Former Arkansas State assistant coach Blake Baker is the defensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech. He was part of Bryan Hardin’s staff for the 2013 Red Wolves.
“Schematically they have changed quite a bit,’’ he said. “Personnel wise, it is really very similar to when I was there. Looking at their two-deep on both sides of the ball, I think 16 of the 22 guys were there whenever I was there in some capacity. I lot of them were actually starting.
"A lot of guys on defense, I know their two defensive ends, can go. Chris Stone and Ja'Von Jones are explosive on the edge. At safety, Money Hunter, who I personally recruited, had a 100-yard pick six. It is funny because I still talk to a lot of the guys on the team -- J.D. McKissic, their slot receiver, Money Hunter being one of them, Chris Humes, who I had the opportunity to coach as their other safety. I have great relationships with those guys. There was obviously no bad blood.
“Terry Mohajir, their athletic director, has done a phenomenal job there. He is really doing a great job building that program up with a new press box and new indoor stadium. They are doing good things up there."
Long time no see
While the Red Wolves’ rivalry with Tech has been dormant for almost two decades, a lot in the A-State camp have not forgotten.
“I heard from some of the old Indians, they say they had a rough time,’’ he said. “I have a few text messages and emails that they want some revenge. That is so far from my thoughts. I want to find a way to beat those suckers.”
The last time the two met was 1998. Tech won that game 69-21and leads the series. The last Arkansas State victory was 55-38 in 1996 under John Bobo.
“It has been a while,’’ said Anderson. “It didn’t strike me that is has been 20 years since these guys played each other. Ten, seven, it shocked me when I heard 20.
“If it were a little more recent we probably would have. But with its being that long ago, that is a long, long history to have not played each other. Like I said it shocked me that it hasn’t been played in recent history. We are both so close, both good football teams it just seems natural that we would play. Heck we need to talk about playing in the future to be honest. I don’t know what we wouldn’t. We’d probably both have great crowds traveling back and forth. So it surprised me. We haven’t really talked about it we just tried to stay focus on who they are and how we kind of need to attack them. And what we have got to stay away from.”
Most of the Red Wolves were not alive when the teams last played.
“Most of them aren’t 20 years old, they wouldn’t even know,’’ he said.