10 ASU moments are on preliminary list of SBC 10th Anniversary - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

10 ASU moments are on preliminary list of SBC 10th Anniversary

New Orleans (KAIT) - 62 moments are on the preliminary list of the SBC 10th Anniversary Top Ten Moments. Each school will then submit their top three moments (as determined by votes from the head coach, Sports Information Director and media representative) to the conference office for a round of fan voting, a vote by the established media panel and a vote by the league head coaches.  The list of 27 moments would then be cut to form the Top Ten Moments in the Sun Belt's years of football.

The fan vote will begin on October 1st. The ASU moments on the preliminary list are below:

ASU Rallies from 31-6 Third-Quarter Deficit to Defeat Memphis In Lightning-Delay Game

After being sent home almost three weeks earlier due to severe lightning, a crowd of 27,774 returned Sept. 27 to watch the Arkansas State Red Wolves rally from a 31-6 deficit midway through the third quarter to defeat Memphis 35-31.  ASU quarterback Corey Leonard Leonard totaled a career-high 329 yards on the night, rushing for 74 yards and throwing for 255 and a career-high three touchdowns, and punt returner Kevin Jones sparked the comeback when he returned a Memphis punt 89-yards for a touchdown with 8:15 remaining in the third to cut the Tiger lead to 31-13.  The Red Wolves took possession with 12:23 to play and marched 60 yards in 10 plays for the go-ahead touchdown.  Tailback Preston Brown scored with 7:52 remaining in the game for the 35-31 final.

Arkansas State Stuns Texas A&M to Open Red Wolves Era
The first game of a new era provided what was arguably the biggest victory in the long history of Arkansas State University football.  Playing its first football game as the Red Wolves, Arkansas State left 78,691 Texas A&M fans at Kyle Field stunned, defeating the Aggies 18-14 Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.  Texas A&M had won its last 20 home openers, and the loss was just the fourth defeat for the Aggies in their last 50 non-conference games at home.  Arkansas State got its only touchdown of the night when it needed it the most.  After penetrating the Texas A&M 30-yard line five times and coming away with three field goals and  two turnovers, Arkansas State went on top to stay when junior quarterback Corey Leonard connected with senior wide receiver Kevin Jones from 15 yards out, giving the Red Wolves a 15-14 lead with 4:39 to play.

ASU Wins SBC, Accepts Bid to New Orleans Bowl
It was hard to tell if it was a presentation or a huge pep rally. Or maybe it was both, as Arkansas State University's football team stood in the middle of the ASU Convocation Center arena floor to accept an invitation to play in the 2005 New Orleans Bowl. Jay Cicero, the President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, stepped to the podium and formally extended an invitation to Head Coach Steve Roberts for the Indians to play in the Dec. 20 game in Lafayette, La. ASU President Dr. Les Wyatt signed the approval letter while the team, coaching staff, support staff, band, cheerleaders, dance team and hundreds of fans cheered.  Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Wright Waters then presented Coach Roberts with the 2005 Sun Belt Conference championship trophy.  Arkansas State finished the season at 5-2 in Sun Belt Conference play to earn the bowl bid, and completed the year at 6-6 overall after falling to Southern Miss, 31-19 in the bowl game.

ASU Stadium Hosts Sellout Crowd For Game Against Memphis
An ASU Stadium record crowd of 30,427 was on hand as Arkansas State opened its 2004 home schedule by hosting the 25th-ranked Memphis Tigers.  In addition to the record crowd, The game reached epic proportions in several areas. The contest lasted four hours and five minutes, making it one of the longest regular-season games in school history. Both offenses rolled up enormous numbers and ASU quarterback Nick Noce threw for a school record 418 yards.  The game featured 774 yards of passing and 1,041 yards of combined offense as Memphis rallied for a 47-35 victory.

Roberts Becomes ASU's 26th Head Coach
The Steve Roberts era began at Arkansas State when he was named the school's 26th head coach December 21, 2001.  When the 2005 Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year took over the program, he impressed everyone with his wide-eyed enthusiasm and limitless energy.  Roberts has been the driving force behind ASU's recent success, leading the football program to its most victories over an eight-year span since 1985-92.  Under Roberts' direction, ASU continues to add to the achievements that began upon his arrival.  Not only did ASU represent the Sun Belt Conference in the 2005 New Orleans Bowl, it claimed its first league championship since 1986.  Arkansas State went undefeated at home that season and is now 29-10 all-time at ASU Stadium under Roberts.  The bowl appearance was ASU's first since playing in the 1970 Pecan Bowl.  ASU has been bowl eligible three of the last five seasons and the last four Roberts' coached teams backed up the 2005 Sun Belt championship with non-conference victories over teams such as Army, Memphis, SMU and Texas A&M.  The Red Wolves' 2008 win over the Aggies was one of the biggest wins in school history as ASU picked up its first victory over a BCS conference school since joining the FBS.  Attendance has shown significant improvement during the Roberts era.  A stadium-record crowd was of 30,427 was on hand to watch ASU play Memphis in 2004, and ASU set the best average attendance mark of 21,105 in 2008.

Hail Mary Lifts ASU Over Memphis
With the clock reading :00, Arkansas State receiver Patrick Higgins jumped high in the end zone among a throng of Memphis defenders to catch a 53-yard pass from quarterback Corey Leonard to lead the Red Wolves to a come-from-behind 26-23 victory over the University of Memphis.  After leading 17-6 at the half, things looked grim for ASU late in the game after Memphis had erased the lead to 23-20 in favor of the Tigers when UM receiver Ryan Scott threw a 37-yard touchdown strike to Joseph Doss on a flea flicker. A few plays later, ASU's fate appeared to be sealed when Leonard was intercepted by UM's Heath Grant with just over four minutes left in the game, but the Red Wolves defense held and Arkansas State got the ball back with just 1:32 remaining in the game.  With 73 yards between ASU and the end zone, Leonard directed the Red Wolves down the field in four plays, with the bulk of the distance covered on the game's final play.

ASU's Carrington Named SBC Student-Athlete of the Year
The Sun Belt Conference announced that Alex Carrington, a four-year football letterman at Arkansas State from 2006-09, was named the league's 2009-10 Male Student-Athlete of the Year, marking the first time an ASU student-athlete has ever received the conference's most prestigious annual honor.  Carrington, who was also selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, added the honor to his long list of accomplishments built during his five-year stay at ASU that began with his 2005 redshirt season and ended in December of 2009 when he graduated with his bachelor's degree in Psychology.  In his final year at ASU, he was named First Team All-Sun Belt Conference, ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-District VI, Preseason SBC Defensive Player of the Year and the Little Rock Touchdown Club ASU Player of the Year.  Additionally, he competed in the Senior Bowl and was named to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, Lott Trophy Watch List, Lombardi Trophy Watch List and Ted Hendricks Award Watch List.  The Tupelo, Miss. native had one of the most dominating seasons in the history of the Sun Belt Conference in 2008 when he was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year after recording 53 tackles, 10.5 sacks and one interception.  He ranked tied for 14th in the nation in sacks and seventh in tackles for loss.  His first of three consecutive all-conference seasons came in 2007 as a sophomore when he recorded 38 tackles and five tackles for loss on an ASU defense ranked No. 1 in the league.

ASU's Carrington Drafted by Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills used their third pick of the 2010 NFL Draft to select Arkansas State's Alex Carrington, making the three-time All-Sun Belt Conference performer the eighth pick of the third round and 72nd choice overall.  Carrington, the ninth defensive end selected, became the 42nd ASU player to ever be selected in the NFL Draft.  Carrington became the ninth-highest NFL draft pick ever among all Arkansas State players and the highest ASU selection since safety Tyrell Johnson was taken by the Minnesota Vikings with the 43rd overall pick of the 2008 draft.  Linebacker Bill Bergey was the No. 31 pick in the 1969 NFL draft, making him the highest selection ever for an ASU player.  Carrington joined former ASU players Fred Barnett (No. 77, 1990 draft), Michael Adams (No. 67, 1987 draft), Bill Phillips (No. 58, 1972 draft) and Clovis Swinney (No. 62, 1970 draft) as third-round selections.  Carrington also became the third A-State player to be selected by the Bills in the draft.  Buffalo also drafted Gene Bradley in the second round of the 1980 draft and Ken Jones in the second round of the 1976 draft.  Carrington is the fourth ASU player to be drafted over the last four years, along with fullback Oren O'Neal in 2007, Johnson in 2008 and tight end David Johnson in 2009.  Over 90 all-time Arkansas State players have signed pro contracts with an NFL franchise.

ASU's Tyrell Johnson Drafted by Minnesota Vikings
Former Arkansas State standout safety Tyrell Johnson (Rison, Ark.) was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 12th pick in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft today.  The Vikings made Johnson the 43rd overall pick and the second safety taken in the draft.  Johnson became the third highest NFL draft pick ever among all Arkansas State players and the highest ASU selection since quarterback Gene Bradley was taken by the Buffalo Bills with the 37th overall pick of the 1980 draft.  Linebacker Bill Bergey was the No. 31 pick in the 1969 NFL draft, making him the highest selection ever for an ASU player.  Johnson also joined former ASU players Ken Jones (No. 45, 1976 draft) and Stan Winfrey (No. 49, 1975 draft) as second round selections.   Johnson was a four-year starter at ASU, finishing his career as the Sun Belt Conference's all-time tackles leader with 363 to his credit.  He is also the Sun Belt's all-time leader in interception return yards with 309 and his 13 career interceptions is the fourth most in league history.  Johnson, the 2007 Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year, was a four-time all-conference pick and a three-time Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week selection.  He was on the 2007 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List and a member of Street & Smith's Preseason All-America Team as both a junior and senior.

Fans Storm Field, Goal Post Come Down as ASU Defeats Army
ASU students and fans stormed the field and pulled down the goal posts following the Red Wolves 14-6 2006 season-opening win over Army at ASU Stadium.  Reggie Arnold rushed for 140 yards and scored a 17-yard touchdown in his first-ever collegiate football game to lead Arkansas State to the victory.  ASU rolled up 319 yards of total offense including 222 yards on the ground and 97 yards through the air. Army finished the game with 164 yards of offense. Quarterbacks Travis Hewitt and Corey Leonard combined to connect on 11 of 16 passes. Chris Miller led all Indian receivers with four catches for 21 yards. Army quarterback David Pevoto completed 12 of 23 for 95 yards and two interceptions and the Black Knights' ground game was led by Wesley McMahand with 13 carries for just 35 yards.

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