Jeff Reed: Adam Kennedy Runs for Wins


Adam Kennedy runs for wins

Jeff Reed Author PageWe are looking back at the last 10 quarters of the current Arkansas State Red Wolves football season.

Adam Kennedy, the California native who transferred to A-State from Utah State in June, was told he needed to start running the football more.

That was halftime of the game at South Alabama on Nov. 2. Standing 3-4 on the season and facing a 6-0 deficit to the Jaguars, the Red Wolves outscored USA 17-10 in the final quarter and put together three consecutive scoring drives to win the game.

Kennedy, who at 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, is not built to be a running quarterback. His style is cumbersome, but highly efficient. A friend says he looks like a giraffe.

In that game, Kennedy finished with 65 yards on 16 carries and had a 12-yard touchdown run. He was also 15 of 17 passing for 136 yards in the contest. The final, Arkansas State wins 17-16.

A week later at Louisiana-Monroe, Kennedy ran for 102 yards on 22 carries and scored twice. He completed 16 of 23 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown. The Red Wolves win 42-14.

In the third week of the transformation, Kennedy runs for 78 yards on 18 carries. Passing, he is a highly efficient 14 of 18 for 96 yards, a touchdown and his first interception in November.

“I tell you what, it is hard to tackle a big quarterback,’’ said ASU athletic director Terry Mohajir, who played defensive back in junior college and for two seasons at Arkansas State. “Believe me, I know.”

Kennedy came to A-State with the reputation of being a pocket passer. And he has not disappointed on that. He ranks tenth in the NCAA with a 69 percent completion rate. Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel leads the pack at 73 percent. For November, he is hitting 78 percent, 45 of 58.

According to his bio that was in the Utah State media guide, Kennedy is a “better runner than people give him credit for.” At Utah State, he rushed for 239 yards in 2011, the season when he saw his most playing time there.

At San Joaquin (Calif.) College, he ran for 368 yards.

This season, before the revival in Mobile, Kennedy had gained 112 yards in five games with the lone exception being the 74 he rambled for against Auburn.

The season numbers for him are 432 yards and four touchdowns with two games to play. In comparison, Ryan Aplin, the man of all A-State quarterbacks, ran for 438 yards last season. Aplin, two-time Sun Belt Conference player of the year, ran for 588 yards in 2011 when he led the team, and 477 in 2010.

And it was Aplin’s ability to run that made the Red Wolves’ offense work so well the past three seasons.

And when Kennedy was told to run, it turned this season around.


Jeff Reed is editor of


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