Arkansas State (2-3, 1-0) at South Alabama (3-2, 1-0)
When: Tuesday, October 13th, 2015
Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, AL
Time: 8:00 ET
TV: ESPN2 Radio: None
The first Tuesday night game of the College Football season has the Arkansas State Red Wolves visiting the South Alabama Jaguars. The Red Wolves lost three of their first four non-conference games before beating Idaho 49-35 last week to open up Sun Belt Conference play. Arkansas State let up a lot of points early in the season and that’s why they’re ranked 97th in points allowed with 32.2 a game. They now are in a more level playing field with the Sun Belt Conference. The Red Wolves are one of the favorites this year to win the conference as they returned 9 offensive starters from last year’s 7-6 squad. Running back Michael Gordon had a huge game against the Vandals rushing for 221 yards on 26 carries and scored three times. He’s averaging 6.5 yards a carry this season. Quarterback James Tabary is completing 63% of his passes for 788 yards replacing the injured Fredi Knighten, but has thrown 6 interceptions already on the season. Knighten is expected to be back in action tonight for Arkansas State.
South Alabama will play their first home conference game after beating Troy last week 24-18 thanks to a defense that held the Trojans to just three second half points. The Jaguars have non-conference losses to NC State and Nebraska, but did win at San Diego State. South Alabama has been struggling on both sides of the ball as they rank 90th in total offense and 82nd in defense. Quarterback Cody Clements, who transferred from UAB, has 1,131 yards passing and 7 touchdowns on the season, but is only completing 51.9% of his passes. Last year with UAB he completed 66%, but had a better offensive line and more weapons to throw to. Sophomore running back Xavier Johnson is averaging 6.4 yards a carry this year and has found the end zone 5 times (4 rush, 1 pass). South Alabama is 3-0 when he rushes for over 90 yards and 0-2 when he doesn’t.
Arkansas State is a better team and gets the benefit of their starting QB returning tonight. Neither defense can stop anyone, which is why the total is set at 58.5. The Jaguars have lost three straight years to Arkansas State, but I think they can pull the upset tonight. Take the points.
Pick: South Alabama +5