Mountaineers continue Sun Belt quest against struggling Red Wolves


Max Correa

Junior running back Cam Peoples celebrates after scoring his first touchdown of the day against the University of Louisiana at Monroe Oct. 30. Peoples found the end zone twice in the 59-28 beating of the Warhawks.

Dan Davidson, Former Sports Editor

App State football travels to Jonesboro, Arkansas, Nov. 6 to take on the 1-7 Red Wolves of Arkansas State. 

“They’re very athletic, and they throw the ball all over the field,” head coach Shawn Clark said. “For whatever reason, their record doesn’t show how good they are.”

The Mountaineers and Red Wolves have faced off four times since App State’s jump to the FBS in 2014. The Black and Gold have claimed three of those matchups by an average of 19.7 points, while Arkansas State found its lone victory against the Mountaineers in a 40-27 victory in 2015.

The Red Wolves have recorded just one win on the season, losing their last seven straight. Their last home game came against Louisiana, where the Ragin’ Cajuns squeaked out a 28-27 victory in Jonesboro. The previous week, Louisiana demolished App State 41-13. 

The Red Wolves boast the 10th best passing offense in the country, averaging 329.5 passing yards per game. Despite their prolific aerial attack, the Red Wolves struggle greatly running the ball, averaging 80.2 rushing yards per game. Only three FBS programs total fewer yards on the ground per game. 

Defensively, Arkansas State ranks the worst in the country in yards allowed, giving up nearly eight yards per play. The Red Wolves allow 558.9 yards per game, including 275.9 rushing and 283 passing yards per game. Out of 130 FBS teams, their 558.9 opponent’s yards per game ranks 130th, allowing 49.5 more yards per game than the next worst.

App State traditionally employs a run-first offense and will utilize the run against a team that has shown no ability to stop it all season. Arkansas State’s run defense alone ranks second-worst in the nation. As long as the Mountaineer defense can contain chunk plays through the air and keep the ball in front of them, the Black and Gold should have no issue defeating the Red Wolves Saturday. 

Every game is a must-win for the Mountaineers, who sit tied at the top of the Sun Belt East Division with Coastal Carolina and Georgia State, holding the head-to-head tiebreaker over both. They will either take one step closer to the title game or take a major leap backward after the Nov. 6 matchup with Arkansas State. ESPN+ will broadcast the game live at 2 p.m.