Arkansas State Hosts Tigers Thursday Night 

(AP) -- Memphis coach Tommy West figures Arkansas State has a pretty good scouting report on his Tigers -- especially after they were routed last weekend by Central Florida.

"They saw some weaknesses or deficiencies Saturday," West said.

Arkansas State hosts Memphis Thursday night, a rescheduled game after a September 8th matchup was postponed because of bad weather. The makeup date gave both teams less time to prepare after playing last weekend -- and created a three-games-in-11-days stretch for the Tigers, who host Marshall on Tuesday night.

The Indians and Tigers should be plenty familiar with one another after preparing for the earlier game, and Arkansas State coach Steve Roberts says he has even more information to work with now.

"We have two more tapes on them now," Roberts said. "Obviously, we've seen different tendencies."

Memphis (1-2) is coming off an ugly 56-20 loss to Central Florida in which the Tigers trailed 49-0 early in the third quarter. Amazingly, Memphis didn't lose a turnover, but UCF gained 601 total yards.

"They got it rolling and it started snowballing on us and we couldn't come close to getting it turned," West said. "Then we made it worse."

Arkansas State's start has been a little more encouraging. The Indians (1-2) were competitive in losses at Texas and Tennessee, sandwiched around a 45-28 victory over SMU.

The last time Arkansas State actually played Memphis, it was a momentous occasion for the Indians. Corey Leonard's 53-yard Hail Mary to Patrick Higgins at the end of the game gave Arkansas State a 26-23 win, its first over the Tigers in 11 games.

Leonard is back and is third in the Sun Belt Conference in total offense, and the Indians' Reggie Arnold is second in the conference at 118 yards rushing per game.

"Their running back is putting 100 on everybody," West said. "Their quarterback's definitely a dual threat. He runs the ball well. They moved the ball pretty good at Tennessee."

Memphis has also moved the ball well, gaining 1,255 yards in three games. But the Tigers have been hurt by big mistakes. In their opener, a 23-21 loss to Ole Miss, they allowed touchdowns on an interception return and a blocked punt.

Martin Hankins has completed 64 percent of his passes, and four Memphis wide receivers have at least 11 catches.

"They have a great receiving corps," Roberts said. "They're huge. Their quarterback is playing well."

On special teams, Arkansas State's Brandon Thompkins set a Sun Belt record with 194 yards in kickoff returns last week.

Roberts estimates about 60 percent of his gameplan would have been the same had this game been played when it was originally scheduled. He's hoping something else can be replicated, too -- a home crowd that came ready to cheer in Jonesboro that night before the game was called.

"We need the atmosphere to duplicate what it would have been," Roberts said. "There was a great atmosphere. We need that same type of atmosphere Thursday night."


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