Arkansas State (1-1, 0-0) hosts Troy (1-2, 0-0)
September 26, 2009 - ASU Stadium (30,406)
Jonesboro, Ark. - 3:30 p.m.
Radio: Arkansas State Radio Network (KFIN 107.9 FM, flagship)
Television: Sun Belt Network, Jump TV Webcasting (AStateRedWolves.com)
Live Stats: AStateRedWolves.com
ON TAP: ASU Stadium will be this site Saturday for one of the marquee Sun Belt Conference match-ups of the 2009 season when the Red Wolves host the Trojans of Troy in a game that pits the league's two preseason favorites against one another in an early-season showdown. Every Arkansas State game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Jonesboro area and the live radio broadcast can be accessed through the Arkansas State athletic Web site (AStateRedWolves.com). The game will also be televised by the Sun Belt Network.
THE PRINCIPALS: ASU and Troy both open their Sun Belt Conference slate Saturday with the Red Wolves bringing a 1-1 record and the Trojans a 1-2 mark into the contest. The Red Wolves are 1-0 at home this season with a 61-0 victory over Mississippi Valley State in their season opener, while the Trojans bring an 0-2 road record into the game after dropping their first two outings at Bowling Green and No. 1 Florida. ASU, coming off its first of two open weeks, dropped a 38-9 decision at then-ranked No. 18 Nebraska last time out, while Troy defeated UAB 27-14 last week.
HEAD COACH STEVE ROBERTS: Arkansas State head coach Steve Roberts is in his eighth 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 four years. During his first seven seasons as the Red Wolves' head coach, he guided ASU to 37 wins for its most over a seven-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 64 All-Sun Belt Conference selections, an 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.
ROBERTS CLIMBING VICTORIES LADDER: In his first eight seasons as the Red Wolves head coach, Steve Roberts already has the fifth most victories among ASU's 26 all-time head coaches with 38 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 27-8 record at ASU Stadium over the last seven years for .771 winning percentage. Not only that, the Red Wolves are 18-3 at ASU Stadium over the last five seasons.
ROBERTS IN CLOSE GAMES: Eighth-year skipper Steve Roberts has seen numerous close games during his tenure with the Red Wolves, holding a 21-12 record in games decided by eight points or less (39 percent of all his games). Roberts' teams have been especially successful recently in games decided by just one score, holding a 19-9 record in their last 28 games that ended under those circumstances. Following is his record in close games:
Margin Roberts record
1 point 1-1
2 points 1-0
3 points 5-5
4 points 6-1
5 points 1-2
6 points 2-1
7 points 3-1
8 points 2-1
17 AND UNDER: Arkansas State holds an 18-3 record under head coach Steve Roberts when holding its opponents to 17 points or less. The Red Wolves have won 15 of their last 16 games when holding their opponent to 17 or fewer points and have won 27 straight games when holding their opponents to 10 or fewer points.
THE TOP 25: Nebraska was the ninth 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
No. 4 at Texas (2007) L, 13-21
No. 4 at LSU (2004) L, 3-53
No. 6 Auburn (2006) L, 0-27
No. 16 Virginia Tech (2002) L, 7-63
No. 17 Missouri (2004) L, 20-52
No. 18 Nebraska (2009) L, 9-38
No. 25 Memphis (2004) L, 35-47
No. 25 Mississippi (2002) L, 17-52
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
THE ARKANSAS STATE-TROY SERIES: Arkansas State leads the all-time series 5-3. The Red Wolves and Trojans first met back in 1951 when ASU picked up a 39-0 road victory. The two teams split a pair of games in 1991 and 1992 in Jonesboro, but have played the last five games as Sun Belt Conference foes. The Red Wolves won the first three games as SBC opponents, but the Trojans have bounced back to win the last two meetings that include last year's regular-season finale in Troy that decided the Sun Belt Conference championship.
ARKANSAS STATE vs. THE SUN BELT: Arkansas State is 56-54-1 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference. Since the league's inaugural football season in 2001, the Red Wolves are 27-27 against all opponents that have been a member of the league. Against current members of the conference, ASU is 22-23 since 2001. The Red Wolves hold their most all-time victories against Louisiana-Lafayette with 17, while its most victories against a Sun Belt opponent since 2001 is Louisiana-Monroe with five. The Red Wolves have defeated every team in the Sun Belt Conference since the football league was formed in 2001.
UNBUCKLE THE BELT: ASU is 7-1 all-time and 6-1 under head coach Steve Roberts in Sun Belt Conference openers after defeating Middle Tennessee 31-14 in its first league game last year. ASU will play Troy in its SBC?opener for the first time ever. The Red Wolves have never lost a Sun Belt Conference opener at ASU Stadium, holding a 4-0 record in those games
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Arkansas State is 12-2 in home conference games since 2005, its only setbacks coming against Troy in 2007 and Middle Tennessee in 2006. The Red Wolves are 18-6 in home conference games all-time under Roberts.
COMING OFF THE OPEN WEEK: ASU is coming off its first of two open weeks this season. The Red Wolves are 4-2 all-time under head coach Steve Roberts in games following an open week. Following is ASU's scores after coming off an open week under Roberts:
10/11/08 vs. UL Monroe W, 37-29
11/1/08 at No.2 Alabama L, 0-35
11/22/08 vs. Florida Atlantic W, 28-14
9/15/07 vs. SMU W, 45-28
10/13/05 vs. UL Lafayette W, 39-36
11/5/05 at Middle Tennessee L, 7-45
AN ARKANSAS STATE VICTORY WOULD . . . make the Red Wolves 2-1 for the second consecutive season . . . give ASU its first victory over Troy since the 2006 season . . . improve ASU's record in Sun Belt Conference openers to 8-1 all-time . . . give ASU its first victory over the SBC preseason favorite since the 2005 season when it defeated North Texas . . . improve the Red Wolves record under Roberts at ASU?stadium to 28-8.
ELITE EIGHT: After rushing for over 1,000 yards each of his first three seasons, senior Reggie Arnold can become the eighth player in NCAA history to hit the rushing mark all four years of his career. The seven players who have currently achieved the feat are Tony Dorsett of Pitt (1973-76), Amos Lawrence of North Carolina (1977-80), Denvis Manns of New Mexico State (1996-99), Cedric Benson of Texas (2002-05), Ron Dayne of Wisconsin (1996-99), DonTrell Moore of New Mexico (2002-05) and Tyrell Fenroy of Louisiana-Lafayette (2005-08).
JET FLYOVER PLANNED: The Arkansas State Athletic Department has partnered with Captain John Tice for a jet flyover prior to the football game against Troy Saturday, Sept. 26. Two A-10 fighter jets that flew during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan will fly over ASU Stadium during the national anthem. Tice is a 2003 graduate of Arkansas State and is currently stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
red wolf walk in place for troy game: Red Wolves fans and tailgaters are encouraged to form a perimeter around ASU Stadium as the Arkansas State football team is scheduled to make its first-ever "Red Wolf Walk" around the stadium prior to the game against Troy Sept. 26. The team will begin on the east side of the end zone facility at 1:15 p.m. and walk around the outside of the stadium, finishing through the ASU Lettermen's Walk and Arch before taking the field for pregame warm-ups down the west ramp.
BIG AUDIENCE: The crowd of 85,035 for the ASU-Nebraska game was the fifth largest to ever watch an Arkansas State game. The largest crowd is 102,368, set at Tennessee in 2007. Four of the top five ASU games with the largest crowds have now been played under head coach Steve Roberts
personal bests: Demario Davis (10), Cordarious Mingo (7), Nathan Herrold (6), Greg Smith (5), Kelcie McCray (5) all set new career highs for tackles in a game against Nebraska. Davis' 10 tackles topped his previous best by seven tackles and are the most by an ASU player this season.
HAULING IT IN: Senior wide receiver Jahbari McLennan tied his career high for receptions with seven against Nebraska. McLennan also finished with 69 receiving yards, 10 yards short of his career high. McLennan is ranked third in the Sun Belt Conference in receptions (4.5 rpg) and eighth in receiving yards (47 ypg)
big boot: Handling punting duties for jus the second game of his career at ASU, sophomore Ryan Wilbourn booted a career-best 57 yard punt against No. 18 Nebraska. After averaging 20.1 yards per punt in the Red Wolves season opener, he punted five times for 225 yards against Nebraska for a 45.0-yard average per punt. His 45.0 average was the best single-game average by an ASU player since the 2007 season.
GROWING CROWDS: With a crowd of 21,056 on hand for the MVSU game, ASU has now drawn a crowd of over 20,000 in 14 games all-time at ASU Stadium and five of those have come over the last six games. Of those 14 games, 10 have been with Steve Roberts as head coach.
GAINING GROUND: With 3,336 career rushing yards, junior running back Reggie Arnold is ranked second among the career rushing leaders in ASU?history. Arnold has rushed for at least 100 yards in a game 15 times for his career to tie the second most in school history.
A NEW LEADER: Senior quarterback Corey Leonard became ASU's all-time leader in total offense this season, finishing the MVSU game with a combined 136 rushing and passing yards to push his total to 7,433 career yards. After two games, he now has 7,586 yards to his credit. Leonard passed former ASU?standout and now NFL?quarterback Cleo Lemon for the record. Lemon piled up 7,309 yards of total offense from 1997-00.
PASSING A MILESTONE: Corey Leonard became just the second player in ASU history and sixth in SBC history to record over 6,000 career passing yards (6,032) during the MVSU game. Leonard now has 6,136 career passing yards.
THE SHUTOUT: With its 61-0 victory over Mississippi Valley State, ASU shutout an opponent for the first time since defeating Florida Atlantic 3-0 in three overtimes in 2005, a span of 41 games.
A LARGE MARGIN: ASU'S 61-point victory over Mississippi Valley State tied the seventh largest margin of victory in school history. ASU also picked up a 61-point win when it defeated St. Mary (Kan.) 68-7 in 1963. The largest margin of victory in school history was a 101-0 win over Central Arkansas in 1917.
CHANGING THE RECORD BOOKS: ASU changed a number of ASU and Sun Belt Conference records during its game against the Delta Devils. ASU's 21 rushing first downs tied the second most in Sun Belt Conference history. It scored nine touchdowns, tying the third most and fifth most in SBC and ASU history, respectively. The Red Wolves' eight rushing touchdowns tied their own SBC record, previously set against Tennessee-Martin in 2003. The eight rushing touchdowns also tied the third most in school history and were just three shy of the school record.
STINGY DEFENSE: ASU held MVSU to just 69 yards of total offense, which is the second fewest allowed in Sun Belt Conference history and the lowest total ever allowed by ASU under head coach Steve Roberts. ASU gave up just 1.6 yards per play, which is the second lowest in SBC history as well.
FOUR SCORE: Senior running back Reggie Arnold scored a career-high four rushing touchdowns against MVSU that tied the third most in school history and second most in Sun Belt history. Arnold also posted his 15th career 100-yard rushing game, tying the second most in school history.
OFFENSIVE OUTBURST: ASU posted 496 yards of total offense against MVSU, its most since piling up 670 yards in last season's home opener against Texas Southern. Dating back to last season, ASU has now posted at least 350 yards of total offense in 10 of its last 14 games.
Red Wolves Participate in AFCA/NCAA Respect WeekenD: In cooperation with the NCAA and the American Football Coaches Association, Arkansas State University participated in the AFCA/NCAA Respect Weekend when the Red Wolves kicked off the season last Saturday against Mississippi Valley State University. Prior to kickoff, the teams, head coaches and administrators from both schools met at midfield to shake hands, illustrating and emphasizing respect for the opponent.
RED WOLVES TAKE TIME TO SHOW APPRECIATION TO LOCAL BUSINESSES: While their fall camp was in full swing, members of the Arkansas State football team and head coach Steve Roberts took some time away from the meeting rooms and practice fields to visit local businesses and thank them for their support of the Red Wolves. A number of the players and coach Roberts divided up into groups early on the morning of Aug. 20 and left the ASU Football Complex with not only orange juice, doughnuts and gift bags in hand, but also looking forward to the opportunity to show their appreciation for all the ways area businesses have backed the program.
BOWL ELIGIBLE: Arkansas State's 6-6 record last year made it bowl eligible for the third time over the last four seasons. The Red Wolves have made eight bowl appearances all-time, the last being the 2005 New Orleans Bowl. The 2005 New Orleans Bowl is the Red Wolves only appearance in a bowl game as an NCAA FBS member.
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.
95th SEASON UNDER WAY: Arkansas State kicked off off its 95th season of football in 2009. ASU holds a 409-436-37 record since the inaugural 1911 season and has played in seven bowl games.
TEAM ACADEMIC AWARD: The Arkansas State football team has won the Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Award five of the past six years.
SEASON OPENERS: With its victory over Mississippi Valley State, the Red Wolves have now won three of their last four season openers, including the last two in a row. ASU defeated Texas A&M 18-14 last season and Army 14-6 in 2006, but dropped a tough 21-13 decision to then-ranked No. 4 Texas to open the 2007 season. ASU is 45-44-6 all-time in season openers.
STARTING AT HOME: ASU opened its season at ASU Stadium for the first time since the 2006 campaign when it defeated Army 14-6. ASU has started just three of the last 14 seasons with a game at ASU Stadium, including 2009.
HOME OPENERS: Arkansas State improved to 7-1 in home openers at ASU Stadium under head coach Steve Roberts, who has led the Red Wolves to a 27-8 record on their home field, with its 61-0 victory over MVSU. ASU has now won its last five home openers. The last time ASU dropped a home opener was in 2004, when it fell 47-35 to then-ranked No. 25 Memphis. In addition to MVSU, ASU?also won home openers over 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) during the last five seasons.
PRESEASON ALL-SBC ACCOLADES: Five Arkansas State football players were tabbed Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference, including Co-Offensive Player of the Year Corey Leonard (Covington, La.) and Defensive Player of the Year Alex Carrington (Tupelo, Miss.). Joining Leonard and Carrington on the all-conference team are Reggie Arnold (Little Rock, Ark.), Josh Arauco (Grand Prairie, Texas) and Drew Hilton (Batesville,?Ark.).
PRESEASON PREDICTIONS: The Red Wolves are predicted to finish second in the conference according to the league's 2009 preseason coaches poll, announced July 20 as part of the Sun Belt Conference Media Days. ASU received 69 points, just three fewer than defending Sun Belt champion Troy.
TELEVISION TIME: Arkansas State will play in its first nationally televised game since the 2005 New Orleans Bowl when it faces Louisiana-Monroe at Malone Stadium on Oct. 13. The Red Wolves currently have four other games set to be televised, including the Nebraska (Fox Sports Net PPV), Troy (Sun Belt Network), LouIsiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt Network) and Western Kentucky (Sun Belt Network) games. The Red Wolves five regular-season televised games in 2009 is the second most in school history, just one game behind its school-record six televised games during the 2007 campaign.
OFFENSIVE FIREPOWER BACK FROM RECORD-BREAKING TEAM: ASU returns its top passer, top three rushers and top two receivers from last year's team that piled up 4,786 yards last season to break the 57-year old school record for total offense. ASU posted 4,722 yards of total offense in 1951 for the previous record.
CARRINGTON WATCH LIST: Senior defensive end Alex Carrington is not only the preseason Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year, he is currently on three prestigious watch lists. Carrington is on the Lombardi Award, Lott Trophy and Ted Hendricks watch lists.
ARNOLD ON DOAK WALKER AWARD WATCH LIST: Senior running back Reggie Arnold has been named to the list of candidates for the 2009 Doak Walker Award, released by the Guaranty Bank SMU Athletic Forum. Arnold, one of 45 players on the list, is the first player in ASU history to be named a candidate for the award three different seasons.
LEONARD ON JOHNNY UNITAS AWARD WATCH LIST: Senior quarterback Corey Leonard is one of 21 candidates listed on the 2009 Johnny Unitas Award Watch List. The award is given to the top senior quarterback in the nation.
ASU's Arauco Named to Lou Groza Award Watch LisT: Arkansas State senior kicker Josh Arauco has been named to the 2009 Lou Groza Award Watch List, announced by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission. Arauco, a 2008 finalist for the award, is one of 30 players that have been named to the watch list for the top place kicker in college football's FBS division.
Butterfield Helps USA to IFAF Junior World Championship: Arkansas State freshman quarterback Phillip Butterfield completed 11-of-18 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown to help the United States to a 41-3 victory over top-seeded Canada in the gold medal game of the International Federation of American Football Junior World Championship Saturday at Fawcett Stadium. For the tournament, Butterfield completed 30-of-45 passes for 353 yards and two touchdowns. The incoming freshman from Hot Springs (Lake Hamilton HS), Ark. was one of 45 graduating high school seniors to be selected to play on the United States' first national team comprised of players ages 19 and under.
ASU EXTENDS RADIO CONTRACT WITH EAB: The Arkansas State University Athletic Department recently announced it has extended its radio contract with East Arkansas Broadcasters. ASU?teamed up with EAB last year to make KFIN 107.9 FM, a 100,000-watt radio station located in Jonesboro, the new flagship station and home of Red Wolves' football broadcasts. Along with affiliate station KABF 88.3 FM in Little Rock, the Red Wolves will have two 100,000-watt anchor stations broadcasting the games in 2009. The Arkansas State Network's full list of affiliates can be found on the media information page located at the back of the notes package.
ASU ANNOUNCES FOOTBALL GAME REPLAY PACKAGE: ASU?has reached deals with several cable providers, which have a total subscriber count of over 100,000 households and businesses, to replay its football games in 2009. The replays will be televised on the ASU campus and in over 110 towns and cities across northeast and central Arkansas as well as Missouri. ASU replays could only be seen in Jonesboro, Bay and on campus last year, marking an increase of over 100 towns and cities in 2009. The full list of cable providers that will air the replays, along with the dates and times of the replays, are located on the media information page located on page 11.