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Arkansas St. Red Wolves 2012 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2012-13 Football Previews – (Sun Belt) – Arkansas St

Arkansas State won the Sun Belt Conference last season. Hugh Freeze did a brilliant job in his first season as the Red Wolves coach, but Freeze left Jonesboro in the offseason to take over the top job at Ole Miss.

Sun Belt 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Arkansas State
Head Coach: Gus Malzahn
2011 Record: 10-3
Arkansas State Gambling Odds from JustBet to win BCS Championship: (Part of Field) +1,800
Arkansas State Gambling Odds from 5Dimes to win Sun Belt: +350

Arkansas St. Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2012 Schedule –>

Arkansas State couldn’t have liked losing him, but the team got Gus Malzahn to take the head job. Malzahn has been one of the nation’s best offensive coordinators for several years, and many believe he is destined to be a great head coach.

Malzahn is setting extremely lofty goals for the Arkansas State program. He said he believes this program can be the Boise State of the south. Malzahn and his staff visited all 215 high schools in Arkansas in the span of one week. His passion for the job and the community seem to really be exciting the fan base. Arkansas State played its spring game in front of more than 6,000 fans.

Team Strengths:

Ryan Aplin is one of the best players in the Sun Belt, and he gives Malzahn a perfect dual-threat quarterback for his system. Aplin finished tenth in the nation by averaging 321.2 yards per game in 2011. Aplin threw for 3,588 yards and 19 touchdowns last year. He also led the team in rushing. Expect a huge season from this star signal caller.

The secondary should be the strength of the defense. Four players return who saw significant playing time last year are back in the fold this season. Chaz Scales is an experienced corner who should be on the opposing teams best receiver at all times. Don Jones is a great athlete at the strong safety position.

Four of Arkansas State’s five leading receivers are back for another season. Aplin is the kind of guy who can spread the ball around, and this offense should work well with plenty of experience and depth on the outside. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Team Weaknesses:

Arkansas State must replace three starters on the offensive line, including two all-conference performers. Malzahn’s offense is really based around the running game first, but this line might make it a little bit difficult for the Red Wolves to have as much balance as they would wish.

The Red Wolves defensive line was the strength of the defense last year, but they lost a ton of talent from the 2011 unit. The team won’t have the ability to substitute in and out all across the line nearly as often as they did last season. Can this unit keep opponents from opening up running lanes in 2012? That is a major question mark.

2012-2013 Arkansas State Red Wolves Football Prediction: 9-4

Arkansas State got some experience running a no-huddle offense under Freeze last year, which prepared them well for Malzahn’s fast-paced offense. Aplin is fully capable of putting up some huge numbers in the year ahead, and most Sun Belt teams won’t be able to slow him down. The key game on the schedule is Arkansas State’s October 4 game at Florida International. The winner of that game will have the inside track to a Sun Belt title. Arkansas State plays at Oregon and Nebraska in the non-conference schedule. This team should be battle tested by the time Sun Belt Conference action kicks off.

Look for Malzahn to accomplish big things at Arkansas State. The defense will take a step back this year, but this team will still win a lot of games.

2012 Arkansas St. Schedule

9/1/12 10:30 PM ET @ORE
9/8/12 7:00 PM ET MEM
9/15/12 12:00 PM ET @NEB
9/22/12 7:00 PM ET ALCST
9/29/12 TBD WKEN
10/4/12 7:30 PM ET @FLINT
10/13/12 TBD SALB
10/23/12 8:00 PM ET @ULLAF
11/3/12 TBD @NOTEX
11/8/12 7:00 PM ET ULMON
11/17/12 TBD @TROY
12/1/12 TBD MTENN

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