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Week 6 of the college football season kicks off with a Sun Belt Conference game Thursday as Arkansas State visits Florida International. The Golden Panthers are 1.5-point favorites on Bovada.lv
The Red Devils (2-3) enter off a 26-13 loss to Western Kentucky. The contest was certainly a game of two halves as Arkansas State controlled the first half with 13 straight points before Western Kentucky erupted with 26 unanswered second half points. The setback snapped ASU’s eight-game home winning streak, which had tied for the sixth longest in the nation.
ASU quarterback Ryan Aplin completed 23-0f-30 passes for 204 yards, but was sacked four times. Eight of Aplin’s completions went to freshman J.d. McKissic for 79 yards while senior wideout Josh Jarboe had five grabs for 42 yards. Meanwhile, A-State was held to only 65 yards rushing on 39 carries with junior running back David Oku pacing the ground attack with 79 yards on 22 attempts. WKU’s Antonio Andrews paced all rushers with a game-high 215 yards on 29 carries for a 7.4 yards per carry average.
Florida International was the preseason Sun Belt favorite but has been a huge disappointment at 1-4. FIU was rocked 48-20 at Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday. In his first-career start, true freshman E.J. Hilliard was 16-of-26 for 206 yards in the air with one rushing touchdown. Senior Wayne Times hauled in a team-high six catches while junior Willis Wright was the leader in yards with 58. Junior Kedrick Rhodes and senior Jeremiah Harden each added a score apiece on the ground. The Golden Panthers’ defense is one of the worst in the nation, allowing 38.6 points per game, which is No. 112 in the nation.
This will be FIU’s Sun Belt home opener. Under Head Coach Mario Cristobal, FIU is 3-2 in Sun Belt Conference home-openers with wins in 2008, 2010 and 2011. FIU stands at 7-5 all-time in non-Saturday played games since 2002, and 4-2 under Cristobal. FIU is 4-3 all-time on Thursdays and 1-0 under Cristobal.
The all-time series with Arkansas State started when FIU began playing a Sun Belt Conference schedule in 2005. The Red Wolves own the series advantage, 5-2, with FIU’s two wins coming in 2008 and 2010. Last year, FIU traveled to Jonesboro and were defeated 34-16 at ASU Stadium. In the game, the Panthers took a 16-13 lead into the fourth quarter, but saw the Red Wolves score 21 unanswered points for the rally win. Aplin rushed for a game-high 164 yards on 21 carries, while passing for 124 yards on 14-of-24 attempts. He rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another.
WagerWeb.com trends: Red Wolves are 6-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record. Red Wolves are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games in October. Red Wolves are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 conference games. Red Wolves are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games. Golden Panthers are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games following a S.U. loss. Golden Panthers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game. Golden Panthers are 1-10 ATS in their last 11 games in October. Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings. Home team is 4-0 ATS in their last 4 meetings.