Arkansas State University Football fans have a lot to cheer about.
Red Wolf fans have been hungry for several years for a winner. New Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze realizes this.
In fact the first year head coach has embraced and acknowledge how hungry this fan base is for a quality football team. He has several times that he actually feels a burden to give them a consistent winner.
The Red Wolves totally dominated a bigger Conference USA school Memphis this past weekend 47-3. ASU fans were literally dancing in the streets and partying the remaining part of Saturday night.
While I realize this is just one win against a very poor team, there are definitely a lot of things you should be excited about.
You have a red-shirt junior quarterback in Ryan Aplin that is only going to get better with every game. He threw for over a 70 percent completion rate against Memphis. His command of the offense is evident and his confidence level rises with each outing. He has already said he is coming back for his senior season, and no doubt that he will be considered for the Heisman his senior season. He is that good.
The Arkansas State receiving core group is one of the brightest and most talented group of this year's offense. All are juniors or younger except for senior Dwayne Frampton. Yes that's right, Taylor Stockemer, Allen Muse, Josh Jarboe are all juniors, add into that group true freshman J. D. McKissic and you can quickly see why this group is going to be even better next season.
Everyone has been worried about the ASU offensive line, but you need to quickly realize that while this group is inexperienced and untested this group will get a lot better throughout the season. Yes they are young, but realize that they are a bigger and more athletic group than you have seen here in a long time.
You should be booking your tickets for New Orleans already for next year, but hey you might should go ahead and book them for this season.
Did I fail to mention that Arkansas State's offense mustered 350 yards against a Big 10 defense and had over 600 yards in offense against Conference USA Memphis. Not too shabby numbers no matter who you're playing.
I have been saying from the beginning of fall camp that the biggest different makers for this team will be a group that perhaps has gone from worst to first or at least a whole lot better than last year's group.
I'm talking about the Red Wolves defensive unit headed by veteran coordinator Dave Wommack.
This is a group that is going to make this team better immediately.
A very aggressive defensive line playing with a tremendous amount of passion and excitement. This group is taking on the personality of their coach Chris Kiffin. Kiffin has learned from some of the best, but he is putting his own stamp on this team.
The defensive line has already garnered five sacks in just games, but more importantly they are freeing up the linebackers and safeties to add more sacks to the overall numbers for the Red Wolves.
Speaking of linebackers, this group is playing with a lot more fire and intensity than they have in several years.
Expect DeMario Davis and Nathan Herrold both to have better stat numbers than a year ago. Guys like Qushaun Lee and Nick Helms are both playing better and should help this team win more games, put up better stats and overall make ASU fans very happy this season.
Don't forget about the secondary for ASU.
This is a group playing with a lot of intensity, a lot more physical and aggressive. Yes they gave up some big plays against Illinois, but appeared to fix some of those problems against Memphis. They will be well tested after this weeks outing against nationally ranked Virginia Tech.
Expect this team to beat the teams that they should beat, be in some games that they shouldn't be in and win some they aren't suppose to win.
If they can do this than this will definitely be a football season to remember.
If Arkansas State's performance last Saturday impressive win over rival Memphis is any indication, go ahead and book your trip to New Orleans early. I wouldn't be shocked if the Red Wolves will be playing there in the near future.