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Arkansas State football turns attention to No. 15 Coastal Carolina

Rucker had over 80 yards receiving and 2 scores as the Red Wolves dropped their fourth straight.
Rucker had over 80 yards receiving and 2 scores as the Red Wolves dropped their fourth straight.(KAIT-TV)
Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:58 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Arkansas State football has a quick turnaround this week. The Red Wolves will be playing a top 25 team at Centennial Bank Stadium as No. 15 Coastal Carolina comes to town Thursday for a 6:30 kickoff.

The Chanticleers are the highest-ranked opponent to play at The Vault. Between that and the Thursday game being nationally televised (ESPNU), Head Coach Butch Jones stressed mental toughness in his weekly press conference Monday.

“What a great, great challenge,” Jones said. “I have a lot of respect for their program, really didn’t know a whole lot about their program, just kind of seen it from afar but when you dive into it this is what programs are built upon... Again, I think it’s going to be a great, great challenge for us, they’re very deserving of their national ranking. I want to say in their last two games they’ve outscored their opponents 112-to-9, dominating in the line of scrimmage, athletic, can run, and they pose so many challenges for you just from a preparation standpoint.”

A-State will be entering Thursday’s game against Number 15 Coastal Carolina on a four-game losing streak. The rushing defense has been a big reason why.

Arkansas State gave up over 500 rushing yards for the first time in decades Saturday against Georgia Southern. This week, they’re facing a team with the fourth-most yards per rush (6.4) in all of FBS.

“They’ve always been a good team,” senior linebacker Caleb Bonner said. “I know they’re ranked 15th in the country now so they’ve got good, talented guys, their quarterback, running back, receivers, we just got to be disciplined in our reads and our fits. We just gotta learn how to do more in film study man and watching the tape I feel like that’s a big thing and then practicing with each other out there just not taking anything for granted.”

It will still be James Blackman under center for the Red Wolves. In fact, the offense will remain the same from last week, with the exception of the offensive line.

Wyatt Luebke will be the new starting tackle. Robert Holmes is out for the season with a knee injury.

As for the receiving room, Corey Rucker looks to keep his hot streak going after another multi-touchdown game against Georgia Southern.

“It’s all a mindset, you can just kind of look at it as it’s just going to be another game,” freshman wide receiver Corey Rucker said. “Teams are going to try to target me and break me and try to find ways to not get me the ball but I’ve just got to step up and make plays.”

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