Arkansas State (4-3) at Idaho (1-6) (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kibbie Dome (16,000) -- Moscow, Idaho. Television: None. Home Record: ASU 3-0, Idaho 1-2. Away Record: ASU 1-3, Idaho 0-4. Neutral Record: ASU 0-0, Idaho 0-0. Conference Record: ASU 2-1, Idaho 1-4. Series Record: Arkansas State leads, 5-4.
GAME NOTES: The Arkansas State Red Wolves will close out a three-game road swing on Saturday afternoon when they take on the Idaho Vandals in a Sun Belt Conference clash at the Kibbie Dome.
ASU had been winners of three straight games prior to its crucial loss at Louisiana on Oct. 21, 55-40. The setback dropped the Red Wolves to 4-3 overall, and at 2-1 in the Sun Belt, they are looking up at Georgia Southern (5-0), Louisiana (3-0) and South Alabama (4-1) in the conference standings.
Meanwhile, Idaho has had yet another season to forget, as it sits at 1-6 overall. The program has only five wins in 43 tries since the start of the 2011 season. The Vandals come into this matchup with some momentum, however, having defeated New Mexico State on Oct. 18, 29-17, for their first win since Sept. 28, 2013.
ASU leads the all-time series with Idaho, 5-4, surging ahead in the series with a 48-24 win in Jonesboro last season.
The Red Wolves have moved the ball up and down the field with ease this season, averaging 472.6 ypg and 31.0 ppg, but they have been plagued with more than two turnovers per game.
Fredi Knighten has been a dynamic threat under center, completing 63 percent of his passes for 1,635 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions while rushing for 394 yards and seven scores. He's even added 64 yards and a touchdown receiving. He set a career high in total yardage in last week's loss (405) and was responsible for four touchdowns.
Michael Gordon also had a big game in the Louisiana setback with 134 rushing yards and a touchdown. In just five games, he has 575 yards (9.3 ypc) and four touchdowns.
J.D. McKissic has hauled in 42 passes for 482 yards but has yet to find the end zone. Tres Houston (25 receptions, 275 yards, two TDs) and Dijon Paschal (21 receptions, 390 yards, three TDs) round out one of the Sun Belt's best receiving corps.
The ASU defense was torched by the Ragin' Cajuns its last time out to the tune of 521 yards. While the poor performance skewed the unit's numbers, it is still in the midst of a solid campaign (25.4 ppg, 383.1 ypg).
Xavier Woodson is the leader in the middle with 61 tackles, 7.0 TFL and 4.0 sacks. Qushaun Lee has made plays all over the field with 47 tackles, 5.5 TFL, two interceptions, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a sack, while Chris Stone generates a nice pass rush with 6.0 TFL and 4.5 sacks.
Idaho's offense came to play its last time out, piling up 30 first downs and 536 yards in the 12-point victory. On the season, the unit has moved the ball well (425.4 ypg), but that production hasn't always translated to the scoreboard (25.9 ppg).
Making his first start of the season, Chad Chalich threw for 192 yards and a touchdowns and added 73 rushing yards. With a win under his belt, it's safe to assume that Chalich has supplanted Matt Linehan (1,908 yards, nine TDs, 11 INTs) for the time being.
Joshua McCain has emerged as not only the top receiving threat in the conference but one of the best in the nation, as he ranks top-15 in the FBS in receptions (54), yards (804) and touchdowns (seven). Richard Montgomery is a strong possession receiver opposite McCain with 40 catches for 382 yards and a touchdown.
Jerrel Brown (71 carries, 353 yards) and Elijhaa Penny (67 carries, 247 yards) have split work evenly in the backfield. Brown has scored just one touchdown, but Penny has had a nose for the end zone with seven scores.
The Vandals' defense has been suspect this season in allowing 36.0 ppg and 468.9 ypg, but the unit took a break from its struggles against NMSU by allowing only 17 points and forcing four turnovers.
Jayshawn Jordan (39 tackles) picked off two passes in the NMSU victory, his first two of the season. Other defensive standouts include Marc Millan (59 tackles, 6.0 TFL, two FF), Quayshawne Buckley (41 tackles, 8.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks), Bradley Njoku (39 tackles, two INTs) and Quinton Bradley (4.0 sacks).
Although Idaho's most recent victory is certainly a step in the right direction, ASU is a much more talented team than NMSU, and even in their home building, the Vandals won't have much hope in slowing down the Red Wolves' balanced offense.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas State 38, Idaho 24Game Date and Time
Saturday, November 1, 5 p.m. (ET)