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Preseason Team Capsule: Arkansas State University

by: It Takes Eleven


ASU finished the 2007 campaign with a 5-7 record. The season included victories over non-conference opponents such as Memphis and SMU. Near misses included narrow losses to New Orleans Bowl champion Florida Atlantic and the University of Texas, falling to both by a combined 11 points.

The Red Wolves return 48 lettermen and 17 starters (6 from special teams) from last year’s squad, including its all conference running back and record setting quarterback.

History and Alabama Connections

Fielding its first team in 1911, Arkansas State has had bright spots during its long football history. The Red Wolves have had 18 postseason or bowl contests, going 9-8-1. A small college national championship is recognized by the undefeated 1970 squad, while the first Division I squad had a perfect 11-0 record in 1975, leading the nation in rushing offense. As a 1-AA competitor in the 80’s, ASU had a run of four years being ranked in the top 12 in the final standings, including runner-up in 1986. State boasted a 20 game home unbeaten streak during this period.

Fall 2008 will be the inaugural season utilizing the new Red Wolves mascot. Known as the Aggies from 1911 through 1924, an ill-fated 1925 switch to the Gorillas was jettisoned in 1930 in favor of the Warriors. The Warriors lasted just one year, and State has been known as the Indians since 1931. An NCAA mandated move away from Native American mascots forced State to change, and football is the first ASU sport to make the shift. “Less visible” teams will make the move to Red Wolves logo over several years.

Red Wolves Wide Receiver Coach Tyler Siskey is a 2000 Troy graduate. Interestingly, Siskey was the Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach last season at St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Mobile, coaching Alabama Freshmen Mark Barron and Ivan Matchett, as well as Quarterback A.J. McCarron. a 2009 Alabama verbal commitment. Seven players on State’s roster are from Alabama, some from smaller towns such as Marbury, Eutaw and Pleasant Grove, but others from the more well known football towns of Prattville, Tuscaloosa, Daphne and Town Creek. All seven Alabama players are freshmen or redshirt freshmen.

Alabama and State have met just once, a 1982 34-7 Alabama victory at Legion Field. The tilt in Tuscaloosa will provide the second largest crowd to attend an ASU game, trailing only last’s year’s 102,000 attendance at Tennessee. Alabama and Arkansas State have one common head coach. Former Alabama Head Coach Ray Perkins led State to a 2-9 record in 1992.

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