side of the football as they they add a lot of transfers to the talent pool and return their best defensive player in DL (now LB) Kivon Bennett (8 sacks, 16.5 TFL, 5 QBH LY). There’s a lot of work to be done but we’ll see better overall numbers in 2022.
Arkansas St came in at a SPICY #4 in the Phil Steele special teams rankings LY but suffer a pair of key departures in PK Blake Grupe (20/25 FG LY) and KR Alan Lamar (2 TD!). Thankfully, they still have one of the best punters in the Sun Belt in Ryan Hanson (44.0, 42.0 net) and PR Johnnie Lang booked a return TD in 2021.
Overall – The Red Wolves have to deal with a three-game road trip in September that includes a BODY BAG GAME at Ohio St but they get an elite draw from the East missing App St, Coastal Carolina, and Marshall.
Potential ATS Trouble Spot – Nothing overly-spooky is noted.
Season Win Total
per BetOnline July 20
Over 5 -115
Under 5 -115
The roster doesn’t inspire much confidence but there are several potential wins on the docket after they get thru September.
Per the great folks at CollegeFootballNews.com, Arkansas St only managed 4 rushing TDs in 2021 whilst their opponents booked an impossible 32 (!).
Well, these guys are a 670,000 STAR SUPER SAFE AND TOTALLY EFFECTIVE LOCK to win more games than last season, but there are still too many holes to expect any kind of run at a division title. The main goal for the Red Wolves has to be to get back to a bowl game and build from there. We expect them to win their fair share of games in the 2nd half of the season and give them a reasonable shot of making the postseason for the first time since 2019. Let’s go!
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