Jay Bir: Red Wolves Look Like a Team That Found Itself


Red Wolves Look Like a Team That Found Itself

Now THAT is the Arkansas State team that Red Wolf Nation has been waiting for.  Todd Berry still hasn’t beaten A-State, and the Red Wolves look like a team that found itself.

I’ll admit I wasn’t confident A-State was going to win in Monroe. I picked ULM to win 35-27. We have seen Jeckyll-Hyde act prevail all season for the Red Wolves.  I thought this would be the fall of A-State. I was wrong.

Arkansas State went into Monroe and kept their clean record against Todd Berry.  They cemented themselves as the number two team in the Sun Belt standings, and with a little help, can still get that third straight conference title, albeit it might be shared.

The performance Saturday was top notch in all facets for ASU.  The offense came out with life, energy, timely play-calling; the defense was swarming like they haven’t in a couple of weeks.  They shutdown Sun Belt Celebrity Kolton Browning by making him uncomfortable in the pocket; they made him think about what was coming his way,  and they forced him into some bad throws.  And to heck with Beamer Ball, how bout some Riddle Ball? The special teams stepped in a huge way.  JD McKissic was a beast in the return game. Kick coverage did not allow much, and the special teams got not just one, but two blocks in the game.

Finally, that full, four-quarter game for the Red Wolves everyone has been waiting for.  It’s funny, too, what a game like this can do for a fan base.  Before Monroe, many people were questioning if they could get to that six-win plateau for bowl-eligibility, now the rhetoric is which bowl game does the fan base prefer.

It’s a good problem to have the way I see it, but it’s no guarantee unless the Red Wolves win the conference.  Anything else is pure speculation and hopefulness.

It’s good to see ASU improve dramatically in all three phases of the game, but now this is the time of year that the fans need to really up their game, too.  Bowl reps will likely start to take a look at their options and full stadiums speak volumes.

Whether it be New Orleans, Go Daddy, or Famous Idaho Potato, they will definitely look at the recent turn outs of ASU in their bowl games but also will consider the “what are you doing lately” creed as well.  Now is the time for Red Wolves’ fans to their part to get ASU into a bowl game.  Get you some tickets, get your friends some tickets. Heck, buy a stranger a ticket, buy ME a ticket. Just pack The Vault for these last two games against Texas State and Georgia State.

The Red Wolves are starting to click on all cylinders and turn into the team we all thought they would be.  You wonder what that team in Monroe would’ve done to Memphis, to ULL, or even to Missouri.  It will be fun to see what they are going to do against the likes of Texas State, Georgia State, and to old Arkansas friend, Bobby Petrino’s bunch.

This next week is the start of what I believe will evolve into a heated rivalry.  If anything, I’m hoping that somebody will come up with some clever trophy to present to the winner of this game in time and then give it a nifty name a la the UA-LSU Battle of the Boot.  Bobcats vs Red Wolves, Arkansas vs Texas again, it’s time to start hating the Lone Star State with passion again.  Surely, ASU will christen this game the way they should.

ASU could and should get bowl eligible, possibly this weekend, but again I can’t stress enough that ASU fans need to step up their game if they want that third straight attendance title in the conference. Or will ULL will take that from them, too?


Bryan Harsin’s message to A-State Fans:

Tags: ,