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NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

The 6th and final game of day 1 of bowl season culminates here, with the Arkansas State Red Wolves taking on the Louisiana Tech B


The 6th and final game of day 1 of bowl season culminates here, with the Arkansas State Red Wolves taking on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs. Arkansas State enter this game as the Sun Belt conference champions with a 9-3 record and looking to ride the momentum of an 8-game win streak. Though they started the season 1-3, two of those losses came against power-5 schools – USC and Mizzou. The Red Wolves success is largely thanks to a strong offense. They average 448 yards per game (YPG), making them the 36th best offense in the FBS. That ranking is in large part thanks to a great ground game. They average 235.8 rushing yards per game (RYG), which is 14th in the FBS. The defense however, isn’t as good, they allow 397 YPG, leaving them ranked 67th in the FBS. 251.9 of those yards come through the air, which makes them the 96th pass defense in the FBS. The prospect to watch for the Red Wolves is their tight end, Darion Griswold. If you look at his stats, you will not be that impressed. He has 13 catches on the season but that is a product of their system. As far as tight ends go, he looks like the perfect one. He is 6’5”, 264lbs and has broad shoulders. Furthermore, contrary to what his stats would have you believe, he has good ball skills. He does need work as a blocker though. Their other top senior prospects are Rocky Hayes (DB) and Fredi Knighten (QB). Louisiana Tech enter their 2nd consecutive bowl game – the first time they’ve done that since 1977-78 – with an 8-4 record. They are, though, coming off a 58-24 loss to their rivals Southern Mississippi, so they’ll be looking to end the season on a higher note. Offensively, the Bulldogs rank 27th in total offense, racking up 446 YPG. This is thanks to their passing attack. Beind the arm of Jeff Driskel, the Bulldogs average 311.9 PYG, which is 15th best in the country. However, they only manage 153.8 RYG, making them the 89th rushing attack in the country. There defense is similar to the offense, in that it excels in one area but struggles in another. They rank 19th in the FBS in run defense (114.5 RYG) but 112th in pass defense (265.8 PYG). Louisiana Tech, despite playing not being a powerhouse, has several prospects to watch. Jeff Driskel had a very disappointing career at Florida, he went from a big time high school recruit to a flop, but having transferred to Louisiana Tech, he has revitalised his career. The reasons he was so highly recruited are showing; he has a strong arm, he’s accurate and he is a very good athlete. Though he has some things to work on, he is making a good argument to be considered draftable. Joining Driskel in the backfield is senior RB Kenneth Dixon. He is the school’s all-time leading rusher and you can see why. He has good size and he utilizes it well. Futhermore, he shows a real understanding of the subtleties of the position. What makes him even more attractive to scouts is his ability in pass protection and as a receiver. He has the tools to be a 3-down back. Vernon Butler (DT) and Kentrell Brice (SS) are also worth paying attention to. If you want to watch this game, or any of the other bowl games, the complete bowl schedule can be found here, where you’ll be able to see how and when you can watch every game.  

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Remy Cabache

Lifetime sports fan. I have written with RealSport since the NFL section started and I have also written for my own blog, EbonyBird.com and I have had several articles published in local newspapers covering my local (American) football team.

NCAA Bowl Previews 2015: R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

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