JONESBORO, AR (astateredwolves.com) – The Sun Belt Conference released its annual preseason football coaches’ poll Saturday, and the three-time defending league champion Arkansas State Red Wolves are picked to finish runner-up in 2014.
Arkansas State, which finished with an 8-5 overall record and 5-2 league mark last season, received 102 points to land second in the poll behind Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns received 121 points and all 11 first-place votes to land atop the poll.
The Red Wolves collected four more points than third-place South Alabama (98), which was followed by Troy (84), Louisiana-Monroe (78), Texas State (70), Appalachian State (47), Georgia Southern (44), Idaho (29), Georgia State (27) and New Mexico State (26).
A-State returns 10 starters, including seven All-Sun Belt Conference selections, from last year’s team that claimed a 23-20 win over Ball State in the GoDaddy Bowl. Heading into the 2014 season, 12?Arkansas State players have found a place on at least one football publication’s preseason all-conference squad.
The Red Wolves have six players on a major preseason award watch list this year, including junior running back Michael Gordon (Doak Walker), junior tight end Darion Griswold (John Mackey), junior cornerback Rocky Hayes (Jim Thorpe), senior linebacker Qushaun Lee (Lombardi, Walter Camp), junior wide receiver J.D. McKissic (Paul Hornung) and senior safety Sterling Young (Jim Thorpe).
A-State has won 28 games over the last three season, which ties the 20th most in the nation over that span. The program will be under the direction of Blake Anderson, who was named Arkansas State’s 30th all-time head coach on Dec. 19, 2013.
Season tickets for the 2014 campaign are on sale at the A-State Ticket Office, located at the Convocation Center’s lower red entrance. The ticket office can also be contacted at 870-972-2781 and tickets may be purchased online at tickets.astate.edu.