Bloomington, IN (ASU) — The Arkansas State Red Wolves (2-5) led Indiana (4-2) for the better part of three quarters, but the Hoosiers rallied to go on top 19-14 late in the third period, then held off ASU in the final quarter to secure a 36-34 victory Saturday afternoon before a crowd of 40,480 at Memorial Stadium.
Arkansas State led 14-12 before Indiana wide receiver Terrence Turner scored on a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Chappell with 4:08 remaining in the third, and the Red Wolves outscored the Hoosiers 20-17 in a wild fourth quarter, but Indiana recovered an ASU onsides kick in the final minute and was able to hold on for the win.
Arkansas State quarterback Ryan Aplin completed a school-record 33 of 44 passes for 275 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss, with wide receiver Dwayne Frampton hauling in a school-record 12 passes from Aplin for 93 yards and a score. The Red Wolves returned seven kickoffs for 223 yards, which goes down as second all-time in ASU history.
Chappell completed 26 of 42 passes for 382 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Hoosiers.
With the Red Wolves trailing 36-27, linebacker ASU Javon McKinnon forced and recovered an Indiana fumble at the Hoosier 26 with 1:36 to play. The Red Wolves took advantage of the turnover with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Aplin to running back Sirgregory Thornton that cut the Hoosier lead to 36-34 with 47 seconds remaining, but the ensuing onsides kick attempt bounced out of bounds and Indiana was able to run out the clock to seal the win.
"We had some good opportunities to win the game today in all three phases," said ASU head coach Steve Roberts. "We did some really good things in all three phases, but we didn't make enough plays to win the football game. We had opportunities to make stops, but we didn't get it done."
"It was a close game, and I have to give Indiana a ton of credit," Roberts added. "They played to their strengths, which is their quarterback and wide receivers. They had great coverage at times. Great players make great plays, and they did, so you have to take your hat off to them."
The Red Wolves jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when ASU marched 85 yards in 12 plays on its first possession. Arkansas State kept the drive alive when Aplin hooked up with wide receiver Allen Muse for 19 yards on third-and-three from the Indiana 49, and Aplin converted on third down again later in the drive when he passed complete to running back Derek Lawson at the Hoosier seven on third-and-seven from the IU 24. Aplin crossed the goal line from a yard out two plays later, and placekicker Bobby Zalud added the extra point for the 7-0 ASU advantage with 7:05 remaining in the first quarter.
An interception by Indiana safety Mitchell Evans set up the first Hoosier score of the afternoon. Evans picked off an Aplin pass at the Red Wolves 29 and returned it to the ASU five, but the Arkansas State defense denied the touchdown and the Hoosiers settled for a 20-yard field goal from placekicker Mitch Ewald to cut the A-State lead to 7-3.
A second interception from Evans midway through the second quarter led to a 34-yard field goal from Ewald with 6:15 remaining in the first half. Ewald's kick trimmed A-State's lead to a point at 7-6, but a 72-yard kickoff return from ASU's Roderick Hall set up the Red Wolves at the Hoosier 26. Arkansas State drove to the Indiana five before Lawson converted a fourth-and-one with a one-yard run to the IU four, and Aplin scored from the four two plays later for the 14-6 ASU lead.
The Hoosiers answered with a touchdown 40 seconds before the half that cut the ASU lead to 14-12. Indiana drove 80 yards in seven plays, wrapping up the possession with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Chappell to wideout Tandon Doss. Chappell's pass on the two-point conversion attempt was incomplete, and the Red Wolves took the 14-12 lead into the locker room at the break.
The Hoosiers took their first lead of the game at the 4:08 mark in the third quarter, getting a 27-yard touchdown pass from Chappell to wide receiver Terrence Turner to wrap up an eight-play 58-yard drive. Ewald added the extra point for the 19-14 Indiana advantage, then booted a 46-yard field goal with 13:19 remaining in the fourth to put the Hoosiers up by eight, 22-14.
A 62-yard kickoff return from A-State's R.J. Fleming put ASU in business at the Hoosier 28, and the Red Wolves cashed in on the field position with a six-yard touchdown jaunt from Thornton. Aplin's pass on the two-point conversion attempt was incomplete, leaving Indiana with a 22-20 advantage with 11:39 remaining.
Less than two minutes later, the Hoosiers answered again, getting a 16-yard touchdown pass from Chappell to tight end Max Dedmond to give Indiana a nine-point cushion at 29-20. Arkansas State drove 51 yards on its next possession to cut the Indiana lead to 29-22 on a five-yard touchdown pass from Aplin to Frampton, but Hoosier wideout Demarlo Belcher got behind the ASU secondary on the ensuing Hoosier possession for a 65-yard touchdown that again put IU up by nine at 36-27 with 7:46 remaining.
Defensively, the Red Wolves were led by safety Kelcie McCray's 11 tackles, with McKinnon and safety M.D. Jennings each adding eight stops. Cornerback Darron Edwards broke up a career-high four passes on the afternoon.
Arkansas State will now return to ASU Stadium for three consecutive games. The Red Wolves will host Florida Atlantic Oct. 23 in a noon contest televised by the Sun Belt Network, then take on Middle Tennessee State Nov. 2 in a 6:00 p.m. game that will be nationally televised on ESPN2. A-State will wrap up the three-game home stand Nov. 13 when Western Kentucky visits ASU for a 2:00 p.m. Sun Belt Conference matchup.
ARKANSAS STATE POSTGAME NOTES
ASU at Indiana
October 16, 2010 – Memorial Stadium
• ASU's Team Captains for game 7 were seniors M.D. Jennings, Isaiah Shepard and Trey Outlaw.
• Sophomore tight end Andre Smith made his first start of his career.
• ASU dropped its first game when leading at halftime, falling to 2-1 in those games. The Red Wolves led at the end of the first quarter for the third time as well.
• ASU now stands 24-20 under head coach Steve Roberts in games decided by eight or less, including a 1-1 record in two-point games.
• ASU outscored Indiana in the first half, marking the sixth straight game ASU has outscored its opponent in at least one half.
• Ryan Aplin recorded his team-high fifth and sixth rushing touchdowns of the season, giving him the most rushing touchdowns by an ASU quarterback since Elliot Jacobs had six in 2002. His two rushing touchdowns ties his career high.
• Ryan Aplin took over 8th place all-time at ASU for completions in a season (150).
• Ryan Aplin took over 8th place all-time at ASU for passing yards in a season (1,897).
• Ryan Aplin threw his 11th touchdown pass of the season, leaving him one shy of the 10th most in school history for a single season. Aplin has tossed at least one touchdown in every game this season.
• Ryan Aplin was responsible for a career-high four touchdowns (2 rush, 2 pass), topping his previous high of three set three times before.
• Ryan Aplin recorded a school-record 33 completions, topping the previous record of 32 set by Johnny Covington against San Jose State in 1995.
• Arkansas State's first scoring drive covering 85 yards was its second longest of the season. It also took 5:23, consuming the third most amount of time on a drive this year. ASU now has four scoring drives of 80-plus yards and three taking at least 5:00.
• Nine ASU players recorded a reception, matching its season high also set against Auburn and Louisiana-Lafayette.
• Sirgregory Thornton recorded his first career touchdowns at ASU, a six-yard run in the third quarter and a 22-yard reception in the fourth quarter.
• Dwayne Frampton recorded a school-record 12 receptions for 93 yards yards and a touchdown, his team-high fourth of the season. The previous record of 11 was set by Robert Kilow against Mississippi in 1999.
• Arkansas State has now scored at least 20 points in every game this season, marking the first time since 1987 it has posted 20-plus point in seven straight games. The Red Wolves scored 34 points, matching their season high previously set against ULM.
• Jeremy Gibson recorded his first sack this season and the fifth of his career. Gibson had three sacks as a sophomore and one as a freshman.
• Demario Davis recorded his first sack this season and the fourth of his career. Davis had three sacks last season as a sophomore. Davis also recorde his first fumble recovery this season and the second of his career.
• Darron Edwards broke up a career-high four passes, topping his previous high of two. Edwards now has a team-high eight pass break-ups. Edwards also finished with five tackles, his second most this season.
• Kelcie McCray recorded a team-high 11 tackles, his second most of the season behind only his 12 against Troy.
• ASU forced at least one turnover for the fifth straight game with two fumble recoveries. ASU has seven fumble recoveries this season, including at least one in each of the last four games.
• Javon McKinnon forced and recovered a fumble, giving him three forces and four recoveries for his career. McKinnon also finished with eight tackles, tying the second most on the team.
• Bobby Zauld made all four of his extra-point attempts, remaining a perfect 21-of-21 on the season, moving him into 10th place for most consecutive extra points made.
• Neely Sullivent recorded his fifth and sixth punts of at least 50 yards this season, including a career-long 61 yarder in the third quarter. He also had a career-tying three punts downed inside the 20, giving him 10 for the year. He also averaged a career-best 47.2 yards per punt.
• Rod Hall's career-best 71-yard kickoff return was the longest by an ASU player since James Hickenbotham returned a kickoff 93 yards against Idaho in 2001. Hall also finished with a career-high 158 return yards, the sixth most in school history for a single game.
• R.J. Fleming returned his first career kickoff return 62 yards.
• The Red Wolves finished with 223 kickoff return yards, including three returns of at least 50 yards, for the second most in school history for a single game. The record is 227, set against Louisiana-Lafayette in 1997.
• Rod Hall moved into a tie for fifth place all-time at ASU for kickoff return yards in a season (593).