Red Wolves defensive tackle Ryan Carrethers earned Sun Belt Player of the Week honors after his 16 tackle performance in the loss to the Ragin’ Cajuns. His prolific performance also garnered national attention via articles like this one on NFL.com.
Exerpt from the NFL.com article:
Carrethers made 16 tackles in a loss to Louisiana-Lafayette. For a linebacker or a safety, that would be a high total, but not unheard of. For a 330-pound defensive tackle, it’s positively outrageous. Carrethers (6-foot-2, 330 pounds) was credited with six solo stops and 10 assists for the Red Wolves. For an interior defensive lineman, 16 tackles typically represents a month or more of production.
That is good publicity for Ryan and for Arkansas State, however the following statement really irks me:
By comparison, Tennessee nose guard Daniel McCullers, one of the nation’s most highly regarded draft prospects at the position, has made 24 tackles in his eight games this season. McCullers, of course, has faced far tougher competition in the SEC, but at any level of play, tackles can be hard to come by for the thankless job of stuffing gaps in the interior of the offensive line.
FAR TOUGHER COMPETITION?
At this point in the season, the level of competition isn’t all that different between Tennessee and Arkansas State. Tennessee did play Oregon in non-conference, but they have also played two Sun Belt schools in South Alabama and Western Kentucky. Arkansas State has played two SEC schools in Auburn and Missouri. Tennessee played Austin Peay, while A-State played UAPB. So while the Vols have played a slightly tougher schedule, because they’ve played Alabama and Oregon, the rest of their schedule is comparable to Arkansas State’s schedule, with two Sun Belt opponents, two SEC opponents, and an FCS foe. That is a long way from “far tougher.”