JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - We’re 2 days away from Red Wolves and Salukis. The Arkansas State defense has to regroup after an anemic performance in Athens.
They gave up 656 yards to #3 Georgia, the most A-State has allowed in a game since Auburn put up 706 in 2016. One of the bright spots in the loss was Tajhea Chambers. He recorded 10 tackles against UGA.
“The main emphasis was work on the little things, just making sure everybody does their job,” Chambers said after Tuesday’s practice. “We kinda had guys trying to be superheroes, you can’t really do that against top power 5 schools. We made an emphasis on just doing our job this week."
The All-Sun Belt linebacker says Southern Illinois has their attention. “I think first and foremost, we can’t take em lightly. They put up 40 plus couple weeks back. I feel like, just learning our lesson couple years back from UCA. It don’t matter who we play, we treat them all the same.”
SIU enters with a 2-1 record. One of their wins was a 45-20 victory over FBS opponent UMass. The Salukis average 230 rushing yards per game, good for 17th in FCS. Head coach Nick Hill knows they’ll have a challenge running the rock against the Red Wolves.
“#15 (Kevin Thurmon) and #92 (Forrest Merrill), they’re really good, first team all-conference type guys in the Sun Belt,” Hill said Monday at his weekly press conference. “So we got our work cut out for us as far as running the football, and they rush the passer really well especially from an interior D line. And their 2 edge guys are really good. This is a really good team. Coach Anderson has sustained success there.”
Arkansas State faces Southern Illinois Saturday at 6:00pm at Centennial Bank Stadium. The game will be broadcast online at ESPN3.