Arkansas State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette: Game Preview
October 23rd, 2012 By Troy Jefferson
Arkansas State (4-3) travels to Cajun Field to take on Louisiana-Lafayette (4-2). Louisiana-Lafayette has played their best football at home this season, posting an undefeated record through three games. The Red Wolves of Arkansas State are riding a two-game win streak after securing wins over two Sun Belt opponents.
Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State are both 2-1 in division play and still are very much alive in the Sun Belt Conference. Louisiana-Lafayette lost to North Texas last week 30-23, while Arkansas State beat South Alabama 36-29. Arkansas State’s defense allows an average of 44.3 points per game when playing on the road (albeit two of those games were against Oregon and Nebraska), while the offense is scoring an average of 22.3 points per game. Louisiana-Lafayette has no problem putting points on the board at Cajun Field, averaging 43 points per game. The Ragin’ Cajuns defense has been stingy at home, allowing just 11 points per game.
Rodney Gillis S Louisiana-Lafayette
Gillis is getting a chance to play this year and has not disappointed. The Florida native missed the 2009 and the 2010 season with knee injuries suffered during the spring. Rodney Gillis was healthy in 2011 and was a key contributor on the special teams unit.
Rodney Gillis leads the Ragin’ Cajuns with three interceptions. Gillis is not afraid to mix it up in run support, posting double-digit tackle totals twice this year.
Javone Lawson WR Louisiana-Lafayette
Lawson doesn’t have elite height or speed but, at 6’1 and 183 pounds, he is still able to produce. The senior from New Orleans has recorded 25 receptions for 321 yards and 3 touchdowns this year. His best game of the season was against Oklahoma State, when he caught 8 passes for 92 yards. Lawson is ready to flex his muscle vs. Sun Belt conference opponents. The 2011 first team All-Sun Belt receiver comes into Tuesday’s game on fire, catching nine passes for 160 yards and two touchdowns.
Ryan Aplin QB Arkansas State
Aplin is enjoying an impressive senior season in 2012. Guz Malzahn, former Auburn QB coach and offensive coordinator, is doing a wonderful job with Aplin in his first year as head coach. The 6’1 senior quarterback has thrown for eleven touchdowns and only two interceptions in the first seven games. Throughout conference play, he has thrown just four touchdowns and one interception this season. Efficient was the best way to describe Aplin’s game vs. South Alabama. The Tampa native threw three touchdowns and completed 77% of his passes last week.
David Oku RB Arkansas State
Oku is capable of breaking off the big run any time he touches the ball. When the Red Wolves are in scoring territory, Aplin has no problem handing it off to the junior. Oku has seven rushing touchdowns already this year and has scored four of them in the last two weeks. The Oklahoma native leads the team with 544 rushing yards, while adding seven scores to his resume. The Tennessee transfer is a consistent threat for the Red Wolves, which helps Aplin get better defensive looks to throw the ball.
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