TUSCON, Ariz. (12/29/18) – The Arkansas State football team lost to Nevada 16-13 in overtime in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl Saturday afternoon at Arizona Stadium.
Blake Grupe sent the game into overtime with a 32-yard field goal as time expired in regulation and then he hit a 24-yard attempt in A-State’s first possession in the overtime period to go up 13-10.
The A-State defense put Nevada in a third-and-seven situation on the Wolf Pack’s first possession in overtime, but a check down pass from Ty Gangi to Reagan Roberson resulted in an 11-yard touchdown for the winning the score.
“I’m obviously disappointed with the loss,” said A-State head coach Blake Anderson. “I thought our guys worked extremely hard during the break. Every practice they went out there and gave me what I needed them to in order to get the job done and honestly I feel like I let them done. My job as the head coach and the offensive coordinator is to get points on the board and we just let too many slip away.”
Arkansas State led throughout much of the contest, but Nevada took the lead late in the fourth quarter with a 10-play, 74-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 1-yard run by Devonte Lee to go up 10-7 with 1:06 left in regulation.
Justice Hansen led the Red Wolves down the field on the ensuing possession with passes of 17 and 18 yards to Omar Bayless and Justin McInnis to put give Grupe an opportunity to kick the game-tying field goal as time expired in regulation.
Hansen finished the afternoon 26-of-46 passing for 275 yards, while Bayless led the receiving corps with five catches and 103 yards. Warren Wand controlled the run game with 11 attempts for 117 yards and now stands third on A-State’s all-time rushing list.
A strong defensive effort controlled much of the first half for both teams. A-State held the Wolf Pack to just 74 yards of total offense in the half and their only scoring play was a 39-yard field goal with 5:07 remaining to go up 3-0.
A-State responded with their only scoring play of the half when Marcel Murray punched the ball in from two yards out to take a 7-3 advantage into the halftime break.
The defense continued to provide a park in the second half when B.J. Edmonds and Jerry Jacobs each snagged interceptions in the third quarter, but the offense was unable to capitalize on either turnover.
Tajhea chambers led the way for the Red Wolves defensively with nine tackles, while Edmonds followed with eight. The defensive held Nevada to just 285 yards of total offense, while the Red Wolves totaled 499 yards of offense, including 224 on the ground.