Ryan Aplin, QB – Arkansas State has struggled to a 2-4 start to the season, but this sophomore quarterback is hardly to blame. Aplin became the team's starter at the close of the 2009 campaign and has since established himself as one of the Sun Belt Conference's best. He ranks 15th nationally in total offense (297.7 yards/game) and has generally been the Red Wolves' biggest threat both running the ball and throwing it. He's completed 117-of-204 throws for 1,579 yards and 10 touchdowns and only four interceptions through the air, and on the ground he's added another 207 yards and four more scores. At 6'1" and 205 pounds he doesn't have the size of Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor and he doesn't have the speed of Michigan's Denard Robinson, but Aplin is a very good athlete who will test a susceptible Hoosier defense.
Bryan Hall, DT – the preseason choice as the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year, Hall is the big name that Indiana's offensive line will have to contend with Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. The 6'3", 290-pound Paducah, Ky., product is a third year starter who totaled a combined 17 ½ tackles for loss and 8 ½ sacks during the past two seasons. This fall he's totaled a team-high 3 ½ sacks to go along with 19 tackles from his defensive tackle position. If Indiana has visions of running between the tackles, finding a way to neutralize Hall is going to be a must for the Hoosier coaching staff.
Demario Davis, SLB – An 80-tackle season a year ago helped earn Davis preseason All-Sun Belt Conference honors, although he hasn't been as statistically productive this fall as he was in 2009. The team's leading tackler a year ago, Davis ranks sixth thus with only 29 stops and one tackle for loss. He has, though, come on as of late with 16 tackles and a forced fumble during the season's last two weeks. A 6'3", 230-pounder who has also gotten a couple of reps this season at wide receiver (2 catches, 16 yards), Davis got some attention a year ago for a very good game when Arkansas State nearly upset Iowa. In the Hawkeyes' 24-21 win, Davis totaled 10 tackles and returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown.
Derek Newton, OT – this 6'5", 305-pound senior is a transfer from Hines (Miss.) CC and is in his second season starting along the Red Wolves offensive line. He's helped pave the way for an Arkansas State offense that averages more than 400 yards of total offense per game and has seen quarterback Ryan Aplin develop into one of the Sun Belt Conference's top quarterbacks. Newton has impressed enough on-lookers that he's expected to be a late-round NFL Draft pick during next spring's draft. From his right defensive end spot, he'll give Darius Johnson, Kevin Bush and the rest of the Hoosier defensive ends a very tough match-up if they expect to harass Aplin on Saturday.
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday – Four Names to Know
On Wednesday – Three Key Match-Ups
On Thursday – Two Big Concerns
On Friday – One Bold Prediction
ARKANSAS STATE: Four Days and Counting
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Hoosier Newsstand, Dec. 6Get the latest articles on Indiana basketball, football and other sports in today's edition of the Hoosier Newsstand.
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