ASU tangles with #13th ranked Iowa - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

ASU tangles with #13th ranked Iowa

Arkansas State (1-2) at No. 13 Iowa (4-0)

Oct. 3, 2009  l  Kinnick Stadium (70,585)

     Iowa City, Iowa  l  11:00 a.m.

Radio: Arkansas State Radio Network (KFIN 107.9 FM, flagship)

Television: ESPN2, ESPN360.com

Live Stats: AStateRedWolves.com

ON TAP: Arkansas State steps back outside its conference slate this week, traveling to Iowa City for a nationally televised game against the No. 13 Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.  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 PRINCIPALS: ASU will face its third non-conference and second nationally-ranked opponent of the season Saturday when it catches a 4-0 Iowa team that jumped into the national polls this week after picking up a 21-10 win over Penn State its last time out.  The Red Wolves, who fell 30-27 to Troy last Saturday in their Sun Belt Conference opener, began the season with a 61-0 victory over Mississippi Valley State before falling 38-9 against then-ranked No. 18 Nebraska in their second game of the season.

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 27-9 record at ASU Stadium over the last seven years for .750 winning percentage.  Not only that, the Red Wolves are 18-4 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 21-13 record in games decided by eight points or less (40 percent of all his games).  Roberts' teams have been especially successful recently in games decided by just one score, holding a 19-10 record in their last 29 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 5-6

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:  Iowa will be the 10th 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. 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:

YearOpponentTrailed 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     Mem.    25         31-24

2007     UNT      21         31-27

2008     TAMU   11         18-14

TEAM ACADEMIC AWARD:  The Arkansas State football team has won the Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Award five of the past six years.

THE ARKANSAS STATE-IOWA SERIES:  Saturday's game will be the first ever meeting between Arkansas State and Iowa.

ARKANSAS STATE vs. THE BIG TEN:  Iowa will become the third Big Ten opponent in the history of ASU football, joining Illinois and Minnesota.  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 2002 matchup at Illinois.  Illinois won the 2002 game 59-7 and picked up a 41-3 victory in 1999.  Minnesota defeated ASU 17-14 in 1998 and 55-7 in 1995.

AN ARKANSAS STATE VICTORY WOULD . . .

give the Red Wolves a .500 or better record after four games for the fifth consecutive year . . . make the Red Wolves 2-2 after four games for the fourth time over the last five years . . . give ASU its first ever victory over a Big Ten team . . . give ASU its first victory over a ranked team during the Steve Roberts era . . . give ASUits second ever victory over a BCS school since it joined NCAAFBS (defeated Texas A&M 18-14 last season) . . . snap a two-game road skid dating back to last season.

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