Jeff Reed: Will the Red Wolves Claw Back?


Jeff Reed Author PageIt’s been an interesting start to the football season in Jonesboro.

Arkansas State is off to a 0-2 start.

The losses are not that shocking — a traditionally strong Toledo team and an Auburn squad that was still playing for the victory on its last snap vs. No. 2 Clemson.

Former Oklahoma coach and Crossett native Barry Switzer said many things when coaching the Sooners. One that sticks out is “when you build a monster you have to feed its hungry a**.”

I’m sure we are seeing some of that in Jonesboro but what has really gotten the fan base somewhat riled up is the way the Red Wolves have lost. It hasn’t been pretty. And it hasn’t been competitive.

A-State actually showed more life against the SEC team than it did in a third-straight loss to the Rockets. Against Toledo, in front of the home crowd and an ESPNU audience, the Red Wolves were whipped badly.

So heading up to Logan, Utah for a Friday night game against Utah State many are wondering just who are the Red Wolves?

A year ago, it was another 0-2 start — a bad night in Southern California and a home loss to Missouri, a game the Red Wolves could have won if quarterback Fredi Knighten hadn’t suffered a groin injury in the third quarter sidelining him.

That team started 1-3. It followed the 0-2 start with a pounding of Missouri State and an ugly loss at Toledo. Both of those games were without Knighten.

The messages, texts and emails come in with all kinds of theories on what is wrong. A common theme is where is the leadership? Is there a JD McKissic on this team, a player who led by example by being one of the hardest-working, and best, players on the team? And another is will the team stop trying all these pretty uniform combinations and get back to A-State football? (Not being a fan of the runway-style uniform craze I liked that one and for the record prefer black!)

If that is the case one has to think back to some of those turn-around moments in recent Red Wolves history.

–In 2013, at South Alabama, a fiery halftime speech by defensive back Frankie Jackson, turned the tide and resulted in a 17-16 victory over the Jaguars to start a four-game winning streak and led to a share of the conference title.

–Also in 2013, athletic director Terry Mohajir riled up the listless troops at halftime against Georgia State and turned a 17-7 deficit into a 35-33 victory.

–And in 2015, head coach Blake Anderson’s halftime actions at South Alabama, one where he broke his hand hitting a door, led to a 49-31 victory and a perfect roll through conference play.

Is there a breakthrough (sorry no pun intended Blake) moment coming for this team? Is there a player about to step forward and make a statement?

Friday we find out if it is the road back.

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Jeff Reed is editor of

Blake Anderson Signing day 2015 red wolves


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