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Tigers Football Insider: Memphis preps for two this week
 
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Arkansas State quarterback Layne Hatcher (3) throws during an NCAA football game against Louisiana-Lafayette in November 2020. (AP file Photo/Matthew Hinton)
 

Arkansas State quarterback Layne Hatcher (3) throws during an NCAA football game against Louisiana-Lafayette in November 2020. (AP file Photo/Matthew Hinton)

Welcome back to the Tigers Football Insider, where we bring you the latest news and analysis from The Daily Memphian’s Frank Bonner II, Geoff Calkins and John Martin each week. 

Nicholls State was forced to prepare for two quarterbacks heading into its season opener against Memphis, and the Tigers are in a similar position heading into their next game at Arkansas State.

Memphis will play its first road game at 6 p.m. Saturday, and coach Ryan Silverfield said the team will prepare for both Arkansas State quarterbacks who played last week.

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James Blackman started for the Red Wolves against Central Arkansas before Layne Hatcher took over in the second half. Blackman started in 10 of the 12 games he played in for Florida State in 2019 and appeared in four games with two starts for the Seminoles last season before transferring to Arkansas State.

Blackman completed 16 of 26 passes for 169 yards in the first half against Central Arkansas. The Red Wolves were trailing 7-6 at halftime before Hatcher took over in the second half.

Hatcher helped Arkansas State outscore Central Arkansas 34-14 in the second half to lead the Red Wolves to a 40-21 victory. The Tigers are more familiar with Hatcher, having played against him in the team’s 37-24 win over A-State last season.

“It seems like it’ll be somewhat of a similar offensive scheme that they ran last year but Hatcher was the hot hand in the second half,” Silverfield said. “Their quarterback in the second half went 12-for-12 with four touchdowns. That’s a heck of a stat line.”

Although Hatcher had the better game of the two quarterbacks last week, Silverfield is doubling up on his preparation anyway.

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“I think that we’ve always got to be prepared for two quarterbacks, especially since one started the game and has been a starter,” Silverfield said. “And we saw what he was able to do at FSU, as well. We’ve got to study film. Make sure we’re prepared. Each one of them has their own intangibles that they’re able to bring to the table so got to get ready.”


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