Iowa City, IA (KAIT) - Arkansas State faced #13 Iowa Saturday, and were just three points shy of shocking the college football world on national television.
The Hawkeyes (5-0) staved off a late rally to beat the Red Wolves (1-3) 24-21. It was ASU's first appearance on ESPN2 since the 2005 New Orleans Bowl.
Iowa got on the board early. Ricky Stanzi connected with Trey Stross for a 33 yard touchdown 3:44 in to take a 7-0 lead.
After a ASU three and out, Stanzi tossed a 41 yard TD pass to Marvin McNutt. The Hawkeyes took a 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
But the Red Wolves came back in the second, Corey Leonard capped off a 9 play, 89 yard drive with a 12 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Thompkins. Josh Arauco drilled the PAT to make it 14-7 Iowa at halftime.
The Hawkeyes extended the lead to 21-7 with another Stanzi touchdown pass to McNutt, this time 43 yards.
ASU responded in the fourth quarter in a big way. Demario Davis stopped a Hawkeye dagger, jumping a route and taking a Stanzi pass back 75 yards to the house. Arauco's extra point cut the deficit to 21-14.
Iowa tacked on a 20 yard field goal by Daniel Murray to take a 24-14 lead late in the final stanza. But Corey Leonard charged the Red Wolves back again, tossing a 4 yard score to Trevor Gillott. ASU cut it to 24-21.
They failed to recover an onside kick, but the defense forced a three and out to give the Red Wolves one more chance.
But a Corey Leonard hail mary wasn't answered, and the Hawkeyes survived to stay undefeated.
This ballgame wasn't ASU's only national exposure on Saturday. Earlier that morning, freshman wide receiver Allen Muse was featured on ESPN's College Gameday. It profiled his comeback from surviving Hurricane Katrina and bouncing back from heart surgery to become a big target for Corey Leonard.
The Red Wolves get next Saturday off. They'll get more national exposure Tuesday, October 13th, when they travel to Louisiana-Monroe to face the Warhawks.
That Sun Belt tilt will be televised on ESPN2, with kickoff slated for 7:00pm CT.