WHO HAS THE EDGE?
Quarterback: Arkansas State
Ryan Aplin is a proven performer and this is his second year in the Hugh Freeze offense. Aplin has had success last week against Memphis, but this isn't Memphis. He will be faced with the toughest defensive front he has faced this fall. Logan Thomas has completed just 43.6 of his passes, making this an easy call on who has the edge.
Running Back: Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech gets the edge here. David Wilson is the workhorse with 42 carries and 308 yards for a 7.1 yards per carry. Arkansas State has two senior running backs, but the guys that will get most of the carries will be red shirt freshman Frankie Jackson and true sophomore Sirgregory Thornton. Don't get me wrong, the two seniors Derek Lawson and Jermaine will get some carries and have their roles on the team, such as goal line situations etc.
Wide Receivers/Tight ends- Arkansas State
This is a tough one. Virginia Tech runs the ball more than they throw it, so numbers will show that. With the group of wide outs Arkansas State have I have to go with the Red Wolves. With the likes of Taylor Stockemer, Dwayne Frampton, Josh Jarboe and Allen Muse, there is a lot of talent there. Marcus Davis and Jarrett Boykins are the two go to guys for the Hokie. One has six catches, the has four.
Offensive line: Virginia Tech
VT has only gave up one sack in two games. Yes they played against lesser opponents, but hey AState played Memphis, perhaps the worst D1 team in the country. With Arkansas State having a lot of inexperience at the position and the size of Virginia Tech you have to go with the Hokies.
Defensive Line: Virginia Tech
This is perhaps the toughest group to give an edge to. The defensive line is perhaps the Red Wolves biggest strength. This would be a toss up, but Virginia Tech probably gets the edge due to their depth.
Linebackers: Virginia Tech
Speed, speed, speed. That's the way you can describe Virginia Tech. Yes Arkansas State has DeMario Davis and Nate Herrold, but the Hokies too strong and too much depth, Virginia Tech gets the edge.
Defensive secondary: Virginia Tech
Arkansas State can't give up the big play, especially against the speed of Virginia Tech. If VT watched the Illinois game then you can count on them testing the Red Wolves deep. I have to give the edge to Virginia Tech.
Special Teams: Arkansas State
The Red Wolves have difference makers at the kicking and punting positions. They also have quality depth. Frank Beamer is known for good special team play, they may not be as good as they are usually at this position.
Prediction: 34-31 Virginia Tech
I truly feel that Arkansas State will be in this game going into the fourth quarter and even with a chance to win in the end. Three things I think that keeps ASU from winning, home crowd, team speed, and overall depth.