Jeff Reed on Memphis

It is Memphis week. That is about all you need to say to Arkansas State fans.

Memories of the things that have happened in Liberty Bowl Stadium over the years have often left you either heartbroken, or breathless.

There is always some excitement about to happen.

At this point of the season it is hard to place a finger on what the two programs have, Arkansas State (2-1) has a little more of a footprint with three games under its belt.

Here is a little of what we know of the Red Wolves:

1. The offense appears to be fine.
There have been two games of strong offensive production , one expected in a vanilla showing against UA-Pine Bluff and the second in the shootout with Troy.

Against a strong defense, the Red Wolves struggled at Auburn, but that offensive game plan was a bit conservative too. Memphis has a solid front seven.

2. Adam Kennedy is progressing at quarterback.
After arriving in Jonesboro in June, the senior transfer has been on a crash course has competed 2 of every 3 passes he's attempted and has no interceptions in 80-something throws. He has also shown a knack for some gutty runs.

3. The defensive line is solid.
If you want to look ahead, as in 2014, it is scary beacuse almost all of the Red Wolves' defensive front are seniors. But for now, it is a pretty strong group that has been very hard to run on in all three games.

Here is a little of what we know about the Tigers:

1. Their punter is scary.
His name is Tom Hornsey and he is from Australia And he has mastered the art of kicking. He won the Ray Guy Award last week for his performance against Middle Tennessee, 49.6 average and 3 punts downed inside the 20. For the season, 12 punts, 6 downed inside 20 and 4 of 50-plus yards.

2. Memphis strong up front on defense
The Tigers front seven has been very good in their two games, allowing just 116.5 yards per contest. They will be a challenge for the Red Wolves' offensive line.

3. Have they had enough?
If the Red Wolves win it will be five victories in the last six contests and the last two. You have to think the Tigers, whose fanbase feels like it is above ASU, and is tired of losing to the little ole school from Jonesboro. (Perhaps that plays a role in this being the last contracted matchup for a while.)

This will also be a match up of two of the youngest coaches in the NCAA. ASU's Bryan Harsin, at 36, is the fourth youngest and Memphis' Justin Fuente, 37, is sixth youngest.