Blake Anderson was asked about the looming showdown next week with Appalachian State.
The second-year Arkansas State coach side-stepped the issue by saying he did not know who the Red Wolves would play next week he is just focused on Georgia State, which comes to Jonesboro for a Halloween night contest.
“I don’t even know if we are playing anyone the week after Georgia State,’’ said Anderson. “All I know if we have to play Georgia State on Saturday.”
With their 3-0 start, including a big 37-27 home win over UL-Lafayette, the Red Wolves are in position to reach the midway point of the conference race unbeaten if they can get by an improved Georgia State (2-4, 1-1) that is still in the conference race.
“We just have to focus on the game,’’ said Anderson. “Everybody else can focus on the other stuff. Georgia State is coming in here with a win vs. Ball State. They are better than the team we played a year ago.”
Thanks to their victory over Ball State (31-19) the Panthers are thinking they could get to 6 wins and be bowl eligible for the first time. They are still in the conference race thanks to a 34-32 victory over New Mexico State almost two months ago in the Sun Belt opener. They lost to Appalachian State 37-3.
“We are going to have to create some pressure on Arbuckle,’’ said Anderson. “He throws the ball really well and we have got to make sure he moves in the pocket and make him as uncomfortable as possible.
“They have done a really, really good job on special teams. They have really improved there. I think that is going to be a big factor.”
While the Panthers could get back in the conference race with an upset of the Red Wolves, Anderson said his team is very aware of its status. The Red Wolves control their destiny.
“A lot of the guys have told me this is somewhat unique for us that we do control our destiny, we just have to keep our focus. I think it is great for the guys to know what they have to do.”
After Georgia State, the Red Wolves have the meeting at Appalachian State (Nov. 5), at UL-Monroe (Nov. 14), at New Mexico State (Nov. 28) and Texas State (Dec. 5).
The time has been set for all but one of those games. App State is 6:30 p.m. and will be on ESPNU; ULM is 2 p.m.; NM-State is also set for 2 p.m., per the Fox Sports Arizona web site, which is expected to carry the game. The season finale against Texas State is also 2 p.m.