Virginia Tech Hokies (2-0, 0-0) vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves (1-1, 0-0)
Time: 4 p.m. EDT
Date: Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011
Place: Blacksburg, Va.
Stadium: Lane Stadium (Cap: 66,233, Open: 1985, Field: Bermuda)
TV: Fox Sports Net and Comcast Sports Net (and ESPN3)
Radio: VT IMG, XM TBA, Sirius TBA
Spread: Virginia Tech -26
Weather: High of 66, no chance of rain
Arkansas State: The Red Wolves are coming off a 47-3 win over Memphis that saw them out-gain the Tigers, 611-169. They opened the season with a 33-15 loss at Illinois. You might recognize Arkansas State' coach, Hugh Freeze, if you read The Blind Side. He coached Michael Oher at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis. Located in Jonesboro, Ark., the school's athletic teams were known as the Indians until the 2008 season. Arkansas State rejoined FBS in 1990 and joined its current conference, the Sun Belt, in 2001. The Red Wolves have played in one bowl game since 1970, the 2005 New Orleans Bowl. They lost the game, played in Lafayette, La., due to Hurricane Katrina, 31-19 against Southern Miss. For the Arkansas State perspective, check out The Den.
Trends: Virginia Tech has won 12 consecutive regular season games and six consecutive home games. The Hokies are looking for their first 3-0 start since 2006, when they started 4-0. Arkansas State has lost eight consecutive games against BCS opponents. It's looking for its first win over a BCS foe since it opened the 2008 season with an 18-15 win at Texas A&M.
History Lesson: Virginia Tech is 3-0 all-time against Arkansas State with all three wins coming in Blacksburg since 1994. In the three games, the Hokies have out-scored the Red Wolves, 147-14. The last meeting was a 63-7 win in 2002. Cornerback DeAngelo Hall scored two of the Hokies' first three touchdowns in the game on a 69-yard punt return and 49-yard interception return. Bryan Randall threw for a touchdown and ran for two more coming off the bench for Grant Noel.
What to Expect
- It isn't the Air Raid, but expect Arkansas State's offense will look similar to East Carolina's. The Red Wolves run a no-huddle, up-tempo, pass-heavy offense out of the spread formation, but will give defense a wide variety of looks. Arkansas State will also try to stretch the field vertically more often than ECU did.
- Expect the Red Wolves to sell out to stop the run. It's what they did against Illinois and it worked during the first part of the game as they were able to contain the Illini's ground game. Illinois finally started throwing the ball and was able to build a comfortable lead.
- Expect some athleticism from the Red Wolves. They have Josh Jarboe at wide receiver (yes, THAT Josh Jarboe) and he went off against Memphis to the tune of seven catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Jarboe was clearly the best player on the field and showed why he was once a four-star recruit.