Memphis and Arkansas State gearing up for 60th edition of regional rivalry

Memphis Head Coach Ryan Silverfield
Memphis Head Coach Ryan Silverfield(Mark Humphrey | AP)
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 10:59 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Regional rivalries are always just a little more fun, and college football fans in the Mid-South will get exactly that on Saturday when Arkansas State makes the 70-mile trip from Jonesboro to Memphis to take on the Tigers.

It’ll be the 60th meeting between the two teams.

Memphis holds the all-time advantage 31-23-5.

The Tigers have won the last three matchups, including each of the last two years. However, Ryan Silverfield still has plenty of respect for the Red Wolves going in.

“You know, if you look at Arkansas State, they have a quarterback (James Blackman) that’s played over 32 games and he’s had a lot of success doing so,” Silverfield said. “They’re one of only three teams in the entire country that doesn’t have a turnover already this season. You know, they’ve got one of the best defensive ends in the country.”

“They’ve got a scheme that’s causing some issues,” he said. “If you look at that first quarter against Ohio State, they actually played pretty darn well. We know they’re going to be fired up to come here for us.”

The Red Wolves are coming off a trip to Columbus where they lost to No. 3 Ohio State 45-12 in a game where they kept it closer than bookmakers were anticipating.

In week one, they steamrolled Grambling 58-3.

After a 55-50 Memphis win in last year’s edition of this game, there could be some big numbers put up on the scoreboard in the 901 this Saturday.

The Red Wolves aren’t shying away from it, they can feel this game means a little bit more.

“I feel it, I felt it walking into the building yesterday as well as today,” said Arkansas State offensive lineman Makilan Thomas. “I know it’s a big rivalry game. It’s going to be a very physical fight all the way through the fourth quarter. So I feel this is going to be a good one, I’m ready for the challenge.”

“We’ve been talking about it ever since yesterday how big of a game this was for us,” said Kivon Bennett, a linebacker for the Red Wolves. “Same type of intensity last year, it was a shootout type of game. This rivalry is one that means a lot to us here. Coach (Butch) Jones has expressed that highly to us.”

Kickoff will be at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday from Simmons Bank Liberty Stadium.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.