Monday, March 5, 2012

First Look: Arkansas State

Today the first in my new series came out. This month I will be looking in-depth at each of Oregon's 2012 opponents and posting those reviews through a series of articles on Duck Sports Authority.

The first opponent, Arkansas State is the subject of today's article. While the team brings in Gus Malzahn (former Auburn Offensive Coordinator) and Michale Dyer (A transfer from Auburn) is now a member of the team, the Red Wolves still have a tremendous uphill battle to play against the Ducks in Autzen. it is not yet decided if Dyer will be eligible.

On the defensive side of the ball, this team was completely gutted by graduation. 10 starters from 2011 are gone.

Today, Duck Sports Authority begins its coverage of the 2012 football season with a new feature. During the month of March, we will take an early look at each of the Ducks 12 opponents for the 2012 season. We are looking at an overview of what to expect from each team and what the key pieces each team loses, gains and retains for the upcoming season.

Today we begin this feature with a look at Oregon's first opponent, Arkansas State.


Coaching change. The Arkansas State Wolves replaced the departed Hugh Freeze. Freeze coached at Arkansas State for just one season and led them to a 10-3 record before moving to Ole Miss replacing Houston Nutt as head coach. Stepping in to replace the spread oriented is another coach known for his innovation, Gus Malzahn.

Malzahn is known to Duck fans from his tenure with the Auburn Tigers as their offensive coordinator. He got his start at the college level working for Houston Nutt at the University of Arkansas before moving on to become the offensive coordinator at Tulsa. Malzahn's offense has had success where ever he has coached and expect him to keep Arkansas State's offense playing as well in 2012 as it did in the 2011 season.


Returning Starters: 6

Key returners: Ryan Aplin, QB, 6-1, 205, Redshirt Senior; Frankie Jackson, RB, 5-9, 185, Redshirt Sophomore, Taylor Stockemer, WR, 6-4, 210, Redshirt Senior, Josh Jarobe, 6-3, 215, Senior

Key Losses: Delano Moore, LT, Alex Kauti LG Tom Castilaw, Center

Key Arrivals: Michael Dyer, RB, 5-9, 210, Junior (transfer, Auburn)

Quarterback Ryan Aplin, the main offensive weapon in 2011 returns. Expect that Malzahin will use him as well in 2012 as last season. Aplin was the most dominant player for the Arkansas State team throwing 340-476 for 3588 yards and 19 touchdowns. Aplin was also the teams leading rusher with 161 carries for 588 yards and an additional 10 touchdowns.

The offense was explosive at times averaging...

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