Arkansas State football hosts Memphis Saturday night
GAME 2: Arkansas State (1-0) hosts Memphis (1-0)
Sept. 11, 2021 | Centennial Bank Stadium Jonesboro, Ark. | 6:00 p.m.
Radio: EAB Red Wolves Sports Network (107.9 FM, flagship)
Matt Stolz (pxp), Phillip Butterfield (analyst), JC Cox (sideline)
Brad Bobo (pxp), Pete Cordelli (analyst), Cori Keller (sideline)
Live Stats: AStateStats.com
Live Game Notes: twitter.com/AStateGameDay
ON TAP: Arkansas State remains at home for its second game of the 2021 season, hosting American Athletic Conference-member Memphis on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. The contest will appear on ESPN+, and every A-State football game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Northeast Arkansas area. The live broadcast can also be accessed on the official A-State Athletics web site (AStateRedWolves.com).
THE PRINCIPALS: The Red Wolves collected their first season-opening win since 2018 by knocking off FCS member Central Arkansas 40-21 last week at Centennial Bank Stadium, but haven’t started a season 2-0 since 2008. Memphis also enters the contest 1-0 after knocking off an FCS member in their season opener as well, topping Nicholls 42-17 at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.
HEAD COACH BUTCH JONES: Butch Jones was announced as the Red Wolves’ 31st all-time head football coach on December 12, 2020. Jones not only brings 11 years of head-coaching experience at the NCAA FBS level with him to Jonesboro after previous stops leading the football programs at Tennessee (2013-17), Cincinnati (2010-12) and Central Michigan (2007-09), but he also spent the last three seasons (2018-20) working as part of Nick Saban’s staff at national-power Alabama. During Jones’ 11 seasons serving as a head coach, his teams combined to win four conference championships, played in eight bowl games and finished ranked in the AP Top 25 five times. He has coached a combined 77 all-conference honorees and 27 NFL Draft picks.
DEBUT GAMES: Butch Jones is A-State’s 31st all-time head coach, but became just the 11th to claim a victory in his first-ever game at the school. Each of the two head coaches (Blake Anderson and Bryan Harsin) immediately preceding Jones won their initial games, but Harsin in 2013 was actually the first to do so since Larry Lacewell in 1979, snapping a streak of seven head coaches to drop their debuts. A-State’s head coaches to win their first game at the school include Jones (2021), Anderson (2014), Harsin, Lacewell, Bill Davidson (1971), Gene Harlow (1955), Glen Harmeson (1954), Bill Adams (1939), Jack Dale (1931), Bill Stanley (1924) and Clint Young (1913). Among the same group, Davidson was the last to win his first two games in 1971.
THE ARKANSAS STATE - MEMPHIS SERIES: Arkansas State has played Memphis more than any other opponent in school history, and Saturday’s game will mark the 60th all-time meeting between the two schools since 1914. Memphis leads the all-time series 30-23-5 and has won the last two meetings, but A-State has won four of the last seven. The Tigers collected a 37-24 home victory last season and also defeated the Red Wolves at the Liberty Bowl in 2013, but A-State has won the last three games (2012, 2011, 2007) between the two teams in Jonesboro. Including 2021, the Red Wolves and Tigers are slated to play each other seven of the next nine years (home-and-home 2020-23 and 2026-29).
A-STATE vs AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: Arkansas State holds an all-time 29-39-5 record against current members of the American Athletic Conference. The Red Wolves are set to face a team competing as a member of the league at the time of the game for the seventh time in school history, including the sixth consecutive season. Their six previous games against the AAC came in 2013 (L 31-7 at Memphis), 2016 (W 31-13 vs UCF in the Cure Bowl), 2017 (L 44-21 at SMU), 2018 (W 29-20 at Tulsa), 2019 (L 37-30 vs SMU) and 2020 (L 37-24 at Memphis).
A-State has also played the following current AAC teams, although they weren’t members of the league at the time of the games: Cincinnati (1-1), East Carolina (0-2) and Navy (0-1).
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