Jeff Reed: Blake Anderson, Red Wolves Not Going Away


Jeff Reed Author PageThe best team won in the Superdome at the New Orleans bowl.

Breaking away from a 17-17 halftime and a 20-20 contest midway in the third quarter, Louisiana Tech finished off Arkansas State 47-28.

When Fredi Knighten bulled his way into the end zone in the final minutes of the first half, a score that was set up by Blaise’s Taylor’s 41-yard punt return, it looked like the Red Wolves were about to follow a pattern established in their final eight games of the season, all Sun Belt Conference victories.

It was 17-17 at the half.

Midway in the third quarter it was 20-20.

From there it was all Bulldogs as A-State’s only points came off Taylor’s kickoff returns. A two-point pass to Dumas product Darion Griswold made it a 16-point game with about 10 minutes left. But Tech added a field goal and kept the ball most of what remained in the game.

In the second half Knighten running the ball was no longer part of the game plan, two carries and one of those a sack, and the Red Wolves had no chance.

So it wrapped up Blake Anderson’s second season in Jonesboro for the man who kidded the media about being there for Year 2 will be also be back for Year 3. There was big improvement, going from a limping 7-6 to a strong 9-4 and running the table for an 8-0 mark in the Sun Belt. It was A-State’s fourth title in five years.

On paper, the Red Wolves don’t look as strong for 2016, which opens at home vs. Toledo then heads to Auburn to play the Tigers. You lose seniors JD McKissic, Fredi Knighten, Tres Houston, Darion Griswold and Michael Gordon, all of them all-league performers.

But just about everyone else is back and there are transfers from Alabama (defensive lineman Dee Liner), TCU (QB/receiver Cameron Echols-Luper) and wide receiver Kendall Sanders, who once played at Texas. And the Red Wolves have James Tabary at quarterback, who was 2-1 in three starts as a redshirt freshman and who QB-rating and stats are right there with Arkansas State legend Ryan Aplin in his redshirt freshmen season.

For another season Blake Anderson is not going away, and it looks like the Red Wolves won’t be either.

blake anderson at godaddy bowl


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