Arkansas State will be looking to even out its 2-3 record as it travels to Miami to take on Florida International University.
FIU has struggled this season and sits at 1-3 overall and 0-2 in Sun Belt matchups. Another loss to a conference opponent will put the Golden Panthers in a deep hole.
The Red Wolves are coming off a loss in their Sun Belt opener to Western Kentucky, and they too will be put in an unfavorable situation with a loss.
Here is everything you need to know about this matchup.
Game Day Information
Who: Arkansas St. at FIU
When: Thursday, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Miami, Fla.
Stadium: FIU Stadium
Radio: 107.9 KFIN (Arkansas St.), FIUSports.com
Internet stream: WatchESPN
Arkansas State Depth Chart
QB: Ryan Aplin (backup: Phillip Butterfield or Fredi Knighten)
RB: David Oku (backup: Frankie Jackson)
WR: Josh Jarboe (backup: Derek Keaton)
WR: Taylor Stockemer (backup J.D. McKissic)
WR: Julian Jones (backup: Carlos McCants)
TE: Anthony Kincy (backup: Andre Smith or Darion Griswold or Kenny Raines)
LT:Aaron Williams (backup: Kevin Galdino)
LG: Steven Haunga (backup: Taylor Greve)
C: Bryce Giddens (backup: Eric Allen)
RG: Alan Wright (backup: Cliff Mitchell)
RT: Zack McKnight (backup: Steven Stevens)
DE:Tim Starson (backup: Darius Dunaway)
DT: Ronnell Wright (backup: Amos Draper)
DT: Ryan Carrethers (backup: Dexter Blackmon)
DE: Eddie Porter (backup: Chris Stone)
LB: Qushaun Lee (backup: Nick Nelms)
LB: Nathan Herrold (backup: LaAngelo Albright)
LB: Don Jones (backup: Kyle Coleman)
CB: Chaz Scales (backup: Jonathan Victorian)
FS: Sterling Young (backup: Tausean Holmes)
SS: Cole Lorigan (backup: Chris Humes)
CB: Andrew Tryon (backup: Artez Brown)
K: Brian Davis
P: Neely Sullivent
LS: Cade Oliver
Kr: David Oku
PR: Rocky Hayes
FIU Depth Chart
QB: E.J. Hilliard (backup: Favian Upshaw or Loranzo Hammonds, Jr.)
RB: Damian Mallary (backup: Jeremiah Harden or Shane Coleman)
WR: Wayne Times (backup: Nick England)
WR: Jacob Younger (backup: Jairus Williams)
WR: Glenn Coleman (backup: Willis Wright)
TE: Ta’Keen Griner (backup Zach Schaubhut)
LT: Caylin Hauptmann (backup: Edens Sineace)
LG: Giancarlo Revilla (backup: David Istanich)
C: Shae Smith (backup: Donald Senat)
RG: David Delsoin (backup: Jordan White)
RT: Rupert Bryan, JR. (backup: Aaron Nielsen)
DE: Tourek Williams (backup: Greg Hickman)
DT: Andre Pound (backup: Joshua Fomey)
DT: Isame Faciane (backup: Fadol Brown)
DE: Paul Crawford (backup: Greg Hickman)
LB: Demarkus Perkins (backup: Kenneth Dillard)
LB: Winston Fraser (backup: Patrick Jean)
LB: Jordan Hunt (backup: Josh Glanton)
CB: Sam Miller or Junior Mertile
FS: Justin Halley (backup: Demarkus Perkins)
SS: Johnathan Cyprien (backup: Chuck Grace)
CB: Jose Cheeseborough or Richard Leonard
K: Jack Griffin
P: Josh Brisk
LS: Shae Smith
KR: Richard Leonard
PR: Richard Leonard
What This Game Means for Both Teams
The Red Wolves and the Golden Panthers are both searching for their first conference win, and if either doesn’t find it in this game, it may be a long season.
Arkansas State finished with a perfect 8-0 record against Sun Belt opponents last season, but that feat is already impossible to accomplish again after losing 26-13 to Western Kentucky.
WKU, along with Louisiana-Lafayette and Middle Tennessee, are all undefeated in the conference. ULL is the only team at 2-0 in the Sun Belt, while FIU is the only team at 0-2.
The Golden Panthers went winless in conference games last year, and a victory in this matchup would be a massive boost to their season.
Key Player for Arkansas State: Ryan Aplin, Quarterback
The Red Wolves quarterback was the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 2011. The senior has completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 1,165 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions this season.
He has also rushed for 193 yards and another score, and he is the driving force behind the team’s offense.
Aplin is both a leader and the team’s most potent offensive weapon. If he is in rhythm on Thursday, the Red Wolves will win this game.
Key Player for FIU: Johnathan Cyprien, Strong Safety
Cyprien currently leads the team with 49 tackles, and he is a physical presence in the secondary.
The senior strong safety is also the career leader in tackles at FIU, and the Golden Panthers will need him to play up to the standard he has set for himself during his time in Miami.
With Cyprien’s leadership on defense in addition to several tackles from the hard-hitting defensive back, the FIU defense is capable of making a few plays.
Final Prediction: Arkansas State 27, FIU 13
Alpin will ensure that the Red Wolves move the ball, and the Golden Panthers will not be able to keep pace as they drop to 0-3 in Sun Belt games.