|A-STATE FOOTBALL GAME NOTES: at GoDaddy.com Bowl|
ON TAP: Arkansas State, the back-to-back Sun Belt Conference champions, will appear in the GoDaddy.com Bowl for the second consecutive year and put its seven-game winning streak on the line when it faces No. 25 Kent State on Sunday, Jan. 6, at 8 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPN and can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Jonesboro area with the live radio broadcast accessible through the Arkansas State athletics Web site (AStateRedWolves.com).
THE PRINCIPALS: Winners in eight of its last nine games, including the last seven in a row, A-State holds a 9-3 overall record and 7-1 Sun Belt Conference record. The Red Wolves claimed their second consecutive Sun Belt Conference title with a 45-0 victory Middle Tennessee in their regular-season finale. The Red Wolves are receiving votes in both major polls and are listed at No. 37 in the latest BCS rankings. Kent State will bring an 11-2 record and No. 25 ranking the AP Top 25 Poll into the GoDaddy.com Bowl. The Golden Flashes are also No. 25 in the BCS rankings.
BY THE NUMBERS . . .
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.
INTERIM HEAD COACH JOHN THOMPSON: John Thompson served as the Red Wolves' defensive coordinator in 2012 and will act as interim head coach during their Jan. 6 game against Kent State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Current head coach Bryan Harsin has also announced Thompson will remain in his defensive coordinator position as part of Harsin's staff. Thompson, a coaching veteran with over 30 years experience at the collegiate level as both an assistant and head coach, oversaw Arkansas State's 2012 defense that ranked first in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring defense and third in total defense.
HIGH MARKS: Arkansas State head football coach Bryan Harsin was ranked as the sixth best hire in the nation among 26 new coaches, according to CBSSports.com. 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."
ASU ANNOUNCES FOOTBALL FACILITY PROJECT: Arkansas State University announced a $22 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, at an 11 a.m. press conference held Sept. 6 at the current ASU Football Facility . . . The new football operations building's first floor will house A-State's locker room, state-of-the-art strength and conditioning and sports medicine centers, a players lounge and equipment room. The second floor will feature coaching and administrative offices, team meeting rooms, a history and heritage showroom and a team film room with theatre seating. The indoor practice facility will run east and west and be connected to the north side of the operations building . . . The facility will have a brick exterior and feature an outdoor plaza facing the field on the building's second level. The interior will have a strong Red Wolves' theme with black and red dominating the esthetic appearance.
IT'S ALL IN THE NAME: In recognition of a $5 million contribution by Liberty Bank, the ASU Board of Trustees announced Sept. 8 that Liberty Bank Stadium is the new name of the football stadium at Arkansas State University. The naming rights to the stadium are for the next 15 years, as announced at the newly-named facility just prior to kickoff of the Red Wolves' home football game against the Memphis Tigers.
A-STATE NAMES NEW AD: Arkansas State University Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson announced Sept. 19 that Terry Mohajir, a 20-year veteran leader in collegiate athletics with a diverse background as an administrator, coach, student-athlete and city government participant, has been named A-State's 11th Director of Athletics. An Arkansas State University alumnus, Mohajir's (pronounced MO-HA-JUR) career path went through three other NCAA Division I institutions, including the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Florida Atlantic and Kansas, before leading him back to his alma mater. The Overland Park, Kansas native has been involved with major fundraising campaigns at multiple universities, while also overseeing corporate sales, marketing promotions and ticket sales. He most recently served the last 13 months as Kansas' Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to his time with the Jayhawks, he spent a seven-year stint as Florida Atlantic's Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Relations from 2004-11 after working at UMKC from 1997-2004 as its Assistant Director of Athletics for External Relations.
98th SEASON UNDER WAY: Arkansas State kicked off its 98th season of football Sept. 1 at Oregon. ASU now holds a 425-457-37 record since the inaugural 1911 season and is playing in its ninth bowl game. 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.
THE ASU-KENT STATE SERIES: Sunday's meeting in the GoDaddy.com Bowl will be the first time Arkansas State and Kent State have played each other.
A-STATE vs. THE MID-AMERICAN CONFERENCE: While Arkansas State has never played Kent State, it has faced seven other current members of the MAC. The Red Wolves are 6-13 all-time against current members of the league, but eight of those games have been played against Northern Illinois. A-State is 1-7 against the Huskies and a combined 5-6 against Akron (1-1), Bowling Green (0-1), Central Michigan (1-0), Eastern Michigan (2-1), Toledo (0-2) and Western Michigan (1-1). The last time ASU played a MAC team was in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl, where it suffered a 38-20 setback to Huskies. The Red Wolves last victory against a MAC team was also against Northern Illinois, a 28-21 win in 1995.
IN THE POLLS: Arkansas State is receiving votes in both major polls, including 20 in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll for the most in school history as an NCAA FBS member. The Red Wolves are also receiving 13 votes in the AP Top 25 Poll. A-State is No. 34 in the CBSSports.com 120 rankings, while it is No. 37 in the latest BCS rankings.
BOWL HISTORY: Not including this year's GoDaddy.com Bowl, Arkansas State has played in nine bowl games all-time and holds a 2-6-1 record in those contests. A-State fell 38-20 against Northern Illinois in the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl and dropped a 31-19 decision versus Southern Miss in the 2005 New Orleans Bowl, which was the first time since 1970 that the Red Wolves played in a bowl game. A-State played in seven bowl games from 1951-70, including the Pecan Bowl (1970, 1969, 1968), Tangerine Bowl (1954, 1952) and Refrigerator Bowl (1952, 1951). The Tangerine Bowl was played in Orlando, Fla., and is now know as the Capital One Bowl. The Pecan Bowl was played in Arlington, Texas, and the Refrigerator Bowl in Evansville, Ind.
AN A-STATE VICTORY WOULD . . . : Extend ASU's winning streak to eight games, its second longest since 1986 . . . Give it 10 victories, tying the fourth most in school history (it had 10 in 1951 and 2011) and matching the most ever since joining the FBS in 1992 . . . Give it at least 10 wins for the sixth time in school history, but back-to-back seasons with double-figure wins for the first time ever . . . Give it a bowl victory for the first time ever as an FBS member and its first at any level since 1970 . . . Mark the Red Wolves first victory over a ranked team since they moved to FBS in 1992.
SUN BELT CHAMPIONS: Arkansas State claimed its second consecutive outright Sun Belt Conference championship in 2012. Including this season, 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. 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 has secured back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1986-87. ASU won 10 games last season and its 19 combined regular-season victories since 2011 are its most ever over a two-year span, topping its 18 in 1974 and 1975.
WINNING LEAGUE RECORD: With a 7-1 league record this year, A-State posted a winning Sun Belt Conference record for the fifth time since the league's inaugural season in 2011. ASU has put together two straight on-field winning records against Sun Belt Conference opponents for the first time since 2005-06.
SECOND MOST: Arkansas State's nine victories through its first 12 games are its second most ever since joining the FBS in 1992, behind only its 10 total wins recorded in 2011. With nine victories, ASU has secured its third winning season since 1992 as well, joining the 2011 squad that went 10-3 and the 1995 team that posted a 6-5 record.
15 OF 16: Arkansas State has won 15 of its last 16 conference games dating back to the 2011 season, including its last seven in a row.
BOWL ELIGIBLE: Arkansas State is bowl eligible for the fifth time over the last eight seasons, including the last two in a row. Since joining the FBS in 1992, the only year ASU became bowl eligible faster was the 2011 campaign when it reached six victories in eight games.
TWICE AS NICE: Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Aplin became just the second player in Sun Belt history to be named the conference's Player of the Year two times, joining former North Texas defensive lineman Brandon Kennedy (2002-03). Along with former running back Danny Smith (2002), Aplin is one of two ASU players to ever earn the conference's highest football honor.
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Wide receiver J.D. McKissic was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year. McKissic became the second Arkansas State player to ever be named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, joining former running back Reggie Arnold (2006).
TEN EARN ALL-CONFERENCE RECOGNITION: Arkansas State had a league-high 10 players named All-Sun Belt Conference this year. The Red Wolves had at least 10 players earn All-SBC recognition for the third consecutive year and the sixth time overall since the league's inaugural 2001 season. A-State had five offensive, four defensive and one special teams players earn a spot on the team. The full list can be found on page 2.
HOME SWEET HOME: With a 5-1 home mark this season, Arkansas State secured its eighth consecutive winning record at Liberty Bank Stadium dating back to 2005. ASU is now 36-8 at Liberty Bank Stadium since the 2005 season and has won 11 of its last 12 home games. The Red Wolves actual on-field record all-time at Liberty Bank Stadium is 128-71-1 since it opened in 1974. ASU's six home wins last season were its most since 1985.
ATTENDANCE FIGURES: Arkansas State's average home attendance this 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 on Dec. 1 was the largest in Liberty Bank Stadium history, and ASU had two home crowds over 30,000 in the same season for the first time ever.
ROAD WARRIORS: Arkansas State has won eight consecutive road Sun Belt Conference games, its longest streak ever as a member of any league. The Red Wolves went 4-0 in Sun Belt road games both this season and last year.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT: Arkansas State is one of 40 teams in the nation to play at least eight true freshman this season. Three true freshmen have started at least one game for ASU, including Rocky Hayes, Bryce Giddens and Chris Humes. Additionally, A-State has played 17 combined true and redshirt freshmen this year.
A NEW START: Arkansas State has 16 players who have started their first career game at the school this season, which ranks tied for the 16th most in the nation with four other teams. Hawai'i leads the nation with 32 first-time starters this year. Players with their first career start at ASU this season include David Oku (RB), Rocky Hayes (RB/WR), J.D. McKissic (WR), Aaron Williams (OL), Steven Haunga (OL), Bryce Giddens (OL), Alan Wright (OL), Ronnell Wright (DL), Shervarius Jackson (DE), Chris Stone (DE), Eddie Porter (LB/DE), Andrew Tryon (CB), Artez Brown (CB), Chris Humes (S), Cole Lorigan (S) and Darion Griswold (TE).
ABOVE AVERAGE: The A-State offense is averaging 6.5 yards per play and 481.8 yards per game, both of which would break the school record for a single season. The current school records for a season are 6.0 yards per play (2008) and 447.8 yards per game (2011).
300-PLUS: Dating back to the 2010 season, Arkansas State has posted at least 300 yards of total offense 35 of its last 37 games. ASU's 12-game streak with over 300 yards total offense came to an end just two games shy of the school record against Nebraska earlier this season.
LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD: After scoring 33 or more points in nine games this year, A-State has now posted at least 30 points in 18 of its last 23 regular-season games dating back to last season. The Red Wolves' 10 games with at least 30 points are their most since 1951 when it hit the total 10 times as well. ASU has never scored 30 points in 11 different games in the same season.
THAT'S OFFENSIVE: A-State's 634 yards of total offense against Alcorn State was the seventh most in school history and marked the second time this year the Red Wolves recorded over 600 yards. They also piled up 619 yards against Memphis, which were the most against an FBS opponent since recording a school-record 681 against Louisiana-Lafayette in 2007. ASU has now posted at least 500 yards total offense in seven of its first 12 games and 400 or more in nine games.
"PICKING" IT UP: While the A-State defense recorded only one interception over its first three games, it has now posted 11 picks over the last nine games. The Red Wolves have recorded at least one interception in seven of the last 10 games, including a season-high three against Louisiana-Lafayette. Senior linebacker Nathan Herrold has a team-best three interceptions. At the same time, ASU has eight players with an interception to tie the 15th most in the nation.
ALL-PURPOSE THREAT: While junior running back David Oku has recorded just three 100-yard rushing games, his rushing and receiving total combined has exceeded 100 yards in seven games. Those games include Oregon (81 rush, 21 receiving, 102 total), Memphis (111 rush, 8 receiving, 119 total), WKU (79 rush, 27 receiving, 106 total), UL Lafayette (83 rush, 24 receiving, 107 total), ULM (131 rush, 6 receiving, 137 total), Troy (93 rush, 43 receiving, 136 total) and Middle Tennessee (102 rush, 10 receiving, 102 total). He has caught at least one pass in all but one game and is ranked third in the Sun Belt Conference in all-purpose yards at 104.5 per game.
BEST TOTALS SINCE 2008/1975: Twelve games into the season, senior running back David Oku's 1,024 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns are the most by an ASU running back since Reggie Arnold recorded 1,074 yards in 2008 and David Hines scored 16 touchdowns in 1975. Oku leads the team in rushing yards and is ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference. He became the 13th player in ASU history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. His 15 rushing touchdowns are the fourth most in school history.
ATTACKING THE SUN BELT RECORD BOOKS: Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin broke the Sun Belt Conference record for total offense career yards during the FIU game and passing yards during the Troy contest, and now he nears the league's all-time record for completions in a career. With 888 career completions to his credit, Aplin needs just seven more to move past Troy's Corey Robinson (894 from 2009-current) as the Sun Belt's all-time leader in completions. Additionally, he is ranked second all-time in the league touchdown passes (66) and third in rushing yards by a quarterback (1,761).
MORE OFTEN THAN NOT: Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin has tossed at least one touchdown in 36 of his last 40 games dating back to his freshman season. Aplin has also thrown for at least 200 yards 32 times in his career and all 32 have come over ASU's last 39 games. Additionally, he has 19 career games with over 300 yards total offense.
ACTIVE APLIN: Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin is ranked among the top active players in the NCAA in several career statistics, including:
FIVE MORE SCHOOL RECORDS: Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin has set several new school records this year, giving him 25 combined game, season and career records at ASU . . . His single-game records include most plays, total offense, most average yards per game, passes attempted, completion percentage and completions . . . His single-season records include most plays, total offense, passes attempted, completions, touchdown passes, highest completion percentage and most passing yards per game . . . His career records include total offense, total plays, most average yards per game, completions, pass attempts, highest completion percentage, touchdown passes and most passing yards per game.
APLIN NAMED A FINALIST FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD: Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin was named as one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award on Oct. 18 . . . Aplin was one of 30 original candidates from across the nation for the award, which annually recognizes an NCAA FBS senior with notable achievements in areas of community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the prestigious Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
ON A ROLL: Senior wide receiver Taylor Stockemer has recorded at least one reception in his last 41 games played, ranking as the third most in the NCAA among all players. West Virginia's Tavon Austin has caught a pass in 42 straight games and Duke's Conner Vernon leads the nation with a catch in 48 straight games.
FINDING THE END ZONE: Arkansas State has scored 56 touchdowns this season, which is only one shy of the school record set in 1951. Led by David Oku's 16 scores, the Red Wolves have 15 players that have scored a touchdown this season.
AT LEAST FOUR: Redshirt freshman receiver J.D. McKissic has recorded at least four receptions in every game this season, including a career-high 12 two of the last three games. He now has a team-high 92 catches to place him second in the Sun Belt Conference and tied for 11th in the nation in receptions. McKissic also has a team-best 909 receiving yards, which ranks fifth in the SBC. His 92 receptions are the most ever by an Arkansas State and Sun Belt Conference freshman and also the second most in the nation by a freshman this season.
CAREER YEAR: Twelve games into the season, all of ASU's top 14 tacklers that aren't newcomers have already posted the most stops of their career for a single season. Among the 14 players with over 50 tackles are senior linebacker Nathan Herrold (109 this year, 78 in 2010), sophomore linebacker Qushaun Lee (87 this year, 49 in 2011), senior defensive back Don Jones (66 this year, 54 in 2011), sophomore safety Sterling Young (70 this year, 51 in 2011), junior defensive lineman Ryan Carrethers (63 this year, 35 combined for 2010-11), senior defensive end Tim Starson (67 this year, 39 combined for 2009-11) and Nick Nelms (59 this year, 41 in 2011).
PLAYING IN THE BACKFIELD: Senior defensive end Tim Starson has a team-high 12.5 tackles for loss, but senior linebacker Nathan Herrold isn't far behind with 10.0. Herrold has recorded at least a partial tackle for loss in 10 of the last 11 games, while Starson has at least a partial TFL in nine games. Both players are ranked among the top 12 in the Sun Belt Conference in the stat.
CONTROLLING THE INTERIOR: Junior Ryan Carrethers recorded a career-high 10 tackles twice this year from his interior defensive lineman position. Not only is Carrethers ranked sixth on the team and tied for 38th in the Sun Belt in tackles among all players, he easily leads the league in tackles by all interior defensive linemen with 63 (5.2 per game) to his credit.
HERROLDED PEFORMANCE: Senior linebacker Nathan Herrold recorded a career-high 17 tackles against South Alabama, and he has five games this year (11 at both Oregon and Nebraska and 10 against Troy and Middle Tennessee) and eight for his career with double-figure stops. He now has a team-high 109 tackles, placing him third in the Sun Belt Conference and tied for 46th in the nation in tackles per game (9.1). Herrold has also recorded at least a partial tackle for loss in nine of ASU's last 10 games. His 109 tackles are the most by an ASU player since former Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year Tyrell Johnson (safety) recorded 112 in 2005.
HERROLD EARNS ACADEMIC HONOR: Senior linebacker Nathan Herrold, the Red Wolves leading tackler with a career-best 109 stops this season, has been named a First Team Capital One Academic All-District VI football selection. Herrold has started every game this season for the Red Wolves while also holding down a 3.69 cumulative GPA in Exercise Science. Herrold is also an ASU Athletic Director's Honor Roll and Sun Belt Conference Commissioner's List member.
TACKLING TIM: Senior defensive end Tim Starson has recorded 67 tackles this season, the most by an ASU defensive lineman since Jon Bradley (currently a GA coach on the ASU staff) recorded 68 in 2002. Starson posted a season-high eight tackles in two different games and has at least five stops in eight games.
KICK IT INTO GEAR: Junior kicker Brian Davis has made multiple field goals in five of ASU's 12 games this season and 11 times during his career. He needs one field goal to take sole ownership of the second most in school history for a career.
LOU GROZA AWARD SEMIFINALIST: The Palm Beach County Sports Commission announced Nov. 5 that Arkansas State placekicker Brian Davis was named one of 20 semifinalists for the 2012 Lou Groza Award presented by the Orange Bowl Committee. A junior from Brentwood, Tenn., Davis has made 16-of-20 field goal attempts for an .800 percentage and scored a team-high 99 points this season.
GETTING DEFENSIVE: The Red Wolves shut out two opponents this season, including an 8-4 Middle Tennessee squad in the regular-season finale, for the first time since 1987. With its 56-0 win over Alcorn State, ASU recorded its first shutout since defeating Mississippi Valley State 61-0 in its 2009 season opener. ASU limited Alcorn State to just 2.2 yards per play, which tied the fifth lowest average for a game in Sun Belt Conference history. ASU's defense allowed just 130 yards, which is the fewest since giving up 69 to Mississippi Valley State in 2009 as well. The Red Wolves also held Memphis and Middle Tennessee under 300 yards total offense, limiting the Tigers to 293 yards and the Blue Radiers to just 203.
HOMECOMING HISTORY: Arkansas State improved to 57-27-1 all-time in Homecoming contests with its victory over South Alabama. The Red Wolves have now won nine of their last 10 Homecoming games dating back to the 2003 season.
KNOCKING OFF THE FAVORITE: Arkansas State's 34-20 victory over FIU earlier this year marked the third consecutive year the Red Wolves defeated the top pick in the Sun Belt Conference preseason coaches poll. ASU also defeated preseason favorite FIU last season and Middle Tennessee in 2010.
APLIN EARNS SBC WEEKLY HONOR FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK: Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week after recording a school-record 454 yards of total offense in the Red Wolves' 41-34 win against Troy. Aplin completed 28-of-42 attempts for a .667 percentage, a season-high 369 yards and a career-high four touchdown passes. Aplin also rushed for a season-high 85 yards, with a 7.1 average per attempt.
APLIN NAMED SUN BELT CONFERENCE OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week after helping lead ASU to a 45-23 victory over ULM. Aplin accounted for three touchdowns and 378 yards total offense, including a season-high 334 passing yards. Aplin completed 26-of-34 attempts for a .765 percentage and threw two touchdown passes covering 35 and 70 yards.
COLLECTING HONORS: Junior kicker Brian Davis picked up several honors after connecting on 5-of-5 field goals and scoring 20 points against Louisiana-Lafayette, including Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, Lou Groza Award Star of the Week and College Football Performance Awards National Placekicker of the Week.
HERROLD NAMED SBC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior linebacker Nathan Herrold was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week following the Red Wolves' 36-29 victory over South Alabama. Herrold registered a career-high 17 tackles and posted his first career pass interception. Herrold's 17 stops in the contest were the most by a Sun Belt Conference player and tied for the 13th most tackles in a game nationally this season. His tackles output against South Alabama represented the most by an A-State player since 2005 when Tyrell Johnson racked up a SBC record 25 stops against North Texas. Herrold's recognition represented the second time this season an A-State defensive player has claimed a league weekly honor. Sophomore linebacker Qushaun Lee earned the league's weekly distinction the week prior (Oct. 8).
LEE NAMED SBC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore linebacker Qushaun Lee was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 8. Lee recorded a game-high 12 tackles, an interception and a pass break-up during Arkansas State's 34-20 victory at Florida International. Lee's 12 tackles were the second most of his career, just three short of his 15 recorded against Nebraska earlier this season.
FCS WINNING STREAK EXTENDED: Arkansas State extended its winning streak against FCS opponents to eight games with a 56-0 win over Alcorn State earlier this season. The Red Wolves have won those eight games by a combined 426-60 score. ASU improved to 19-4 against FCS opponents since moving to the FBS in 1992.
CFPA RECOGNIZES APLIN: The College Football Performance Awards recognized senior Ryan Aplin as an Honorable Mention National Quarterback of the Week following A-State's victory over Alcorn State. Aplin only played in the first half, leading ASU to 42-0 lead at the break with 198 yards passing, another 24 rushing and three touchdown passes. Aplin completed 12-of-13 pass attempts for a school-record .923 completion percentage. His three touchdown tosses gave him 50 for his career, making him ASU's all-time leader in the stat and one of just four players in Sun Belt history to record at least 50 touchdown passes. Aplin ended the game with 222 yards of total offense.
SULLIVENT HONORED: Senior punter Neely Sullivent was announced as a College Football Performance Awards national honorable mention punter of the week following the Nebraska game. Sullivent averaged 48 yards per punt against the Huskers, almost a full 10 yards more than his season average of 38.4 entering the game. He recorded his second punt of the season to travel over 50 yards and also posted his first punt inside the 20. Sullivent raised has season average to 41.8 yards per punt to rank him third in the Sun Belt Conference.
HIGHLY TOUTED RECRUITING CLASS: With a Parade All-American, Under Armour All-American, NJCAA All-American, 23 players that earned either junior college all-conference or high school all-state recognition and 18 players rated at least three stars by one or more of the major recruiting sources, the 2012 ASU signing class could be considered one of the best in the history of the ASU football program. Arkansas State had the top-rated class in the Sun Belt Conference by Rivals.com, Scout.com, ESPN.com and 247Sports.com.
SENIOR BOWL WATCHLIST: ASU has two players on the inaugural Senior Bowl Watch list. Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin and senior wide out Josh Jarboe were added to the watch list on August 24.
APLIN ON NUMEROUS WATCH LISTS: An All-America and Heisman candidate, senior quarterback Ryan Aplin has garnered a significant amount of national attention this preseason as he is listed on the Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List, Davey O'Brien Award Watch List, Johnny Unitas Award Watch List and the Manning Award Watch List. Video, action photos and biographical information for Aplin are all available on a Facebook Page, maintained by the ASU Sports Information Department, called "Ryan Aplin All-America and Heisman Campaign." Fans and media will be able to follow Aplin's 2012 season on the page, where updates will be posted throughout fall camp and the upcoming season.