GAME 6: Arkansas State (3-2, 1-0) at ULM (1-3, 0-0)
Oct. 8, 2011 - Malone Stadium (30,427)
Monroe, La. - 6:00 p.m. CT
Radio: EAB Sports Radio Network (107.9 FM, flagship)
LIVE STATS: AStateRedWolves.com
ON TAP: Arkansas State continues Sun Belt Conference play this week, traveling to Monroe, La., to face ULM on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. as the Red Wolves conclude a two-game road swing to begin league action. Every A-State game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Jonesboro area. The live radio broadcast can also be accessed through the Arkansas State athletic Web site (AStateRedWolves.com).
THE PRINCIPALS: A-State moved its overall record (3-2) above .500 for the first time this season last week with a 26-22 victory over Western Kentucky in its Sun Belt Conference opener. ASU is looking for its first three game winning streak since 2006, while ULM is coming off an open week and will be playing its first league game of the year.
HEAD COACH HUGH FREEZE: After enjoying successful stints as both a head and assistant coach at the NCAA FBS, NAIA and high school levels over the last 18 years, Hugh Freeze was named Arkansas State's 27th head football coach on Dec. 2, 2010. Freeze most recently completed his first season as Arkansas State's offensive coordinator, guiding the Red Wolves' offense to a record-breaking year in 2010.
THE ARKANSAS STATE-ULM SERIES: ASU has played ULM 32 times, which is the fifth most in school history among all opponents. Arkansas State leads the all-time series with ULM 18-14 since the first meeting in 1959. As Sun Belt foes, ASU leads the series 6-4 after picking up a 34-20 victory over the Warhawks in Jonesboro last season. The home team has won the game the last six seasons.
ASU-ULM ALL-TIME SERIES: ASU leads 18-14
ASU-ULM ALL-TIME SUN BELT SERIES: ASU leads 6-4
ASU at ULM (SBC SERIES ONLY): ULM leads 3-2
ULM at ASU (SBC SERIES ONLY): ASU leads 4-1
A-STATE vs. SUN BELT CONFERENCE: Arkansas State is 64-63-1 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference. Since the league's inaugural football season in 2001, the Red Wolves hold a 35-36 on-field record against all opponents that have been a member of the league. Against current members of the conference, ASU is 30-32 since 2001. The Red Wolves hold their most all-time victories against Louisiana-Monroe with 18. The Red Wolves have defeated every team in the SBC since the football league was formed in 2001.
AN A-STATE VICTORY WOULD . . .: Give the Red Wolves their best record through six games since 2008 when they were 4-2 . . . Give the Red Wolves a 2-0 start to Sun Belt Conference play for the first time since 2008 . . . Give the Red Wolves two consecutive road victories for the first time since 2006 . . . Mark its first three-game winning streak since 2006 . . . Give the Red Wolves back-to-back road wins over Sun Belt opponents for the first time in school history . . . Improve its all-time record against ULM to 19-14 . . . Snap a three-game skid against the Warhawks when playing in Monroe.
ON THIS DATE: Arkansas State stands 5-4 all-time when playing on Oct. 8, including a 3-1 home record and 2-3 road mark. The Red Wolves last played on the date in 1994, falling 26-0 to Louisiana-Lafayette on the road. A-State's last victory on Oct. 8 came 13-12 at Akron in 1988, but ASU has also defeated Lamar, Louisiana Tech, Ouachita Baptist and Memphis on the date.
THROUGH FIVE: Arkansas State holds its best record through five games since the 2008 season when it was 3-2 as well. The last time ASU started a season 4-2 or better through six games was 2008 when it held a 4-2 record.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Arkansas State snapped a five-game road skid with its victory over Western Kentucky. The last time ASU won two road games in a row was 2006, but it has never won back-to-back road games against Sun Belt Conference opponents.
ON A ROLL: ASU won back-to-back games for the first time since defeating Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee on Oct. 23 and Nov. 2, respectively, last season. The last time A-State won three consecutive games was during the 2006 campaign.
UNBUCKLE THE BELT: With its victory over WKU, A-State improved to 7-4 all-time in Sun Belt Conference openers. The Red Wolves snapped a two-game skid in Sun Belt Conference openers with the victory. ASU played Western Kentucky in its SBC opener for the first time ever. The last time ASU started conference play 2-0 was 2008.
APLIN NAMED SBC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Junior quarterback Ryan Aplin was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week following the WKU game. Aplin received the honor for the fourth time of his career, also earning the recognition three times last season as a sophomore. He is the second ASU player this year to receive one of the league's weekly honors, joining kicker Brian Davis who was named the Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 26.
APLIN SHINES: Ryan Aplin put up some of the best numbers of his career last game, including a school-record 37 completions that topped his old record of 34 set last season against Indiana. Aplin also recorded 396 passing yards, which was the second most of his career and the fourth most in school history. Aplin posted his first career reception as well, which went 23 yards for a touchdown.
APLIN GOES OVER 5,000: Ryan Aplin went over 5,000 passing yards for his career during ASU's game against Western Kentucky. He currently has 5,213 career passing yards to rank fourth in school history. He needs 171 yards to pass James Hamilton (1968-71) for the third most in school history.
HILLS HIGHLIGHTS: Senior safety A.J. Hills recorded a career-high 11 tackles last game, which is also the most by an ASU player this season. Hills has now led A-State in tackles in three of five games, has a team-best 37 total stops and is ranked No. 10 in the Sun Belt in tackles.
STOPPING THE STREAK: The Arkansas State defense, which has not surrendered 100 yards rushing to an individual player this season, was the first to hold WKU running back Bobby Rainey under 100 yards this season. Dating back to last season, Rainey entered the game with eight consecutive 100-yard rushing performances. ASU also held Virginia Tech's David Wilson, the nation's seventh leading rusher, under 100 yards earlier this year.
TWICE AS NICE: The Red Wolves are one of just five teams in the nation to record at least 600 yards of total offense in two or more games this season, joining Georgia Tech, Houston, Oregon and Wisconsin. A-State piled up 646 yards of total offense, the fourth most in school history, last game against UCA. ASU also posted 611 yards of total offense, the eighth most in school history, against Memphis.
TOP 50: Arkansas State is ranked among the top 50 teams in the nation in 10 statistical categories, including total offense (22) and total defense (36). ASU also ranks in the top 50 in tackles for loss (13), sacks (25), net punting (47), pass offense (18), pass efficiency (38), scoring defense (39), punt returns (40) and pass defense (43).
THE RETURN GAME: Senior WR Rod Hall finished the WKU with 46 kickoff return yards, making him the ninth player in school history to record over 1,000 career KO return yards in a career with 1,015 to his credit. Senior WR Dwayne Frampton had a career-long 43 yard punt return, which was also the longest by an ASU player since 2008. His 50 yards total was also the most of his career.
TWO OVER 100: Senior WR Dwayne Frampton recorded 9 receptions for 126 yards and junior WR Josh Jarboe hauled in 9 passes for 112 yards last game against WKU, marking the fist time two ASU players have posted over 100 yards receiving in the same game since 1997. RB Austin Tinsley and WR Lenny Johnson were the last duo to accomplish the feat with 107 and 104 yards, respectively, against UL Lafayette on Oct. 4, 1997.
1,000 YARD CLUB: Junior wide receiver Taylor Stockemer and senior receiver Dwayne Frampton both went over 1,000 receiving yards for their careers this season. Stockemer accomplished the feat during the Virginia Tech game and Frampton against UCA. Stockemer has a team-high 1,212 yards and Frampton 1,197 as both near top-10 marks at ASU. Steve Lockhart (1969-71) is currently ranked 10th for career receiving yards at ASU with 1,216.
FRAMPTON EXTENDS STREAK: Senior wide receiver Dwayne Frampton caught 9 passes for 128 yards against WKU, extending his streak of consecutive games with at least one reception to 17. He has caught a pass in every game he has played at A-State. Frampton is ranked tied for 23rd in the nation in receptions (6.8 rpg) and 40th in receiving yards (91.8 ypg).
PICK IT OFF: While the Red Wolves didn't record an interception in either of their first two games, they've now posted a combined five over the last three. Cornerbacks Darron Edwards and Darryl Feemster both had a pick against Virginia Tech and safety Sterling Young returned his first career interception 31 yards for a touchdown against UCA. Feemster picked up his second interception against WKU and redshirt freshman linebacker Qushaun Lee was responsible for the first of his career.
DAVIS HONORED: After breaking the ASU and Sun Belt Conference records for both field goals made in a game (6) and points scored by kick (23) during the Red Wolves' game against Central Arkansas, sophomore kicker Brian Davis received numerous honors. Davis, who was only one field goal and one point shy tying NCAA records, was named a Lou Groza Star of the Week, the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week and the College Football Performance Awards' National Placekicker of the Week. Davis was a perfect 6-of-6 on his field goal attempts and 5-of-5 on his extra point attempts. He has now made 8-of-10 field goals on the season and is 12-of-12 on extra points.
GETTING TO THE QUARTERBACK: Dating back to last season, senior defensive end Brandon Joiner has recorded at least 0.5 sacks in eight of ASU's last 10 games. In fact, 8.5 of his 9.0 career sacks at A-State have come over the Red Wolves last 10 games. He has at least a partial sack in four of ASU's first five games this season. Joiner recorded a career-high 2.5 sacks against Middle Tennessee in the 10th game of last year.
300-PLUS: Dating back to last season, Arkansas State has posted at least 300 yards of total offense 16 of its last 17 games. ASU's school-record 14 consecutive games with over 300 yards of total offense came to an end against Virginia Tech earlier this season when the Hokies limited the Red Wolves to 269 yards. ASU posted over 300 yards of total offense in just six games the season prior to Hugh Freeze taking over as offensive coordinator in 2010.
ECLIPSING 200/300: Junior quarterback Ryan Aplin passed for at least 200 yards for the 15th time of his career last game with 396 yards to his credit against WKU, and all 15 games have come over his last 19 played. Aplin has recorded over 300 yards of total offense eight times during his career, including the Illinois, UCA and WKU games this season.
HOME SWEET HOME: Arkansas State posted an actual on-field winning record at ASU Stadium from 2005-2010. ASU is now 26-7 at ASU Stadium since the 2005 season. The Red Wolves actual on-field record all-time at ASU Stadium is 118-70-1 since opening in 1974.
CROWD SUPPORT: Arkansas State's first two home games this season were played in front of the largest back-to-back crowds in ASU Stadium history. The 29,872 in attendance for the Memphis game was the second largest in ASU Stadium history and the 27,918 announced for the UCA game was the fourth largest. ASU Stadium reached 94 percent of its maximum capacity for the Red Wolves' first two home games combined. Based on attendance sorted by percent of stadium capacity, ASU ranks No. 41 in the nation.
MANNING AWARD STAR OF THE WEEK: Following his performance in Arkansas State's 47-3 victory over Memphis, quarterback Ryan Aplin was selected as one of eight quarterbacks from across the nation to be named to the Manning Award Stars of the Week list. Aplin completed 19-of-21 passes for 274 yards and three touchdowns in the victory over the Tigers. His completion rate of 90.5% was the second highest in school and Sun Belt Conference history.
JARBOE HONORED: Following the Memphis game, junior wide receiver Josh Jarboe was selected as one of nine wide receivers from across the nation to be named to the honorable mention list for the College Football Performance Awards' Wide Receiver of the Week award. Jarboe hauled in seven passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns in the Red Wolves' 47-3 victory over Memphis. Jarboe's 162 receiving yards ranked as the 10th-best single game performance all-time at ASU and is the 13th-highest total in the nation this season. His 162-yard performance was also the best by an ASU player since 1999. Jarboe is ranked 39th in the nation in receiving yards this season, averaging 86 per game.
DIALING IT UP FROM LONG DISTANCE: Sophomore kicker Bobby Zalud kicked a career-best 56 yard field goal against Memphis that tied the third longest in school history and ties the longest in the NCAA this season. His 56-yard field goal is also the second longest in Sun Belt Conference history behind only a 57-yard make by North Texas' Jason Ball in 2001. Zalud also had a 49 yard field goal against Illinois in the season opener and is now 2-of-3 on his field goal attempts this year.
97th SEASON UNDER WAY: Arkansas State kicked off off its 97th season of football on Sept. 3 at Illinois. ASU now holds a 409-453-37 record since the inaugural 1911 season and has played in seven bowl games. A-State did not field a football team from 1942-44 due to World War II. ASU also didn't have a team in 1918 as World War I was ending.
NATIONAL COVERAGE: Arkansas State will play at least one nationally-televised game for the third consecutive year in 2011. The Red Wolves will host a nationally-televised game for the second straight season as well, catching Florida International at ASU Stadium Oct. 18 on ESPN2.
RIMINGTON AWARD WATCH LIST: Senior center Tom Castilaw is on the 2011 Rimington Award Watch List issued annually to the nation's top center, making him the second ASU player to ever earn the preseason recognition. Tanner Jenkins was also on the list in 2006. Castilaw was a 2010 Second Team All-Sun Belt Conference selection after starting the final 11 games of the season.
LOMBARDI AWARD WATCH LIST: Senior linebacker Demario Davis is the fifth player in school to be named to the Lombardi Award Watch List, issued to the top college lineman at the end of the season. Davis, a 2010 First Team All-Sun Belt choice, joins Alex Carrington (2009), Matt Mandich (2008), Tanner Jenkins (2006) and Garry Johnson (2001 and 2002) as A-State players that have been named to the award's watch list.
BILETNIKOFF AWARD WATCH LIST: Senior wide receiver Dwayne Frampton and junior wide receiver Josh Jarboe are the first player in school history to ever be named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List for the nation's top receiver.
PRESEASON ALL-SUN BELT RECOGNITION: Sixteen different ASU players have been named to at least one of the major preseason publication's preseason All-Sun Belt Conference teams. The Red Wolves have at least one player on a preseason all-conference squad at 12 different positions, including quarterback (Ryan Aplin), running back (Derek Lawson), wide receiver (Dwayne Frampton, Allen Muse, Taylor Stockemer), center (Tom Castilaw), offensive tackle (James Williams), defensive tackle (Dorvus Woods, Amos Draper), linebacker (Demario Davis, Nathan Herrold), defensive end (Brandon Joiner), linebacker (Demario Davis), cornerback (Darron Edwards), safety (Kelcie McCray) and punt returner (Rod Hall).