NCAA

Arkansas State vs Montana State Preview

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JONESBORO, Ark. – The Montana State Bobcats finished 7-5 in 2013 after a 28-14 loss to Montana and begin 2014 with a match-up at the Arkansas State Red Wolves who won the GoDaddy Bowl over Ball State 23-20 to finish last season at 8-5

Montana State averaged 33 points a game last season but enter 2014 with a new quarterback in sophomore Dakota Prukop who will take snaps behind an experienced offensive line that will also be opening holes for senior running back Shawn Johnson (609 yards, 6 TD). While returning their second leading rusher from a season ago, they do the same at receiver with senior Brian Flotkoetter (36 catches, 530 yards, 3 TD).

The Bobcats return a lot of experience on a defense that allowed 25 points a game that will be led by will linebacker senior Alex Singleton (110 tackles, 16.5 for loss, 3 INT). Senior Deonte Flowers (53 tackles, 12 passes defensed, 1 INT) will lead the secondary. Junior nose tackle Taylor Sheridan (43 tackles, 5.5 for loss) will shore up the defensive line.

The Red Wolves will take the field with their fifth head coach in as many years as Blake Anderson takes the helm. He hands the reigns of his up-tempo offense to junior quarterback Fredi Knighten (215 pass yards, 2 TD, 344 rush yards, 5 TD) whose shining moment last season was leading a comeback win in the GoDaddy Bowl after replacing an injured starter Adam Kennedy. He has two major weapons from 2013 at his disposal with junior receiver, now A-Back, JD McKissick (82 catches, 662 yards, 4 TD, 139 rush yards, 1 TD) and junior running back Michael Gordon (779 yards, 10 TD, 16 catches, 206 yards TD). The offensive line will have a big hole as junior center Bryce Giddens was forced to retire from football due to head injuries.

The defense allowed 26 points a game and looks to improve under the leadership of senior linebacker Qushaun Lee who had 134 tackles in 2013. The secondary returns every starter from last season with a trio of seniors in corners Artez Brown and Andrew Tryon along with safety Sterling Young. The defensive line hopes to improve after another year of experience.

Keys for Montana State Win

Establish the run with Johnson and keep Prokup in manageable situations. Singleton and Sheridan will have to keep the Arkansas State offense in check.

Keys For Arkansas State Win

Knighten, McKissic and Gordon must make the special plays on offense to keep the defense on its heels. Lee must make his presence felt immediately.

Key Injuries :

None

Favorite:

Latest Line, N/A

Conclusion:

Arkansas State will look to establish offensive dominance and play aggressive defense while the Bobcats will try to control the clock.

About Mark West

Mark West grew up playing and loving baseball. In college, he found an interest in writing and reporting on sports. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Radio and Television Broadcasting with a News emphasis and a minor in Political Science. Mark began writing a few years ago informally about politics and sports on various blogs, but has focused primarily on baseball writing for the last two years. He loves Arkansas State Red Wolves baseball and writes about the games and the players for the Red Wolves and the Sun Belt Conference. Mark is a member of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, giving him official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year, and NCBWA All-America voting.

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