Each week AStateNation.com will give out our position grades.
After deep thought and consideration this professor has decided to allow Arkansas State's first half against Oregon serve as a practice test and will grade on a curve (due to Oregon being a top 5 team in the country) and will only grade the second half of play.
Everyone knows what happened in the first half as Oregon jumped out to a 50-10 lead, but it's the second half where Arkansas State refused to give up, scoring 24 points to make the final score 57-34.
Ryan Aplin turned in a gutsy performance completing 65 percent of his passes, 29-44 for 304 yards with one interception. Gus Malzahn said Monday that the interception and turnovers were unacceptable, therefore his grade will reflect that one mistake.
Arkansas State running backs produced more yards on the ground against a good Oregon team than they did in a long time. Seven backs combined for 239 yards. David Oku, former University of Tennessee Vol, led all rushers with 12 carries for 81 yards, Frankie Jackson added 72 yards on seven carries and Ryan Aplin, who was the Red Wolves leading rusher last season, contributed 50 yards on 12 carries. If it wasn't for Jackson's fumble, this group's grade would be a high mark for the position.
Josh Jarboe is tied for first in the nation in receptions with a game high of 13. The yards aren't as impressive as the number of catches, adding up to 66 yards and a touchdown. There was a lot of extra effort from this group, in the area of blocking downfield and picking up yards after contact.
When asked their performance Monday, ASU Head Coach quickly said he remembers the drops more than some of the catches, there is no doubt he is a perfectionist.
This group of linemen, and there were several that saw action, gave up just one sack of Aplin. This mainly due to ASU's game plan to get the ball out fast due to Oregon's size on the defensive front. For their efforts, that produced 239 yards on the ground, you have to give them a higher mark, especially grading on a curve.
This group were active against a solid Oregon offensive line, but didn't come up with many sacks, only 1.9 sacks. They also gave up 297 rushing yardage and 308 yards passing.
AStateNation's Defensive MVP Nathan Herrold had a team high 11 tackles for the game. Qushaun Lee also had an impressive performance and may see more playing time this week for the Red Wolves. Eddie Porter and Nick Nelms also contributed, with Porter still learning the defense.
This is probably the hardest grade to give out. This group was active, and Chaz Scales came up with a big interception. Oregon's speed exposed this group more than others. I think ASU Fans will see a big improvement in this area this week.
True Freshman Luke Ferguson did a good job pooch kicking on his kickoffs, this was planned by the ASU Coaching staff to keep the ball out of DeAnthony Thomas' hands.
Brian Davis was 2-3 on field goals, but the one miss, a distance in his range will be a grade deduction.
Punting was average against a very good defensive unit of Oregon.
This is an opinion piece, one to be somewhat fun and to help create discussion among Arkansas State Fans and AStateNation members.