LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (1-2, 0-0) AT ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES (1-3, 1-2)
Game Time: 7:00
Location: ASU Stadium: Jonesboro, Ark.
Viewing Option: ESPN3.com
Radio: WHAS 840 AM
Favorite: Louisville by 6
All-Time Series: Louisville leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Louisville won 21-13 on Halloween last year
Excitement Level: 5.2
Definitely ready for football after the bye week, but a road game at Arkansas State that's only viewable on the Internet is about as it gets when it comes to college football in October.
Game Attire: New gray Louisville football shirt.
I never got a chance to change into it after the Ohio State game two weeks ago (had to go "CardStrong" instead), so the shirt is still unbeaten.
Pregame Meal: Chili
Bold Prediction: We turn the ball over more than three times.
Shades of the Memphis game in early October two years ago.
Titus Teague Playing Alert Level: Neon Carrot (Better than might be expected)
The Skinny on Arkansas State
The Red Wolves dropped to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in the Sun Belt Conference after a 35-28 loss at Troy last Saturday. It was their second loss by seven points or less this season. ASU opened the season with a 52-26 loss at 10th-ranked Auburn at Jordan- Hare Stadium. Arkansas State is 1-0 at home this season after a 34-20 win over Louisiana-Monroe. Head coach Steve Roberts is 30-10 all-time at Arkansas State Stadium.
Arkansas State is one of the most explosive offenses in the country, averaging a hefty 436.5 yards per contest and scoring 28.0 points per game. The Red Wolves have scored 24 or more points in every game this season, including a season-best 34 points in a win over Louisiana-Monroe.
Quarterback Ryan Alpin has developed into one of the top passing quarterbacks in the country. After four games, Alpin ranks fifth in the country in total offense at 335.50 yards per game and ninth in total passing yards per game at 299.0. He has already thrown for 1,196 yards and six touchdowns, while completing 58.9 percent of his throws. The Red Wolves rank ninth nationally in passing offense and 29th in total offense. Alpin’s favorite target in the passing game is Dwayne Frampton, who has caught 23 passes for 262 yards. He caught a season-low two passes for 11 yards in Arkansas State’s 35-28 loss to Troy last Saturday.
The Red Wolves have struggled running the football, averaging just 127.0 yards per game and just 3.4 yards a carry. Alpin is also the team’s leading rusher with 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Derek Lawson has also run for 145 yards and three rushing touchdowns. The Red Wolves do have eight rushing touchdowns in the first four games of the 2010 season.
On defense, the Red Wolves have had difficulties stopping the opposition, giving up 34.5 points per game and 485.0 yards of total offense. Arkansas State ranks 116th in the country in total defense and 113th in rushing defense. Javon McKinnon leads the team in tackles with 30, while Bryan Hall leads the team with 2.5 sacks and Amos Draper has 2.0 sacks. Sacks have been tough to come by in the first four games, as the Red Wolves have recorded six thus far.
--Saturday is homecoming for Arkansas State. The Red Wolves 55-26-1 all-time in Homecoming contests. They've won their last seven Homecoming games dating back to the 2003 season.
--The Cardinals will face a team from the Sun Belt Conference for sixth straight season dating back to the 2005 season. Louisville is a solid 33-24 all-time against teams from the Sun Belt. Louisville is: 1-0 vs. Arkansas St.; 1-0 vs. Florida Atlantic; 2-2 vs. Louisiana-Monroe (formerly NE Louisiana); 3-0 vs. Middle Tennessee St.; 7-10 vs. North Texas; and 19-12 vs. Western Kentucky. The Cardinals defeated Arkansas State last season 21-13. Louisville ‘s last loss to a current Sun Belt team was a 40-7 loss to Northeast Louisiana in 1981.
--Louisville will become the 54th A-State opponent to ever play a game at ASU Stadium. The Cardinals will be the first Big East opponent to ever play a game at ASU Stadium as well. The last time ASU hosted a team from a BCS conference was 2001 when it played Ole Miss at ASU Stadium.
--ASU holds an 11-2 non-conference record at ASU Stadium under head coach Steve Roberts. The Red Wolves' hold victories over teams such as Tulsa, Army, SMU and Memphis over that span, while its only two setbacks came 27-24 against Southern Miss in 2008 and 47-35 against then-ranked No. 25 Memphis in 2004.
--Arkansas State has scored at least 24 points in each of its first four games and is averaging 28 points a game, which ranks third in the Sun Belt Conference. The last time A-State scored 20 or more points in four consecutive games was the 1995 season when it did so in five straight.
--Louisville's leading wide receiver Doug Beaumont will miss this game after suffering a knee injury two weeks ago against Oregon State.
--"Each week, you like to see the confidence and improvement. Now that we played Oregon State and had a week off we need to get back into it and improve. Each week we talk about improving." --Charlie Strong
--"If we get lined up, we normally play pretty decent football. Our situation so far this year is we've given up big plays because we have not gotten lined up at times, so we're cutting way back on things again and simplifying things so guys can play fast." --Vance Bedford
CC Prediction: Louisville 24, Arkansas State 16