|A-State Sweeps Sun Belt Conference Football Weekly...|
JONESBORO, Ark. (12/3/12) – Arkansas State swept the Sun Belt Conference’s weekly football awards after the Red Wolves’ 45-0 win over Middle Tennessee on Dec. 1 that clinched the Red Wolves’ second consecutive league title.
Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin claimed his third straight Offensive Player of the Week award, senior linebacker Nathan Herrold earned the Defensive Player of the Week award for the second time this season, and junior kicker Brian Davis came away with his second Special Teams Player of the Week award this season.
This is the third time since joining the Sun Belt Conference that Arkansas State has claimed all three awards during the same week and the first time since 2008. Since the Sun Belt Conference’s inaugural season in 2001, the same team has swept the conference’s weekly awards just 16 times.
This is the eighth time in Aplin’s career that he’s earned the league’s weekly honor. In Saturday’s game, Aplin completed 19-of-21 passes (.905 percentage) for 238 yards and three touchdowns, while also adding 64 yards on the ground on six attempts and one touchdown to give him 302 yards of total offense on the day.
Aplin’s completion percentage tied the second highest in ASU history for a single game and his three passing touchdowns gave him a school-record 23 on the season. He averaged 12.5 yards per completion without an interception and 10.7 yards per rushing attempt. The game marked the 32nd time Aplin has thrown for over 200 yards in his career and 19th time he collected at least 300 yards of total offense in his career.
Herrold recorded a team-high 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, an interception and a pass break-up in the A-State victory. This was the fifth time this season that Herrold recorded double-digit stops and the eighth time of his career, pushing his season total to 109 to make him the first Arkansas State player with over 100 tackles in a season since the 2007 campaign.
His 109 tackles are the most by an Arkansas State player since 2005 when Tyrell Johnson had 112. The interception gave him three on the season and he returned it 45 yards. With ASU leading 7-0, his pick stopped a Middle Tennessee drive at the ASU 31-yard line and set the Red Wolves’ offense up at the Blue Raiders’ 33 for its second touchdown of the game and a 14-0 lead.
Davis earned his third career weekly award from the conference. He was responsible for 10 points by kicking, including seven extra points and a field goal. Davis connected on his only field goal attempt from 21 yards out to give him 40 career field goals, which ties the second most in school history.
He pushed his season field goals total to 16, giving him sole possession of the fifth most in school history for a single season. His ten points by kicking gave him a school-record 100 on the season, topping his own record of 98 that was set last season.
The win over Middle Tennessee improved Arkansas State’s record to 9-3 overall and 7-1 in conference. The Red Wolves accepted an invitation to play in the GoDaddy.com Bowl for the second consecutive season. ASU will take on the 11-2 and 25th-ranked Kent State Golden Flashes of the Mid-American Conference at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 6 at 8 p.m.
Fans are strongly encouraged to purchase GoDaddy.com Bowl tickets only through the ASU Ticket Office to directly support the Red Wolves and to ensure they receive priority seating within the designated A-State area.Bowl tickets are only $45 per ticket when purchased through the ASU Ticket Office. Fans can go to AStateRedWolves.com to order tickets, and the ASU Ticket Office, located at the Convocation Center's lower red entrance, is taking walk-up and telephone (870-972-ASU1 or 888-278-3267) orders.