- GAME 7: Arkansas State (2-4) at Indiana (3-2)
Oct. 16, 2010 - Memorial Stadium (52,929) - Bloomington, Ind. - 11:00 A.M. (CT)
RADIO: EAB Sports Network (KFIN 107.9 FM, FLAGSHIP)
ON TAP: Arkansas State remains on the road this week for its third non-conference outing this year, facing Indiana at Memorial Stadium on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. (CT) in an ESPNU televised game. 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 website (AStateRedWolves.com).
THE PRINCIPALS: Arkansas State snapped a two-game skid with a 24-19 victory over North Texas last week, while Indiana is currently on a two-game slide after dropping back-to-back games against nationally-ranked Michigan (35-42) and Ohio State (10-38). Both teams feature high-powered offenses averaging over 400 yards and 25 points per game. A-State and Indiana are both also giving up over 400 yards of offense per game, but the Red Wolves are coming off their best game defensively this year. A-State held North Texas to a season-low 292 yards last Saturday, which was also the fewest yards allowed by ASU this season.
HEAD COACH STEVE ROBERTS: Arkansas State head coach Steve Roberts is in his ninth year at Arkansas State after leading the Red Wolves to the 2005 Sun Belt Conference Championship and to bowl eligible seasons three of the last five years. During his first eight seasons as the Red Wolves' head coach, he guided ASU to 41 wins for its most over an eight-year span at the school since 1985-1992. Roberts was named the 2005 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year. Under Roberts, the Red Wolves have had 70 All-Sun Belt Conference selections, a Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year, SBC Offensive Player of the Year, two SBC Defensive Players of the Year and an SBC Newcomer of the Year.
DOUBLE DUTY: A-State head coach Steve Roberts is one of just 12 coaches in the FBS that in addition to handling responsibilities as a head coach, also works as a position coach. Roberts has coached special teams since his arrival at ASU in 2002. Below is a list of head coaches in the FBS who also are position coaches:
ASU, Steve Roberts (Special Teams)
Ball State, Stan Parrish (Quarterbacks)
BYU, Bronco Mendenhall (Def. Tackles)
UConn, Randy Edsall (Safeties)
Kent State, Doug Martin (Quarterbacks)
Louisiana, Rickey Bustle (PK, LS and PR)
UL Monroe, Todd Berry (Quarterbacks)
Nevada, Chris Ault (Quarterbacks)
San Diego St., Brady Hoke (Defensive Line)
Tulsa, Todd Graham (Safeties)
Utah State, Gary Andersen (Def. Tackles)
Virginia Tech, Frank Beamer (Kickers)
ROBERTS CLIMBING VICTORIES LADDER: Through his first eight-plus seasons as the Red Wolves head coach, Steve Roberts already has the fifth most victories among ASU's 26 all-time head coaches with 43 wins. Larry Lacewell (1979-89) holds the record for victories with 69 and is followed by Bennie Ellender (1963-70) with 52 wins, Bill Davidson (1971-78) with 51 and Forrest England (1946-53) with 49.
ROBERTS AND ASU STADIUM: Arkansas State head coach Steve Roberts has led the Red Wolves to a 30-11 record at ASU Stadium over the last eight years for .731 winning percentage. Not only that, the Red Wolves are 21-6 at ASU Stadium over the last six seasons . . . Arkansas State is 15-4 in home conference games since 2005, its only setbacks coming against Troy in 2007 and 2009, Middle Tennessee in 2006 and Louisiana-Lafayette in 2009. The Red Wolves are 21-8 in home conference games all-time under Roberts.
ROBERTS IN CLOSE GAMES: Ninth-year skipper Steve Roberts has seen numerous close games during his tenure with the Red Wolves, holding a 24-19 record in games decided by eight points or less (42 percent of all his games). Following is his record in close games:
Margin Roberts record
1 point 1-1
2 points 1-0
3 points 5-8
4 points 8-1
5 points 2-2
6 points 2-2
7 points 3-3
8 points 2-2
DOUBLE-DIGIT COMEBACKS: Arkansas State has rallied for a victory in seven games when trailing by double-digits under head coach Steve Roberts. Following is a year-by-year list of ASU's double-digit comeback victories under Roberts:
Year Opponent Trailed by Final
2002 ULM 11 33-2
2003 ULM 14 44-41
2003 NMSU 10 28-24
2005 ULL 16 39-36
2005 UNT 10 31-24
2007 Memphis 25 31-24
2007 UNT 21 31-27
2008 TAMU 11 18-14
2009 WKU 17 24-20
17 AND UNDER: Arkansas State holds a 19-4 record under head coach Steve Roberts when holding its opponents to 17 points or less. The Red Wolves have won 16 of their last 18 games when holding their opponent to 17 or fewer points and have won 28 straight games when holding their opponents to 10 or fewer points.
THE ARKANSAS STATE-INDIANA SERIES: Saturday's game will be the first ever meeting between Arkansas State and Indiana.
ARKANSAS STATE vs. THE BIG TEN CONFERENCE: Indiana will become the fourth Big Ten opponent in the history of ASU football, joining Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa. Arkansas State has played both Illinois and Minnesota twice and holds an 0-4 record in those games. The Red Wolves last game against against a Big Ten opponent was a matchup against Iowa last season. Iowa won the 2009 game 24-21. ASU is 0-2 against Illinois, falling 59-7 in 2002 and 41-3 in 1999. Minnesota defeated ASU 17-14 in 1998 and 55-7 in 1995.
AN A-STATE VICTORY WOULD . . .: Snap a five-game non-conference skid . . . give the Red Wolves their second win over a team from an automatic-qualifying BCS conference since joining the FBS . . . give the Red Wolves their first victory over a Big Ten opponent . . . give ASU back-to-back victories for the first time since winning its last two games of the 2009 season.
SBC WEEKLY HONORS: The Red Wolves have had three players earn one of the Sun Belt Conference's weekly honors four times. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Aplin has been named the league's offensive player of the week twice, while senior safety M.D. Jennings and senior linebacker Javon McKinnon have both been recognized as the defensive player of the week once.
TALE OF TWO HALVES: Arkansas State has outscored its opponent in at least one half in every game this season except for its season opener at Auburn. Below is a breakdown of the scoring for ASU in each half of its last five games:
1ST HALF 2ND HALF
ULL 7-24 17-7
ULM 21-6 13-14
Troy 14-24 14-11
UL 7-31 17-3
UNT 21-16 3-3
RISING RUSHING NUMBERS: Junior running back Derek Lawson rushed for a season-high 73 yards last game against North Texas and his 6.1 average per carry was his second highest of the season. Lawson posted his two highest rushing totals of the season over the last two games, running for a combined 144 yards while averaging 6.3 yards per attempt. He is averaging 72 yards over the last two games, compared to 36.2 over the first four. He now has a team-best 289 yards rushing to surpass his 244 yards for all of last season.
SWEET 16: Arkansas State had eight players record at least one reception against North Texas, only one shy of its season-high nine at both Auburn and Louisiana-Lafayette, and through just six games has already had 16 players haul in at least one pass this year. A-State's 16 players with a reception is its most since the 2006 campaign when 18 players caught at least one pass. ASU has completed at least one pass to six players in every game this year.
CATCH AFTER CATCH: Junior wide receiver Dwayne Frampton has either tied or led A-State in receptions in three of its six games played, including its last outing at North Texas. Frampton has a team-high 28 receptions that matches the second most by any ASU player for all of last season. He has caught multiple passes in every game, including a personal and team-high eight against both Auburn and Louisiana-Lafayette.
SCORE IT AGAIN: Sophomore quarterback Ryan Aplin was responsible for three touchdowns to match his career best total in Arkansas State's 24-19 victory over North Texas, running for two scores and adding another through the air against the Mean Green. Aplin rushed for 61 yards and completed 14-of-26 pass attempts for 169 yards to finish with over 200 yards of total offense for the sixth time this season.
RUSHING POWER: After rushing for a combined 61 yards in its first two games, Arkansas State has now recorded at least 158 yards rushing in its last four games. The Red Wolves are averaging 200 rushing yards per game over their last four outings, which includes a season-high 234 yards against Louisiana-Monroe, compared to 30.5 over its first two games.
20 SOMETHING: Arkansas State has scored at least 24 points in each of its first five games and is averaging 26.7 points a game, which ranks third in the Sun Belt Conference. The last time A-State scored 20 or more points in six consecutive games was the 1987 season when it actually did so in eight consecutive outings.
PLAY AFTER PLAY: Arkansas State has run at least 80 offensive plays in three of its first six games, including a season-high 84 at Auburn. Prior to this season, the last time ASU had run at least 80 plays in a game was Oct. 13, 2007 when it ran 85 against Louisiana-Monroe. If the Red Wolves maintain their average 72.8 plays per game, they would finish the regular season with 873 total plays to break the school record of 848 set in 2007.
IN THE ZONE: The Arkansas State offense is almost perfect in the red zone, scoring on 20 of 22 opportunities for a 90.9 percentage. That percentage is ranked first in the SBC and 12th in the nation in red zone offense. ASU's 20 scores in the red zone consist of 15 touchdowns and five field goals.
BIG PLAY: Arkansas State has run 35 plays (5.8 per game) this season that have covered at least 20 yards, including four last week against North Texas and a season-high nine against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Red Wolves have run four plays that covered at least 53 yards with a long play of 65 yards (Ryan Aplin pass to Taylor Stockemer) against ULL.
300-PLUS: Arkansas State posted at least 327 yards of total offense in each of its first six games, marking the first time since the 2008 season it has compiled over 300 yards of offense in six consecutive outings. The 2008 team posted at least 300 yards of offense in its first seven games. The Red Wolves recorded over 300 yards of offense in six games for all of last season. ASU is currently ranked second in the SBC and 44th in the nation in total offense with 413.7 yards per game.
HERROLD SETS PERSONAL HIGHS: Sophomore linebacker Nathan Herrold recorded a team-high nine tackles, including one tackle for loss, and forced his first career fumble that set up Arkansas State's first touchdown in its 24-19 victory over North Texas. Herrold's nine tackles, which included six solo stops and three assisted, were a personal season high and just two shy of his career-best total set last year as a freshman. He set the tone for ASU early in the game, forcing a fumble on the first play at North Texas' 20-yard line that was recovered by teammate Javon McKinnon. The Red Wolves followed the fumble recovery with a touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead.
STINGY DEFENSE: Arkansas State's defense limited the Mean Green to a season-low 292 yards of total offense, which was also the fewest yards allowed by the Red Wolves' defense this year. ASU also held UNT to just 74 yards of total offense in the second half, its fewest allowed in any half this season. The last time ASU allowed fewer yards was the last game of the 2009 season when Western Kentucky managed just 229.
FORCING TURNOVERS: The Red Wolves posted a fumble recovery against North Texas, giving them three straight games and four games total with a fumble recovery (Auburn, Troy, Louisville, North Texas). ASU also has four interceptions in three games this year. While the Red Wolves didn't intercept a pass against North Texas, they had at least one pick in the three previous games.
PLAYING IN THE BACKFIELD: Junior defensive lineman Dorvus Woods recorded 1.5 tackles for loss against North Texas and has 3.5 over the last two games to climb to 11th in the Sun Belt Conference in the stat with 4.5 total. Also ranked among the top players in the league in tackles for loss are redshirt freshman Amos Draper (ranked third with a team-high six) and senior Bryan Hall (ranked 20th with 3.5). Hall is also ranked third in the conference in sacks with a team-high 3.5.
IN THE ZONE (PART II): The Arkansas State defense is second in the Sun Belt Conference and tied for 12th in the nation in red zone defense, holding opponents to a 67.9 scoring percentage. A-State's four opponents this season have turned just 19 of their combined 28 red zone opportunities into points (11 TD, 8 FG).
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
ZALUD STEPPING UP: True freshman kicker Bobby Zalud is ranked third in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring by kick despite not attempting a field goal in the Red Wolves' season opener or three weeks ago against Troy. However, Zalud is 17-of-17 on extra point attempts over the last five games and 5-of-8 on field goal attempts in four of A-State's six games. He is also ranked second in field goals made (0.83 per game), and his 17 consecutive extra points made is three shy of the 10th most in school history.
SOLID KICKOFF COVERAGE: Arkansas State averaged a season-high 66.8 yards on five kickoffs that included one for a touchback against North Texas. The Mean Green didn't have better field position than its own 29-yard line to start any drive following a Bobby Zalud kickoff, and three of those drives started either at or inside the Mean Green's 20-yard line. ASU is ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference in kickoff coverage with a 43.8 net yards average.
HALL APPROACHING TOP-10 NUMBERS: Junior wide receiver Rod Hall is approaching top-10 numbers in school history in kickoff returns this year. Hall will enter the Indiana game needing four returns to tie the 10th most (24) in school history for a single season and just 70 yards short of the 10th most in school history (505).
McKINNON NAMED SBC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Senior linebacker Javon McKinnon was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 4 after recording a career-high 16 tackles, including a career-best two tackles for loss, against Louisville. McKinnon's 16 tackles were the most by a Sun Belt Conference player since the 2008 season, the most by an ASU player since former SBC Defensive Player of the Year Tyrell Johnson posted 25 against North Texas in 2005 and tied the 14th most in the nation this year. His 16 stops were also just four shy of the seventh most in school history.
APLIN EARNS SBC HONOR FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK: Sophomore quarterback Ryan Aplin was named the Sun Belt Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 20, marking the second straight week he earned the league's offensive honor. Aplin recorded 318 yards of total offense with a rushing and passing touchdown against ULM, while he threw for a school-record 438 yards and two touchdowns the week prior against Louisiana-Lafayette.
RIVALS.COM RECOGNIZES APLIN: Rivals.com recognized sophomore quarterback Ryan Aplin for his play against ULM, naming him its Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week following the Red Wolves game against the Warhawks.
JENNINGS AMONG CFPA WEEKLY WINNERS: Senior safety M.D. Jennings was selected a national Honorable Mention Defensive Back of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) for his outstanding play in the Red Wolves' 34-20 victory over Louisiana-Monroe. Jennings recorded six tackles and a career-high two interceptions against ULM. Jennings' six tackles were the third most on the team and he returned his two interceptions a career-best 62 yards.
JENNINGS TAKES WEEKLY SBC AWARD: Senior safety M.D. Jennings was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 6 for his performance against nationally-ranked Auburn. Jennings posted double-figure tackles (11), including a career-high 1.5 tackles for loss, in a game for the fourth time of his career. He also recorded his second career forced fumble, fourth fumble recovery of his career and his third career sack.
ANOTHER TV GAME: The Arkansas State Athletic Department announced last week that the Arkansas State-Indiana football game scheduled for Oct. 16 will be televised on ESPNU. The addition of the Indiana game gives the Red Wolves an ASU record-breaking nine televised games during the 2010 season.
BIG BLOCK: Sophomore defensive end Tim Starson recorded a career-high three blocked kicks against ULM to tie the most in school history for a single game. Starson blocked two extra points and a field goal to tie Stacy Price's total against UT Arlington in 1981 and Clevon Johnson's total against UT Martin in 1980.
NICE CROWD: The crowd of 25,219 for the Louisville game was the fifth largest in ASU Stadium history. The Red Wolves also drew a crowd of 23,176 for their home opener against ULM, which is the 10th largest ever at ASU Stadium. Out of the 18 crowds of over 20,000 all-time at ASU Stadium, 13 have been played within the last 10 years. The top three attendance averages at ASU Stadium for a single season have all been set over the last four seasons.
MOST YARDS IN A DECADE: Sophomore wide receiver Allen Muse posted five receptions for a career-high 133 yards against UL Lafayette in the Red Wolves' second game of the season. Muse's 133 receiving yards against the Ragin' Cajuns were the 21st most in school history for a single game. The last time an A-State player had more receiving yards was in 2000.
STILL RANKED AMONG THE TOP IN THE NCAA: Ryan Aplin's school-record 438 passing yards against Louisiana-Lafayette are still the fifth most by any NCAA FBS player this season. Aplin's 438 yards not only broke the ASU single-game record, but also tied UCF's Daunte Culpepper's total in 1998 for the most ever by an opponent at Cajun Field.
NEW FACES: Twenty-four players competed in their first career game at A-State over the first four games, including four true freshmen, nine redshirt freshmen, two sophomores, seven junior-college transfers (all juniors) and two juniors . . . . . Additionally, 13 players started their first career game at ASU, including Dorvus Woods (DL), Justin Robertson (DE), Darryl Feemster (DB), Amos Draper (DL), Walter Moody (CB), Darron Edwards (CB), Tim Starson(DE), Greg McCall (DL), Najel Byrd (LB), Brandon Joiner (LB) and Tausean Holmes (DB) on defense and Anthony Robinson (WR) and Dwayne Frampton (WR) on offense.
96th SEASON UNDER WAY: Arkansas State kicked off its 96th season of football on Sept. 4 at nationally-ranked Auburn. ASU holds a 414-447-37 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.
HOME OPENERS: With a 34-20 win over ULM, Arkansas State improved to 8-1 in home openers at ASU Stadium under head coach Steve Roberts. A-State has now won its last six home openers. In addition to ULM, Roberts' teams have also won home openers over Mississippi Valley State (61-0 in 2009), Texas Southern (83-10 in 2008), SMU (45-28 in 2007), Tulsa (21-19 in 2002), Tennessee-Martin (63-6 in 2003 and 56-7 in 2005) and Army (14-6 in 2006).
STRESSING ACADEMICS: The Arkansas State football team won the Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Award for the 2009-10 academic year, marking the seventh time over the last eight years it has accomplished the feat.
THE TOP 25: Auburn was the 12th ASU opponent ranked among the nation's top 25 teams at the time of a game with the Red Wolves under head coach Steve Roberts. Following is a list of ranked opponents that ASU has played under Roberts:
No. 2 Alabama (2008), L, 0-35
No. 4 Texas (2007) L, 13-21
No. 4 LSU (2004) L, 3-53
No. 6 Auburn (2006) L, 0-27
No. 13 Iowa (2009) L, 21-24
No. 16 Virginia Tech (2002) L, 7-63
No. 17 Missouri (2004) L, 20-52
No. 18 Nebraska (2009) L, 9-38
No. 22 Auburn (2010) L, 26-52
No. 25 Memphis (2004) L, 35-47
No. 25 Mississippi (2002) L, 17-52
SENIOR RECOGNITION: Every year at ASU's Football Media Day, head coach Steve Roberts gives his seniors a chance to address those in attendance at the press conference. This year's 21 seniors are: Jeff Blake, Tom Castilaw, Sifa Etu, Adam Gaston, Derious Glover, Bryan Hall, Lucious Henderson, Drew Hilton, Tyson Holligan, M.D. Jennings, Alex Kautai, Alfred Louis, Javon McKinnon, Walter Moody, Derek Newton, Dominic Padrta, Kiano Prater, Anthony Robinson, Isaiah Shepard, Jonathan White and Marquette Williams.
TEAM CAPTAINS: ASU's senior class will alternate throughout the year as team captains. The team will vote on permanent captains at the end of the year. Following is a list of captains for each game:
Auburn: Etu, Robinson, Gaston, Hall
ULL: Moody, Newton, Williams, Prater
ULM: Williams, White, Blake, Henderson
Troy: Castilaw, Jennings, Hilton, McKinnon
Louisville: Moody, Newton, Williams, Prater
North Texas: Castilaw, Henderson, White
PRESEASON ALL-SBC ACCOLADES: Three Arkansas State football players were tabbed Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference, including Defensive Player of the Year Bryan Hall, offensive lineman Derek Newton and linebacker Demario Davis.
PRESEASON PREDICTIONS: The Red Wolves are predicted to finish third in the conference according to the league's 2009 preseason coaches poll, announced July 19 as part of the Sun Belt Conference Media Days. ASU received 53 points, while first-place Middle Tennessee won the vote with 75 points.
STRONG D: Arkansas State has ranked No. 1 or No. 2 in the Sun Belt Conference and among the top 50 teams in the nation each of the last four years in total defense. Below is a break down of ASU's defensive statistical rankings for the last four years:
Year SBC Rank National Rank YPG
2009 1 41 340.5
2008 2 46 336.5
2007 1 43 362.3
2006 2 32 309.4
NATIONAL COVERAGE: Arkansas State will play at least two nationally televised games for the second consecutive year in 2010. The Red Wolves will catch Middle Tennessee at home on Nov. 2 in a game televised by ESPN2 and Navy on the road on Nov. 20 in a game televised by CBS College Sports. Prior to last season, the last time ASU had played a nationally televised game was in the 2005 New Orleans Bowl.
TURF INSTALLATION COMPLETED: Installation of a new and state-of-the-art field turf surface inside ASU stadium was completed as scheduled after a final inspection of the project was conducted in late July. The field is in practice and playing condition for the beginning of the Red Wolves fall camp today. The new GeoSurfaces field turf is slightly thicker than the previous product, which was installed when ASU originally transitioned from a grass field to an artificial playing surface prior to the 2006 season. The field also has a sand base for the first time in addition to the "no fly-out" rubber installed. The field also has a new look with two new Red Wolves logos, white Sun Belt Conference logos and black trim around the outside of the playing field.