Mark Foltz - AStateNation

Red Wolves need UCA game to get season on track

UCA game important to getting 2016 on track.

For those of you who did not follow Arkansas State football in the 1990s, or maybe you weren’t born yet, the first half of the Utah State game was a bigtime flashback.

For those us of who lived through the 1990s it was total recall of how bad life once was on the A-State reservation.

The first two games were nothing compared to that 30 minutes of torture in Logan, Utah last week.

Then there was the second half. Not one to subscribe to the cliche “we won the second half” the final 30 minutes were a lot better.

Almost hopeful.

The Red Wolves still lost but showed some life; showed some hope.

So where are we now?

Many would say Central Arkansas is coming to Jonesboro at the perfect time. At this Monday presser Blake Anderson said he wish the “worst team on the planet” was headed to Jonesboro on Saturday but UCA is far from that team.

This will not be a pushover.

This is a big game for the Bears, who are a very solid FCS program that is annually in the Top 25 or on the cusp. A good comparison would be the Montana State that was Blake Anderson’s first game.

The hope in the A-State camp is what happened in the second half vs. the Aggies carries over and builds momentum for the Sun Belt opener against Georgia Southern a week from Wednesday. That is the key to the season with four of the first five conference games at home and just about any hopes of winning a fifth league title in six years might depend upon a perfect start.

For the second straight season the Red Wolves are the only team in the league to have 3 straight conference games on the road and this year they fall at the end of the schedule.

But that is getting too far ahead.

What matters right now is Saturday night and the UCA Bears, which you can label a must win.

We heard Anderson say the truth is the only thing that really matters around here is winning conference games, but it’s a must in if the Red Wolves are going to salvage this season. This team needs some good vibes in the dressing room late Saturday night.

All  those improvements from the second half -- strong defensive line play, better play by the offensive line and another strong performance from Justice Hansen at quarterback is vital.

The season just might be on the line.