Arkansas State at Tulsa
When and Where: Saturday, Sept. 15, Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium, Tulsa, Okla., 7 p.m. EDT.
A pair of teams trying to regroup from losses to get back over .500 meet in Tulsa on Saturday night when the Golden Hurricane host Arkansas State.
Red Wolves in midst of road-heavy stretch
Arkansas State (1-1) began a challenging stretch of three road games in four weeks by absorbing a 57-7 pounding by No. 1 Alabama last weekend.
The Red Wolves’ fast-pace offense was grounded to a crawl, with most of the 391 total yards amassed coming with the game well in hand after the Crimson Tide scored 40 first-half points.
Justice Hansen helped Arkansas State avert a shutout by directing a touchdown drive to start the second half, capping it with a 23-yard pass to Kendrick Edwards. Hansen finished 15 of 36 for just 140 yards, a steep falloff from his record-setting performance in the season-opening win over Southeast Missouri State in which he threw for 423 yards and six scores.
Arkansas State’s defense stopped neither of Alabama’s quarterbacks as the Tide rolled up 599 total yards and 26 first downs. Another area of concern for coach Blake Anderson is penalties. The Red Wolves were whistled 10 times for 84 yards and have been called for 22 penalties totaling 203 yards in their first two games.
They are also looking to end a 24-game non-conference road losing streak since stunning Texas A&M 18-14 on Aug. 30, 2008. Arkansas State has lost 67 of its last 71 non-conference road games dating back to 1996.
Tulsa looks to build on positive aspects of loss to Texas
Tulsa (1-1) was nearly blown out of Austin after falling behind 21-0 in the second quarter against Texas last weekend, but the Golden Hurricane scrapped to make a game of it in the second half before eventually losing 28-21.
Luke Skipper pulled them within seven points one last time on a 35-yard scoring pass to Keenen Johnson with 4:53 to play, but Tulsa’s defense could not get a stop to give Skipper and the offense a chance for a potential game-tying touchdown.
“Very proud of our football team,” head coach Phillip Montgomery told Tulsa’s official website. “I thought we came in and battled extremely well. We left a log of things on the field in the first half. Had opportunities to convert some things that we didn’t take advantage of, but we’ve got to be able to do that, especially in big ballgames like this.”
Skipper finished with 153 yards passing but also was intercepted twice. Tulsa’s special teams had an uneven performance, blocking a punt but also enduring two missed field goals by Nate Walker — including one from 29 yards.
Shamari Brooks had 66 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns, but the Golden Hurricane also had a 16-game streak of at least 100 yards on the ground come to an end. Brooks leads Tulsa with 195 yards while Corey Taylor II has chipped in 131.
- 6-2-1 ATS in its last nine games vs. Sun Belt teams.
- The over is 4-1 in its last five games vs. Sun Belt teams.
- The over is 17-7 in its last 24 games following an ATS win.
- The over is 19-9 in its last 28 games as a home underdog.
Arkansas State is:
- 0-4 ATS in its last four games overall.
- 2-8 ATS in its last 10 September games.
- 1-4 ATS in its last five games as a favorite.
- The over is 4-1 in its last five games.
- The over is 4-1 in its last five games following an ATS loss.
- The over is 21-10-1 in its last 32 games as a favorite.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
While this should be a close game, that Arkansas State non-conference road losing streak is a tough thing to overcome, especially with the Red Wolves listed as a favorite. Tulsa more than held its own against the Longhorns and arguably deserved a better fate had its special teams not let it down.
The Golden Hurricane’s backfield tandem of Brooks and Taylor should take some of the steam out of Arkansas State’s up-tempo offense, but they should also be able to find holes against the defense. That, in turn, could lead to a big day for Skipper and their offense.
Prediction: Pick: Tulsa +2
Full-Game Total Pick
While no one is going to confuse Tulsa’s offense with the juggernaut that is Alabama, both of these teams leave much to be desired defensively. The Golden Hurricane allowed 25 points to an FCS team to open the season, and the Red Wolves also allowed 21 points to Southeast Missouri State before being pounded by Alabama. There should be points aplenty in this game.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 72 points
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Red Wolves have a strong offense, and Tulsa has gotten off to slow starts in both its games — the Golden Hurricane have yielded 34 first-half points in their two contests. This will likely be close since Arkansas State does not have a great defense, but it should squeak out a lead by halftime.
Prediction: Pick: Arkansas State Pick’Em
Half-Time Side Pick
Considering that both teams failed to score a first-half point against their respective opponents, taking the over feels counterintuitive on the surface, but having the week to correct those flaws against defenses which are nowhere near the caliber of Texas and Alabama, respectively, should be just what these offenses need to regroup.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 36.5 points