Arkansas State vs. Troy prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Red Wolves and Trojans.
Arkansas State vs. Troy Game Preview
When: Thursday, November 17 – 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Veterans Memorial Stadium, Troy, AL
One Sun Belt Conference semifinalist contest down. One more to go this Thursday night. Troy defeated Appalachian State in a Week 11 thriller between two of the three remaining teams yet to lose in league play. The 8-1 Trojans got a last-minute touchdown to run their winning streak to seven and become the first-ever ranked Sun Belt team. However, the other squad yet to drop a conference game, Arkansas State, visits The Vet this week. The Red Wolves have been the forgotten contender in this race, largely because they started the season 0-4, including a loss to FCS Central Arkansas. But they’ve since won five in a row and also control their own destiny, though their final three games will be staged outside of Jonesboro.
What To Know About Arkansas State
Take whatever was learned about the Red Wolves in September and flush it. It’s irrelevant to the team at this stage of the season. Arkansas State has done an about-face for Blake Anderson behind the run-pass option of running back Warren Wand and quarterback Justice Hansen, respectively, on offense and a skilled at getting pressure off the edge. The Red Wolves have yielded an average of just 16 points during the five-game winning streak, fueled by outside rushers Chris Odom and Ja’Von Rolland-Jones. In Saturday’s win over New Mexico State, the pair combined for six tackles for loss and four sacks.
What to Know About Troy
There’s a reason why the Trojans are the Sun Belt frontrunner with three weeks left—no one in the league has a more complete team. From front to back, it’s tough to find an area to exploit. Troy is balanced on offense, with the steady passing of Brandon Silvers and the tough running of Jordan Chunn. And the D is among the most consistent in the conference, beginning up front with linemen Baron Poole, Rashad Dillard and Junior Gnonkonde, a North Carolina transfer. The Trojans lead the league in run defense, sacks and takeaways.
Offense: Troy. The Trojans average 38 points per game, plus the O-line has built a brick wall around Silvers in pass protection.
Defense: Troy. While it’s closer than the numbers indicate, only Appalachian State can seriously challenge the Trojan D this season.
Special Teams: Troy. The Trojans are benefitting from the double-duty provided by Ryan Kay, who punts and is 14-of-18 on field goals.
Coaching: Troy. The only downside to this season for Trojan fans is that upwardly mobile head coach Neal Brown is liable to be poached soon by a Power Five program.
Intangibles: Troy. The Trojans are on the brink of padlocking the Sun Belt title … in front of a home crowd yearning for more respect for its program.
Matchup To Watch
Rolland-Jones and Odom vs. the Troy O-line
Rolland-Jones and Odom form one of the better bookends among Group of Five schools, a potential problem when Silvers drops back to look for receivers Deondre Douglas and Emanuel Thompson. However, the hurdle for the Red Wolves is that the blue-collar Troy O-line leads the nation with only three sacks allowed.
Arkansas State at Troy Betting Odds
Spread: Troy -8.5
Over/Under: No line as of post
Arkansas State vs. Troy Prediction
The records indicate a sizable divide between Arkansas State and Troy. And while the Trojans are the superior team, these schools are surprisingly close in overall talent level. Neither will run away and hide, especially as Troy tries to get back up after the emotional win over Appalachian State. The Trojans, though, will enjoy an edge at the line of scrimmage when Arkansas State has the ball. Their pass rush and toughness against the run will stifle the Red Wolves attack en route to an eighth straight win and the brink of a Sun Belt crown.
Arkansas State vs. Troy Score Prediction: Troy 28, Arkansas State 20