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September 4, 2012Arkansas State went to the Pacific Northwest looking to pull an upset over Oregon but quickly Head Coach Guz Malzahn and the rest of the Red Wolves found out why the Ducks are so highly considered. From the start of the game Oregon looked impressive by scoring on their first 7 possessions and not letting up on displaying their offensive power. Arkansas St quarterback Ryan Aplin did his best at keeping his team in the game but it was not nearly close enough. It was a struggle all game long to keep up with the high powered Duck offense but the Red Wolves never quit nor gave up on the game.
What Went Right
Ryan Aplin and the Red Wolf offense did it's best to keep up with the Oregon offense. Scoring 34 points in Outzen stadium against one of the best teams in the country is something that can be built upon. The combination of Aplin and Jarboe was a good combo on Saturday and good be an even more dangerous tandem as the year goes on. Jarboe caught a single game record of 13 passes to go along with 66 yards. Aplin found Jarboe early and often and kept throwing his way until the game ended.
Showing heart and toughness, the Red Wolf team never quit on the game. Regardless of the score the Red Wolves kept playing hard and ran their stuff like the game was still in contention. The offense overall looked smooth at times by driving the field and finishing with scores. Aplin is a senior leader that will not let his team get down. He has the talent and expierence to do some good things for the Red Wolves this season.
What Went Wrong
From the get go the Oregon offense put it on the Red Wolves and made them play from behind the remainder of the game. Defensively it was hard for the Red Wolves to keep up with the fast pace and efficency that the Ducks ran play by play. Redshirt Freshmen quarterback Marcus Mariota had control of his offense and lead them down field all first half long. He showed great moxy along with precision passing and athleticism to escape pressure. The overall team speed on offense for Oregon was and is dynamic. They have gamebreaking talent in De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner. Both players scored multiple times and for Thomas he did on the ground and thru the air.
Red Wolf Def. Cordinator John Thompson thought he had a game plan to slow the Oregon offense down but he was wrong. Senior Linebacker Nathan Herrold did his best at trying to stop the Ducks. He finished the game with 11 tackles and was the one player consistently around the ball. The team speed on defense for the Red Wolves was hard to match what the Ducks were displaying on their side. Their wasn't much of a pass rush and the secondary had a hard time staying with the receivers.
Oregon is considered one of the best teams in the country and just might have the best offense overall. They were a mismatch for the Red Wolves from the start of the game. Playing such a high powered offense should give the Red Wolves experience when it comes to competing within the Sun Belt Conference.
A Look Ahead
This weekend is the home opener for Head Coach Gus Malzahn and the Arkansas State Red Wolves. The Memphis Tigers are coming to town after a surprising upset to Tennessee-Martin 20-17. New Head Coach Justin Fuente learned on the job last weekend that it will be tough to get his Tiger program headed in the right direction. They are hoping to get back on the winning bandwagon this weekend in Jonesboro.
Quarterback Jacob Karam is a former Texas Tech Red Raider who made his first start in a Memphis uniform last week is looking to play better and give his team a better chance to win against the Red Wolves. He did his best to lead his team but fell short to UT-Martin in Coach Fuente's debut. Karam is a drop back passer who could give troubles to the Red Wolf defense after watching the Ducks throw on them up in Eugene, Oregon. He has some talent around him on offense. Running Back Jerrell Rhodes is an seasoned player that has a lot of game expierence in him. Wide Receiver Keiwone Malone is a deep threat wideout that can make a game breaking play at anytime.
On defense the Tigers are lead by Def. Tackle Terry Redden and Def. End Corey Jones. Both players on the defensive line offer up good strength along with a solid pass rushing attack. The Tigers are young on defense but have plenty of speed and tremendous athleticism. It should be fun to watch the Red Wolf offense and quarterback Ryan Aplin go up against a defense that is fast and knows how to find the ball.
Both these teams are sporting new Head Coaches and both are coming of losses. Arkansas State and Memphis are not that far from each other which should make this somewhat of a rivalry game. The Red Wolves recruit the state of Tennessee well expecially the city of Memphis. This game should go a long way for the Red Wolves not only in recruiting both also for the season ahead. Getting a win over a Conference USA program would be a great start to the home schedule but also would bring some attention to the Arkansas State football program. Two teams who resemble each other that are both coming of losses should make for an exciting game in ASU stadium this weekend.
Written by: Chris Smith
Follow on Twitter @CSmith_Rivals
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