Georgia State at Arkansas State – By the Numbers


Georgia State at Arkansas State

Saturday’s game in Jonesboro at Liberty Bank Stadium between Georgia State and Arkansas State marks the final home game of the season for the Red Wolves and is Senior Day. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Head coach Bryan Harsin discusses the game against Texas State and the upcoming matchup against Georgia State:


Georgia State head coach Trent Miles:


ON TAP: Arkansas State is set to hold its annual Senior Day on Saturday when it hosts Sun Belt Conference newcomer Georgia State in its 2013 home finale at Liberty Bank Stadium.  The game, which is the fifth of six consecutive league contests to close out the regular season for the Red Wolves, is scheduled for a 2 p.m. kickoff and will be broadcast by Every A-State game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Jonesboro area as part of the EAB Red Wolves Sports Radio Network, and the live radio broadcast can be accessed through the A-State athletics Web site (

THE PRINCIPALS:  Winners of its last three games, Arkansas State became bowl eligible for the third straight season and the sixth time over the last nine years with its victory over Texas State last week.  The Red Wolves are 4-1 in Sun Belt Conference play and remain in sole possession of second place in the league standings with two regular-season games remaining on their schedule.  A-State is 15-2 over its last 17 games at Liberty Bank Stadium and will bring a 4-1 home record this season into Saturday’s contest, while Georgia State is looking for its first win of the season.


1 of just 24 FBS programs to win at least 26 games over the last three years.

1 receiving TD needed by both Allen Muse and J.D. McKissic to tie the 9th most (9) in school history.

1.2 passes defended per game by Rocky Hayes ranks 31st in the nation.

3 A-State players (Davis, Hayes, McKissic) ranked 1st in the Sun Belt in at least 1 statistical category.

3 ASU was picked to finish 3rd in the preseason Sun Belt Coaches Poll with 45 pts. and 2 first-place votes.

4 out of the last five games Qushaun Lee has posted double-figure tackles (12.6 tpg over that span).

4 games with over 300 yards total offense by Adam Kennedy.

4 consecutive seasons with a victory over the top team in the Sun Belt Preseason Coaches Poll, including 2013.

4 straight weeks an A-State player has been named one of the Sun Belt Conference’s players of the week.

5 players named to one of college football’s major award watch lists.

6 of the last nine seasons have seen A-State achieve bowl eligibility, including 2013.

7 preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selections, the most in the league.

8 straight victories in games decided by 7 points or less, the second longest active streak in the nation.

9 consecutive wins in the month of November dating back to the 2011 season.

9 consecutive winning seasons at Liberty Bank Stadium, including 2013.

9 players (Albright, Campbell, Carrethers, Haunga, Kennedy, McCants, Muse, Oliver, Williams) already with their degree.

10 turnovers lost by A-State is tied for the sixth fewest in the nation.

10 game Sun Belt Conference road winning streak held by A-State.

10 win seasons in 2011 & 2012, making ASU the first team in SBC history w/ back-to-back 10-win campaigns.

10 A-State players named to Phil Steele’s midseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team.

10 Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Awards over the last 11 years.

10.2 tackles per game by Qushaun Lee is ranked as the 16th highest average in the nation.

12 passes defended by Rocky Hayes is three more than the most by an ASU player for all of last season.

13 consecutive field goals made by Brian Davis for the second longest streak in school history.

13 votes in the final 2012 USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll, ranking A-State No. 32 in the nation.

13 A-State players named to at least one preseason All-Sun Belt Conference team.

14 consecutive victories by A-State when scoring at least 30 points, including the last two games.

15 players named to the most recent Sun Belt Conference Commissioner’s List (3.5 GPA or higher).

15 statistical categories in which A-State ranks among the top 50 teams in the nation.

19 Sun Belt Conference victories over its last 21 league games.

19. 6 points allowed per game over A-State’s last five contests, 11.4 less than its first five games.

22 receptions by Darion Griswold are the most by an A-State tight end since Trevor Gillott (24) in 2009.

23 All-Sun Belt Conference selections over the last two years combined.

25 A-State wins over its last 34 regular-season games dating back to 2011.

26.2 yards per kickoff return by ASU is ranked 5th in the nation, and 18.9 ypr KO coverage is ranked 26th.

26 victories over the last three seasons ranks tied for the 20th most in the nation.

27 players named to the most recent Sun Belt Conference Academic Honor Roll (3.0 GPA or higher).

28 votes in the final 2012 Associated Press Top 25 poll, ranking A-State No. 32 in the nation.

30 or more points scored by A-State in 23 of its last 33 games (69 percent).

46.1 third-down conversion percentage by A-State is ranked 27th in the nation.

69.0 completion percentage by Adam Kennedy is ranked 7th in the nation.

73 tackles by Ryan Carrethers are the second most in the nation by a defensive lineman.

102 tackles by Qushaun Lee this year makes him the first ASU player since 2002-03 with 100 stops in consecutive seasons.

164 career receptions by J.D. McKissic, the most ever by an Arkansas State player.

300 yards or more of total offense recorded by ASU in 43 of its last 48 games.

400 or more yards total offense by A-State in seven of its first 10 games.

432.3 yards total offense per game is the third highest in school history for a single season.

26.7 million-dollar football facility project in Liberty Bank Stadium’s north end zone announced.

HEAD COACH BRYAN HARSIN: Bryan Harsin was named the Red Wolves’ 29th head football coach on Dec. 12, 2012.  Harsin is a 13-year coaching veteran at the NCAA FBS level who has coached in 10 bowl games as either an assistant or offensive coordinator.  Harsin, a finalist for the 2009 Broyles Award recognizing the top assistant coach in the country, has been associated with two nationally-prominent programs during his rise to A-State’s head coach.  Working closely with Chris Petersen at Boise State and Mack Brown at Texas, two of the most well-respected coaches in the country, Harsin spent the last seven seasons as an offensive coordinator with the Broncos and Longhorns.

HIGH MARKS:  Arkansas State head football coach Bryan Harsin was ranked as the sixth best hire in the nation among 26 new coaches at the time, according to  The article written by Dennis Dodd said the following when referring to A-State’s 29th head coach:  “We’re talking a Sun Belt program that has changed its AD (once) and coaches (twice) over the last two years. Somehow the Red Wolves went from national championship game offensive coordinator (Malzahn) to Fiesta Bowl-winning offensive coordinator with a stop in Texas (Bryan Harsin). Not too shabby.”

OUT OF THE GATE:  With the Red Wolves victory over UAPB, Bryan Harsin became the Red Wolves first head coach to win his inaugural game at the school since Larry Lacewell in 1979.  ASU’s previous seven head coaches all suffered setbacks in their first game, including Al Kincaid, Ray Perkins, John Bobo, Joe Hollis, Steve Roberts, Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn.

YOUNGEST FBS HEAD COACHES:  At 37 years of age, Arkansas State head coach Bryan Harsin is the fourth youngest head coach in the nation.  Western Michigan’s P.J. Fleck is the youngest at 32 years old with a Nov. 29, 1980 date of birth.

Coach   Age (DOB)

P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan, 32 (11-29-80)

Matt Campbell, Toledo, 33 (11-29-79)

Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech, 34 (8-9-79)

Bryan Harsin, Arkansas State, 37 (11-1-76)

Willie Taggart, USF, 37 (8-27-76)

Justin Fuente, Memphis, 37 (7-30-76)

Matt Rhule, Temple, 38 (1-31-75)

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern, 38 (12-2-74)

Garrick McGee, UAB, 40 (4-6-73)

Matt Wells, Utah State, 40 (8-10-73)

FAST START:  Out of 29 all-time head coaches at Arkansas State, Bryan Harsin has become one of just six to win at least six games in their first season at the school.  The other head coaches to win at least six games in their first season as a head coach at A-State are Gus Malzahn (2012), Hugh Freeze (2011), Steve Roberts (2002), Gene Harlow (1955) and Jack Dale (1931). 

THE ARKANSAS STATE – GEORGIA STATE SERIES:  Saturday’s game will mark the first ever meeting between Arkansas State and Georgia State.

A-STATE vs. THE SUN BELT:  Arkansas State has won 19 of its last 21 league games to run its all-time record in the conference to 53-38. The Red Wolves hold their most all-time victories against Louisiana-Monroe with 21. With the exception of Georgia State, which is in its first season as a member of the league, the Red Wolves have defeated every team in the SBC since the football league was formed in 2001. Along with Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette, A-State is one of three teams that have been a part of the conference since 2001.

SENIOR DAY:  The Red Wolves will hold their annual Senior Day this Saturday, recognizing their senior class for their contributions to Arkansas State University and the football program.  This year’s 21 seniors are LaAngelo Albright, Phillip Butterfield, Jake Campbell, Ryan Carrethers, Brian Davis, Amos Draper, Darius Dunaway, R.J. Fleming, John Gandy, Steven Haunga, Julian Jones, Adam Kennedy, Carlos McCants, Cliff Mitchell, Allen Muse, David Oku, Cade Oliver, Eddie Porter, Dexter Samuel, Sirgregory Thornton and Aaron Williams.

GEORGIA RED WOLVES:  Arkansas State has five players on its roster from the state of Georgia, including deep snapper Ryan Eustace, center Bryce Giddens, wide receiver Tres Houston, defensive back Ryan Jacobs and linebacker Troy Wyche.

99th SEASON UNDER WAY:  Arkansas State kicked off its 99th season of football Aug. 31, 2013, vs. UAPB.  A-State now holds a 432-461-37 record since its inaugural 1911 season and has played in nine bowl games.  ASU did not field a football team from 1942-44 due to World War II.  Arkansas State also didn’t have a team in 1918 as World War I was ending.

THREE-YEAR WINS TOTAL:  Including back-to-back 10 win seasons in 2010 and 2011 and six more this year, the Red Wolves have recorded 26 victories for their most over a three-year span since winning 29 from 1985-87 as an NCAA I-AA (now FCS) member. The Red Wolves 26 total wins over the last three seasons also ranks tied for the 20th most in the nation.


Team                2011     2012     2013     Total

Alabama            12         13         10         35

Northern Illinois 11         12         10         33

Oregon              12         12         9          33

Stanford            11         12         8          31

Florida State      9          12         10         31

LSU                  13         10         7          30

Clemson            10         11         9          30

Boise State        12         11         7          30

South Carolina   11         11         8          30

Oklahoma State 12         8          9          29

Oklahoma          10         10         8          28

Cincinnati          10         10         8          28

Ohio State         6          12         10         28

Georgia             10         12         6          28

Wisconsin          11         8          8          27

Michigan State   11         7          9          27

Kansas State      10         11         6          27

Louisville           7          11         9          27

Notre Dame       8          12         7          27

Arkansas State   10         10         6          26

Nebraska          9          10         7          26

Michigan            11         8          7          26

Texas A&M        7          11         8          26

UL Lafayette      9          9          8          26

AN A-STATE VICTORY WOULD . . .:  Give the Red Wolves a 5-1 home record for the second straight season . . . Ensure the Red Wolves a winning record for the third straight season . . . Extend its winning streak in the month of November to 10 games . . . Keep the Red Wolves in sole possession of second place in the Sun Belt Conference standings . . . Make it 5-1 in Sun Belt play through six games for the second straight season.

TELEVISION TIME:  Every Arkansas State football game this season has been or will be televised for the first time in school history.  The Red Wolves previous school record for televised games in a season was in 10 in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

RED WOLVES NOVEMBER:  Arkansas State is undefeated in November since the 2011 season with a 9-0 record over that span.  All nine victories have come against Sun Belt Conference opponents, including six by a double-figure margin.

STRONG IN THE SECOND:  Four of Arkansas State’s six victories this season have come when it was either tied or trailing at halftime, including the last three in a row.  The Red Wolves four victories under those circumstances are one more than it had for the previous four seasons (2009-12) combined.  The last time A-State had at least four victories in games it entered the second half tied or trailing was 2005 when it also had four (two trailing and two tied). 

DAVIS NAMED LOU GROZA AWARD SEMIFINALIST:  Senior kicker Brian Davis has been named one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award.  Davis, also a semifinalist for the award in 2012, is 11-of-11 on field goal attempts this year with a career-long of 50 yards. 

SUN BELT PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:  Senior kicker Brian Davis was named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday, marking the fourth straight week an A-State player has earned one of the conference’s weekly honors.  The Red Wolves have seen five different players earn one of the weekly honors from the league a combined six times this year.  In addition to Davis, the other A-State players recognized this season are senior quarterback Adam Kennedy (Nov. 11, Oct. 14), senior safety Sterling Young (Nov. 4), senior DL Ryan Carrethers (Oct. 28) and sophomore WR J.D. McKissic (Oct. 14, Special Teams). 

CFPA HONORS GORDON:  Sophomore running back Michael Gordon was recognized by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) for the second straight week and third time this season following the Texas State game, earning national Honorable Mention Running Back of the Week honors.  Gordon was also a CFPA honorable mention pick for running back and all-purpose player of the week earlier this season.  Other players recognized by the CFPA with a weekly award include sr. kicker Brian Davis (three times), sr. DL Amos Draper, soph. TE Darion Griswold and sr. WR Allen Muse.

300-PLUS: Dating back to the 2010 season, Arkansas State has posted at least 300 yards of total offense in 43 of its last 48 games.  The Red Wolves have posted at least 300 yards total offense in all but two games this season and is ranked 52nd in the nation (432.3 ypg).

LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD:  Including five games this season, A-State has posted at least 30 points in 23 of its last 33 regular-season games dating back to the 2011 season. The Red Wolves have won 14 consecutive games when scoring at least 30 points.

ROAD WARRIORS:  Arkansas State has won 10 consecutive road conference games, its longest streak ever as a member of any league.  The Red Wolves went 4-0 in conference road games in both 2011 and 2012 and is 2-0 in 2013.  Its previous longest road conference winning streak was seven against Southland foes from 1973-75.

HOME SWEET HOME:  With a 4-1 home mark this season, Arkansas State has secured its ninth consecutive winning record at Liberty Bank Stadium dating back to 2005.  ASU is now 40-9 at Liberty Bank Stadium since the 2005 season and has won 15 of its last 17 home games.  The Red Wolves actual on-field record all-time at Liberty Bank Stadium is 132-72-1 since it opened in 1974. ASU’s six home wins in 2011 were its most since 1985.

SHUT ‘EM DOWN:  The A-State defense hasn’t allowed a score in the second half over the last two games.  A-State’s last four opponents have scored just 13 second-half points consisting of only one touchdown and two field goals.  The Red Wolves have allowed an average of just 133.5 yards total offense in the second half for the last two games.

OFFENSIVE PACE:  Arkansas State is producing offensive numbers that are on pace to rank among the best in school history in several categories.  The Red Wolves are averaging 432.3 yards per game, 5.9 yards per play and 221.2 passing yards per game, which all rank among the top five in school history.  The total offense average and yards per play are both the third highest and passing yards average is the fifth highest.

PICK IT OFF:  The A-State defense has recorded at least one interception in four of the last five games and has five total picks over that span, which is two more than its total for the first five games combined.  The Red Wolves recorded a season-high three interceptions against Troy, their third opponent of the season, and had two against ULM for their second most. 

SPECIAL TEAMS TURNAROUND:  Not only has Arkansas State’s special teams shown significant improvement in several statistical categories, they are ranked among the top teams in the nation in many of them.  A-State is one 34 teams in the nation yet to give up a blocked kick, is ranked tied for first in field goal percentage, fifth in kickoff returns, 26th in kickoff return defense and tied for 31st in the nation in blocked kicks.  Below is a comparison between A-State’s 2012 and 2013 special teams numbers:

2012     2013

Kick Return Average       19.2      26.1

Punt Return Average      4.3        8.3

Punting Average 35.5      40.8

Net Punting Average       31.4      36.2

Punts Inside 20              8          16

50+ Yard Punts              4          8

Average Per Kickoff        55.6      61.0

IN THE CLUTCH:  Junior safety Sterling Young came up with a pair of clutch interceptions against South Alabama and ULM to help lead the Red Wolves to recent back-to-back road victories.  Much like his pick against South Alabama, his interception against ULM came at a critical junction of the game and sparked a solid second-half performance by the Red Wolves.  His interception against ULM came with score tied 14-14 and at the ULM’s 38-yard line, directly leading to a touchdown that started a 28-0 scoring outburst by A-State.  His pick against South Alabama came with Red Wolves trailing 6-0 and in the back of A-State’s end zone.  It occurred on the Jaguars first drive of the second half, and the Red Wolves marched down the field for a touchdown and 7-6 lead on its ensuing drive.

HITTING 1,000:  Senior WR Julian Jones went over 1,000 career yards receiving during the South Alabama game, making him the third player on the Red Wolves roster to accomplish the feat.  Sophomore WR J.D. McKissic leads the way with 1,514 to his credit (8th most in school history), while senior WR Allen Muse has 1,193 and Jones 1,097.

ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER:  Senior kicker Brian Davis became the Sun Belt Conference’s all-time leading scorer last week, finishing the Texas State game with eight points to push his career total to 303.  He became the first player in league history to record 300 points in the process.  Davis also owns the A-State career records for points by a kicker (303) and extra points made (147).  He has made his last 13 consecutive field goals for the second longest streak in school history.

BIG BLOCKS:  A-State blocked two kicks against ULM, making it one of just nine teams in the nation to block multiple kicks in a game this season.  Senior DL Ryan Carrethers blocked a field goal attempt and redshirt freshman WR Booker Mays was responsible for a blocked punt against ULM.  The other teams to block multiple kicks in a game this season are Syracuse (3), UAB (3), Minnesota, Colorado State, Virginia Tech, Boise State, Akron, Oklahoma, North Texas and Texas A&M.

COVERING AT CORNERBACK:  Sophomore corner Rocky Hayes has made a big impact in his first season on the defensive side of the ball, leading the team in both pass break-ups (9) and interceptions (3).  He is ranked first in the Sun Belt Conference in passes defended with 12, which is three more than the most by an A-State player for all of last season (Chaz Scales, 7 PBU, 2 INT).  Hayes is ranked 31st in the nation in passes defended.

LEAVE NO STONE UNBLOCKED:  Sophomore defensive end Chris Stone has made a habit of disrupting the opponent’s backfield this season, recording a team-high 9.5 tackles for loss that ranks fifth in the Sun Belt Conference.  Stone has recorded at least one tackle for loss in seven games this season and a career-high two in two different games.  He had three tackles for loss last season as a redshirt freshman.

RECEIVING RECORDS:  Just a sophomore, J.D. McKissic is already taking over the Arkansas State record books in almost every major receiving statistical category.  He holds the school record for receptions in a game (15) and season (103), and he broke the record for career receptions (164) last game against Texas State.  He is ranked eighth for career receiving yards with 1,514 to his credit.

MAKING A RETURN:  Sophomore WR J.D. McKissic is ranked fifth in the nation in kickoff returns (29.6 ypr) and 30th in punt returns (9.1 ypg).  He recorded a career-high 125 kickoff return yards against Idaho, including a 98-yard return for a touchdown in the contest.  The return for a touchdown was the first by an A-State player since 2001.  Additionally, McKissic has posted eight kickoff returns of at least 25 yards, including a 50-yarder against ULM.  His longest punt return has covered 43 yards, posted last week against Texas State.

ON THE RISE:  Senior WR Julian Jones has recorded at least four receptions in six of the last nine games, including a career-high 10 versus Missouri.  Jones has either led or tied for the team high in receptions in four games this season and is ranked seventh in the Sun Belt Conference in receptions per game (4.8 pg).  Jones’ 48 total receptions are 31 more than he had for his entire career entering the 2013 season.

100-YARD RUSHERS:  Senior QB Adam Kennedy rushed for a career-high 102 yards against ULM, making him the fifth A-State player to reach the 100-yard mark in a game this season.  Senior RB David Oku, senior RB Sirgregory Thornton, sophomore RB Michael Gordon and sophomore QB Fredi Knighten have also rushed for 100 yards in at least one game this year.

TOTAL OFFENSE PRODUCER:  Senior quarterback Adam Kennedy ranks third in the Sun Belt Conference in total offense with 254.0 yards per game, which also ranks 35th in the nation.  Kennedy recorded 358 yards of total offense against Auburn, 334 versus Missouri, a career-high 397 against Idaho and 337 against ULM.  He also just missed going over 300 versus Troy with 299 to his credit.  His 397 yards versus Idaho were the fifth most in school history.  He has recorded over 200 yards total offense in six of the last nine games.

MAKING A CONNECTION:  Senior QB Adam Kennedy tied the school record for completions in a game with 37 against Missouri (tied Ryan Aplin, 2011 vs. Western Kentucky).  Kennedy has already completed 194 passes, which ranks tied for the fourth most in school history for a single season.  He is ranked 32nd in the nation in completions (19.4 pg) and seventh in completion percentage (.690).  His completion percentage currently stands as the highest in school history for a single season.

INSIDE FORCE:  A member of the Bednarik Award and Outland Trophy Watch Lists, senior defensive lineman Ryan Carrethers is ranked second on the team and 10th in the Sun Belt in tackles with 73 through 10 games.  He is averaging 7.3 tackles per game, 2.0 more than he averaged last season when he finished with 68 total for the most by an A-State interior defensive lineman since former NFL standout Jon Bradly in 2002.  His 73 tackles this season are the second most in the nation by a defensive lineman.  He posted a career-high 16 tackles against UL Lafayette, which hare also the most in the nation this season by a defensive lineman for a single game.

ANOTHER 100:  Senior linebacker Qushaun Lee has recorded a team-high 102 tackles, making him the first A-State player to record over 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons since linebacker Les Echols in 2002 (105) and 2003 (123).  He is averaging 10.0 tackles per game, which is the 16th highest in the nation and second highest in the Sun Belt Conference.  Lee recorded a career-high 16 tackles at South Alabama and has at least 10 tackles in four of the last five games, giving him eight career games with double-figure stops.

GRISWOLD VACATION TO THE END ZONE:  Senior tight end Darion Griswold tied his career high with five receptions for a career-high 89 yards and his first two career touchdowns against Idaho, earning CFPA national Honorable Mention Tight End of the Week for his efforts.  He has now caught 22 passes for 269 yards, both the most in a season by an A-State tight end since Trevor Gillott recorded 24 receptions for 283 yards in 2009. 

ON A ROLL:  A Freshman All-America selection last season, sophomore WR J.D. McKissic has caught at least one pass in all 23 games of his career at A-State.  He had a school-record 15 against Missouri.  McKissic also finished the Missouri game with a season-high 117 receiving yards, marking the fifth time of his career he has posted 100 in a game.

A FLARE FOR THE DRAMATIC:  Sophomore RB Michael Gordon is responsible for three of the four longest runs by A-State this year, including a 92-yard outburst against UAPB that was the second longest in school history.  Gordon posted a 64-yard touchdown run against Troy and had a 40-yard touchdown rush against Texas State as well.  He is averaging 7.7 yards per attempt (70) that stands as the third highest in school history for a single season.  Gordon has three 100-yard rushing games, including a 102-yard showing against UAPB, a 115-yard effort versus Troy and a career-high 184 yards against Texas State. 

MIDSEASON ALL-CONFERENCE:  Arkansas State placed 10 players, including five first-team selections, on the Phil Steele’s Midseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team.  The Red Wolves 10 selections tied Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe for the most in the conference, and their five first-team picks matched the most along with the Ragin’ Cajuns.  The A-State offense and defense were both represented by four players, and two Red Wolves made the list as special teams choices.  Arkansas State’s first-team selections included sophomore center Bryce Giddens (Moultrie, Ga.), senior guard Steven Haunga (Richmond, Calif.), senior defensive lineman Ryan Carrethers (Nashville, Tenn.), sophomore cornerback Rocky Hayes (Heflin, Ala.) and senior kicker Brian Davis (Brentwood, Tenn.).  The Red Wolves’ second-team selections included senior running back David Oku (Midwest City, Okla.), senior wide receiver Julian Jones (Germantown, Tenn.), junior linebacker Qushaun Lee (Prattville, Ala.) and senior safety Sterling Young (Hoover, Ala.).  Sophomore wide receiver J.D. McKissic (Phenix City, Ala.) was also a second-team choice as a kick returner.

UNBUCKLE THE BELT:  The Red Wolves opened Sun Belt Conference play in their third game of the season, the earliest since 2010 when they played their second game against a league opponent.  A-State improved to 8-5 all-time in Sun Belt Conference openers with its 41-34 victory over Troy.  The Red Wolves’ victory was their first in an SBC opener since 2011. 

NFF RECOGNIZES DAVIS:  Senior kicker Brian Davis was announced as a National Football Foundation (NFF) Scholar-Athlete Awards candidate and a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the top scholar-athlete in the nation.  Davis is among 170 national candidates, including 54 from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), for the NFF’s Scholar-Athlete Awards.  Candidates for the awards must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a GPA of at least a 3.2, possess outstanding football ability as a first-team player or significant contributor, and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. 

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH:  Arkansas State has 25 underclassmen (sophomores or freshmen) listed on its 2-deep.  The list includes 13 sophomores, six redshirt freshmen and six true freshmen.  Among the underclassmen, six are listed as starters on the offensive or defensive side of the ball.  A-State’s 25 underclassmen on its two-deep was tied for the 14th most in the nation with Colorado and Illinois according to the 2013 initial depth charts.  Virginia listed 34 players on its opening-day two-deep for the most among all teams. 

IN THE POLLS:  Arkansas State ended the 2012 season receiving votes in the final major polls, including 28 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll and 13 in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll.  Both totals placed the Red Wolves 32nd in the nation. The Red Wolves were also among “others receiving votes” in the 2013 preseason and week two USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll.

NCAA RECORD:  A-State became the seventh FBS team in NCAA history to have four players (David Oku, Fredi Knighten, Michael Gordon, Sirgregory Thornton vs. UAPB) rush for over 100 yards in the same game.  The other teams include Arizona (1951), Texas (1969), Alabama (1973), Army (1984), Nebraska (2001) and Nevada (2009).

FOR STARTERS:  A-State improved to 45-47-6 all-time in season openers with its victory over UAPB on Aug. 31.  The Red Wolves claimed a win in their season-opening game for the first time since 2009.

RUSHING RED WOLVES:  The Red Wolves piled up 509 rushing yards versus UAPB, which were the most in the nation during the season’s first week and still stands as the fifth most.  A-State’s total was also the fifth most in school history and the second most in Sun Belt history.

HOMECOMING HISTORY: With its victory over Idaho, Arkansas State improved to 58-27-1 all-time in Homecoming contests. The Red Wolves have now won 10 of their last 11 Homecoming games dating back to the 2003 season.

HOME OPENERS:  With its victory over UAPB on Aug. 31, Arkansas State won its ninth consecutive home opener dating back to the 2005 campaign.  The Red Wolves now stand 29-11 all-time in home openers at Liberty Bank Stadium and are also 15-6 in such games since moving to the FBS in 1992.

RETURNING ALL-SUN BELT PEFORMERS:  Arkansas State returned five All-Sun Belt Conference players from the 2012 season, including first team selections David Oku (Sr., RB) and Ryan Carrethers (Sr., DL).  J.D. McKissic (So., WR) and Brian Davis (Sr., K) were both second-team choices, while Qushaun Lee (Jr., LB) was named honorable mention.

PRESEASON ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE:   Arkansas State placed a league-high seven players on the 2013 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team.  Senior running back David Oku, sophomore wide receiver J.D. McKissic and sophomore center Bryce Giddens all represented the A-State offense on the preseason squad.  ASU’s defensive players earning a spot on the team were senior defensive lineman Ryan Carrethers, junior linebacker Qushaun Lee and junior safety Sterling Young.   Senior kicker Brian Davis, also made the list.

RED WOLVES TABBED THIRD IN PRESEASON SBC POLL:  The Red Wolves were picked third in the preseason coaches poll announced as part of the league’s annual Media Day.  A-State received 45 points and two first-place votes behind UL Lafayette and UL Monroe, which both received 57 points.

ASU ANNOUNCES FOOTBALL FACILITY PROJECT:  Arkansas State University has announced a $26.7 million football facility project, including a two-level football operations building and 76,000 square-foot indoor practice facility in ASU Stadium’s north end zone.

SUN BELT CHAMPIONS:  Arkansas State claimed its second consecutive outright Sun Belt Conference championship in 2012.  ASU has won nine conference championships all-time.  ASU won the Southland Conference seven times (1986, 1985, 1978, 1975, 1970, 1969, 1968).  ASU also won the 2005 Sun Belt Conference title, but it was later vacated due to NCAA sanctions.  Prior to the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the last time ASU won back-to-back conference championships was 1986 and 1985 when it was a member of the Southland Conference.

BACK-TO-BACK WINNING SEASONS:  Arkansas State secured back-to-back winning seasons in 2011 and 2012 for the first time since 1986-87.  ASU won 10 games in both 2011 and 2012, and its 19 combined regular-season victories were its most ever over a two-year span — topping its 18 in 1974 and 1975.

BOWL ELIGIBLE:  Arkansas State has been bowl eligible five times over the last eight seasons, including the last two in a row.

ATTENDANCE FIGURES:  Arkansas State’s average home attendance last season was a school record 26,398, topping its previous best of 21,256 in 2011.  The 31,243 in attendance for A-State’s 2012 regular-season finale against Middle Tennessee was the largest in Liberty Bank Stadium history.  The Red Wolves are averaging home crowds of 26,956 this season.

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