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FIU/Arkansas State Preview: Hunting Season In Jonesboro

Memphis MEMPHIS, Tennessee -- Here tonight from Memphis -- America's Center of Distribution -- as the sign says in the airport and as the 7,500 Fed Ex planes stationed at the airport will remind you.

Memphis is also the land of Elvis, but that was before my time. Haven't seen any Elvis impersonators, but there was a Britney Spears (pre-shaved head and babies) look-a-like on the same flight into Memphis. She told me she was headed to some gymnastics competition in town.

Memphis is about 1 hour away from Jonesboro, Arkansas where your Panthers will take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Saturday night.

It is homecoming for the Red Wolves and they have been waiting 350 days (Nov. 8, 2008) since last season to exact some revenge on FIU for the "Hilton Heave" loss.

Although it is homecoming, the crowd and atmosphere might be a little subdued at ASU Stadium, because of all things -- hunting season.

True story: speaking to some folks from Jonesboro during the week, they say that once hunting season starts in Jonesboro then the crowds at their football games start to become smaller and smaller. Hunting season started in Jonesboro earlier this month.

And it could be hunting season in more ways than one on Saturday. On Oct. 1, bobcat hunting seasonElmer started over here. That is the closest animal to a panther that they can hunt in these parts.

However, I got a feeling the Red Wolves will be hunting panthers on Saturday.

Besides being an angry team for last season's loss at FIU, ASU features what can be an explosive offense to throw at FIU. Quarterback Corey Leonard is just as good with his legs as he is with his arm.

For the past three years, running back Reggie Arnold has feasted on the FIU D and with the way that unit is playing this season it could be more of the same on Saturday.

Not only can ASU run the ball, but they have a version of T.Y. in receiver Brandon Thompkins. Plus, their O-Line is as big and physical as Troy's was last week.

It just feels like the Red Wolves are going to put up a WNBA score on FIU like possibly in the high 40's, maybe 50's.

Coincidentally, Jackie informs us that those are the expected temperatures for Saturday's game: high 40's-Jjg 50's with clear skies.

FIU's offense is not as complete (run game) as ASU's and I just can't see them matching every Red Wolves score.

Plus, FIU's O-Line has to contend with future NFLers Alex Carrington (picture El Monstruo at 295 pounds and that's AC) and Demario Davis on the ASU D.

Yes, this is the Sun Belt where close games are usually the norm, but there is too much going against FIU entering this game.

The Panthers are 1-3 all-time vs. ASU. FIU played its first-ever Sun Belt game against Arkansas State in Jonesboro in 2005 and lost 66-24.

Don't think it will be that bad on Saturday (FIU is an 11-point underdog), but I don't think the Panthers are flying home to Miami with a W.

You know the drill: Come back on here and tell me I was wrong around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

GPP says: Arkansas State 48, FIU 24


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