Arkansas State (1-3, 0-1) at ULM (3-2, 2-0)
Oct. 13, 2009 l Malone Stadium (30,427)
Monroe, La. l 7:00 p.m.
Radio: Arkansas State Radio Network (KFIN 107.9 FM, flagship)
Television: ESPN2, ESPN360.com
Live Stats: AStateRedWolves.com
ON TAP: Arkansas State returns to Sun Belt Conference play Oct. 13, traveling to Monroe, La. for a nationally televised game on ESPN2 against ULM at Malone 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 play its second consecutive road game when it catches ULM on Oct. 13 in the first of back-to-back Sun Belt Conference games. The Red Wolves, coming off a narrow 24-21 setback at No. 13 Iowa last week, have dropped their last three games, while ULM brings a two-game winning streak and undefeated SBC record into the upcoming game.
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.
GAMEDAY BIRTHDAY: ASU Head Coach Steve Roberts' birthday is Oct. 13, falling on the day of the Red Wolves game against ULM. Roberts has coached two other games at ASU on his birthday, a 52-21 home victory over Louisiana-Lafayette in 2007 and a 39-36 home win over the Ragin' Cajuns in 2005 as well.
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 21-14 record in games decided by eight points or less (40 percent of all his games). Roberts' teams hold a 19-11 record in their last 30 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 5-7
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 was 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 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. 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 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-ULM SERIES: ASU has played ULM 30 times, which is the fifth most in school history among all opponents. ULM leads the all-time series with Arkansas State 16-14 since the first meeting in 1959. As Sun Belt foes, ASU leads the series 5-3 after winning 37-29 last season at ASU Stadium. ASU has won five of the seven meetings with ULM under head coach Steve Roberts, the only two setbacks over the last seven years coming 27-31 at ULM in 2005 and 30-13 at ULM in 2007. The home team has won the game the last four seasons.
ARKANSAS STATE vs. THE SUN BELT CONFERENCE: Arkansas State is 56-55-1 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference. Since the league's inaugural football season in 2001, the Red Wolves are 27-28 against all opponents that have been a member of the league. Against current members of the conference, ASU is 22-24 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.
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).
BACK-2-BACK: ASU is playing back-to-back nationally televised games for the first time in school history. The Red Wolves faced then-ranked No. 13 Iowa last Saturday on ESPN2 and they now catch UL Monroe on Tuesday, Oct. 13 in another game televised on ESPN2.
GAMEDAY SHOWCASES MUSE STORY: Freshman wide receiver Allen Muse's story of his courageous path to the football field with the Red Wolves went national last Saturday when ESPN's College GameDay showcased his story . . . Prior to signing with ASU, Muse was a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and a record-setting pass catcher at Leesville, La., High School - where he had wound up after the storm. After signing with the Red Wolves, a physical followed by further tests uncovered a problem with Muse's heart. Extra tissue was restricting blood flow and making the heart work harder than it should . . . On Sept. 11, 2008 Muse went into major surgery not knowing if he would be able to play football again, but six months later he was working out with the ASU football team during its spring camp. Now fully recovered, Muse has played in all three games this season as a true freshman and is playing a major role on the team as a key receiver.
WHAT GIVES: Statistically, the Arkansas State-ULM game pits the league's top scoring offense (ULM, 33.4 ppg) against its top scoring defense (ASU, 23.0 ppg) and the conference's top total offense (ULM, 418.6 ypg) against its top total defense (ASU, 372.5 ypg). Additionally, ULM is ranked No. 1 in rushing offense (208.6 ypg) and ASU No. 1 in rushing defense (106.0 ypg). At the same time, ASUis ranked No. 2 in rushing offense (162.8 ypg) and ULM No. 2 in rushing defense (108.0 ypg).
AIRING IT OUT: ASU finished with 216 passing yards, its second most of the season, against an Iowa defense that was giving up an average of 171.5 passing yards per game and was ranked 32nd in the nation in pass defense heading into the game.
REACHING THE END ZONE: ASU's 21 points scored were the most allowed by Iowa this season. Iowa's opponents were averaging just 11.5 points per game, ranking Iowa 8th in the nation in scoring defense at the start of the game.
LEONARD NOTABLES: Corey Leonard threw his third and fourth TD passes of the season against Iowa and now has 44 for his career, leaving him four shy of tying the school record. Leonard completed a season-high 22 passes (3 short of his career high), topping his previous season high of 12 set against Troy the week prior. Leonard threw his first interception of the season, ending his streak of consecutive passes without an interception at 79. He threw for a season-high 216 yards as well, giving him 6,569 yards for his career and moving him past Brian Lindgren (Idaho, 2001-03) for the fourth most yards in Sun Belt Conference history.
NOTING THOMPKINS: Brandon Thompkins recorded his second TD reception of the season against Iowa. Both of his TD's came over the last two games and he now has five for his career. Thompkins set a new career high for receptions with eight. He now has 12 receptions for 158 yards and 2 TD's over last two games. Thompkins also went over 100 all-purpose yards for the second straight game and third time this season, finishing with 135 yards.
STRINGING IT TOGETHER: Arkansas State's first scoring drive of the Iowa game that covered 89 yards was the longest of the season for the Red Wolves. The Red Wolves second scoring drive covered a season-high 17 plays.
CLEMENTS HAS CAREER DAY: Taylor Clements finished the Iowa game with a career-tying four receptions (tied his four set the previous against Troy) and a career-high 69 receiving yards against Iowa. His 8 receptions and 105 receiving yards for the last two games combined tops his totals for all of last season (7 receptions for 74 in 2008).
MOVE THE CHAINS: ASU posted a season-high seven third-down conversions against the Hawkeyes, which equaled its total for its first three games combined.
ON THE DEFENSE: Bryan Hall, who entered the Iowa game with a team-high 3.5 TFL, recorded a career-best 3.0 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He has now posted at least one TFL in three of ASU's four games this season and also finished the game with a career-high six total tackles . . . ASU posted its first two interceptions of the season, a pick by Daylan Walker that was the second of his career and a 75-yard return for a touchdown by Demario Davis on the first INT of his career. The 75-yard return by Davis was the first INT returned for a TD by ASU since Darius Glover scored on a pick against Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 18, 2008. The 75-yard return also tied the seventh longest in school history . . . Cordarious Mingo recorded a career-high eight tackles, topping his previous high of seven set the previous two weeks against Nebraska and Troy.
THOMPKINS TOPS 2,000: With 230 kickoff return yards this season, senior Brandon Thompkins now has 2,136 yards and became the first player in school history and second player in SBC history surpass the 2,000-yard mark. Thompkins, already the school record holder in kickoff return yards, needs 210 more yards to break the SBC record. Thompkins has posted over 100 kickoff return yards in a game eight time times during his career at ASU.
RED ZONE SUCCESS: ASU's streak of 12 consecutive scores in the red zone was snapped last game at Iowa, but the Red Wolves are still 13-of-14 in scoring opportunities inside the opponent's 20-yard line. The Red Wolves rank first in the Sun Belt Conference and 18th in the nation in red zone offense.
TOUCHDOWN TIME: Senior running back Reggie Arnold has rushed for seven touchdowns through ASU's first three games. Arnold is ranked 13th in the nation in points scored, averaging 10.5 per game. Arnold now needs just five more touchdowns to tie the sixth most in school history for a single season. Arnold's 28 career rushing touchdowns leaves him five shy of tying the second most in school history and two short of the sixth most in SBC history.
GROWING CROWDS: With a crowd of 21,056 on hand for the MVSU game 23, 641 at the Troy game, ASU has now drawn a crowd of over 20,000 in 15 games all-time at ASU Stadium and six of those have come over the last seven games. Of those 15 games, 11 have been played with Steve Roberts as head coach. The crowd of 23,641 for the Troy game was the seventh largest in ASU Stadium history.
GAINING GROUND: With 3,493 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. Arnold needs 455 more yards to pass Richie Woit as ASU's all-time rushing leader.
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 four games, he now has 8,001 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.
BIG AUDIENCE: The crowd of 85,035 for the ASU-Nebraska game was the fifth largest to ever watch an Arkansas State game, while the crowd of 67,989 in attendance for the ASU-Iowa game was the 13th largest. 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
UNBUCKLE THE BELT: ASU is now 7-2 all-time and 6-2 under head coach Steve Roberts in Sun Belt Conference openers after falling 30-27 against Troy in its first league game this year. The Red Wolves have dropped a Sun Belt Conference opener at ASU Stadium for the first time, now standing 4-1 in those games
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Arkansas State is 12-3 in home conference games since 2005, its only setbacks coming against Troy in 2007 and 2009 and Middle Tennessee in 2006. The Red Wolves are 18-7 in home conference games all-time under Roberts.
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 409-437-37 record since the inaugural 1911 season and has played in seven bowl games.
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 Iowa at Kinnick Stadium on Oct. 13. The Red Wolves have a school-record seven televised games this season, including the Nebraska (Fox Sports Net PPV), Troy (Sun Belt Network), Iowa (ESPN2), Louisiana-Monroe (ESPN2), LouIsiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt Network), Middle Tennessee (ESPN Game Plan) and Western Kentucky (Sun Belt Network) games.
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.
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.