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Clinic Talk: Film Preview of the Arkansas State Red Wolves

Nebraska held on to beat an ASU team Miami will face on the road

NCAA Football: Bethune Cookman at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas State gave the Nebraska Cornhuskers everything they had in Lincoln on Saturday the 2nd. ASU’s offense fell only a few yards short of tying up the game on the road. What will ASU bring to the table against Miami on 9/9 at 3:30pm ET? ASU started the season ranked 83rd in the S&P+ while Nebraska started 43rd. Miami is hovering around 18 in all polls. Expect Miami to play faster than Nebraska and with a more varied game.


This is an offense that threw for 400 yards against Nebraska’s defense but was held to 82 yards rushing. If ASU wants to try to sling the ball it has to be with a quick passing game. Miami attempted to play BCU in man coverage and the linebackers looked lost in space. I think that scheme will change against the Red Wolves and Manny Diaz will dial up pressure for the QB Hansen.

ASU runs a 20 personnel base using inside zone, zone play action, power and power pass (play-action). It was really hard to find highlights from the ASU side. ASU used more 1-back in the Cure Bowl against UCF but more 2-back (20 personnel) against Nebraska.

Here’s a sample run GIF from my Cure Bowl preview from 2016:

Below, check out power pass or power play-action from the Red Wolves. This can be dangerous against an over aggressive front 7.

Below, Ark State scores on a play-action using the fullback into the flat. This is the type of thing I expect McCloud to destroy when it comes his way.


Arkansas State plays a simple 4-2-5 with 1 or 2 safeties high. They rely on team speed and aggressiveness to beat opponents not fancy scheme. ASU will come ready to hit and they have a swagger to them that will remind you of the old Miami teams.

Below, this screenshot shows you how they line up against Nebraska running a trips to the field and the closed TE to the short side. ASU runs a split-field coverage meaning the trips doesn’t effect the short side at all.

They did however give up 450 yards to Nebraska in a balanced attack that split the yardage 50/50 and we need to expect Miami to do the same. With Rosier’s ability to run the ASU defense will have to fear an aspect they didn’t from the Huskers.

If ASU can’t keep up with Nebraska WR’s, what will they do against Mike Harley and Ahmmon Richards? I don’t think they can run with those guys.

If you want to sleep well at night leading up to the game, watch these highlights from the Big 10 Network. It’s just a reel of Nebraska scoring 7 times on ASU.

Final Key

ASU loves to make things happen in the kicking game. Against UCF they blocked kicks and forced fumbles. Against Nebraska they returned a punt for a TD and recovered an onside kick. These are fast and aggressive teams so they also make mistakes, like giving up a kickoff return for a touchdown to the Huskers. I’m excited to see what the Miami speed of Jeff Thomas, Harley, and Berrios can get going in the kicking game.