ASU hosts Idaho Saturday for homecoming - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

ASU hosts Idaho Saturday for homecoming

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GAME 5:  Arkansas State Red Wolves (2-3) vs. Idaho Vandals (1-5)
Oct. 12, 2013 | Liberty Bank Stadium
Jonesboro, Ark. | 6 p.m.
Radio:  EAB Red Wolves Sports Radio Network (107.9 FM, flagship)
Television:  ESPN3.com
Live Stats:  AStateRedWolves.com
 
ON TAP: Arkansas State will play its final non-conference game of the regular season Saturday when it hosts Idaho in its 2013 Homecoming game.  The game is set for a 6 p.m. kickoff at Liberty Bank Stadium and will be televised by ESPN3.com.  Every A-State game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Jonesboro area as part of the EAB Red Wolves Sports Radio Network, and the live radio broadcast can be accessed through the A-State athletics Web site (AStateRedWolves.com).
 
THE PRINCIPALS:  A-State will play its third consecutive non-conference game Saturday and will carry a 2-3 overall record into the contest after dropping its last two games on the road at Memphis and Missouri.  The Red Wolves are 2-0 at home this season and have won their last five games at Liberty Bank Stadium.  Idaho, looking for its first road win of the year, will bring a 1-5 record into the game after falling to No. 21/22 Fresno State last week at home.  Idaho picked up a 26-24 win over Temple on Sept. 28 for its lone victory, but also played No .23 Northern Illinois to within 10 points (45-35) on Sept. 14 at the Kibbie Dome.
 
BY THE NUMBERS . . .
1 of just 16 FBS programs to win at least 20 games over the last two years (2011 & 2012).
1 receiving touchdown needed by both Julian Jones to tie the 6th most (10) in school history.
2 rushing touchdowns needed by David Oku to tie the seventh most (22) in school history.
3 ASU was picked to finish 3rd in the preseason Sun Belt Coaches Poll with 45 pts. and 2 first-place votes.
4 players with 100 yards rushing vs. UAPB, making A-State just the 7th FBS team to accomplish the feat.
5 consecutive victories at Liberty Bank Stadium.
5 of the last eight seasons have seen A-State achieve bowl eligibility.
5 players named to one of college football's major award watch lists.
7 preseason All-Sun Belt Conference selections, the most in the league.
8 players (Albright, Carrethers, Haunga, Kennedy, McCants, Muse, Oliver, Williams) already with their degree.
8 game Sun Belt Conference winning streak held by A-State.
8 consecutive wins in the month of October dating back to the 2010 season.
8 consecutive winning seasons at Liberty Bank Stadium.
8 wins over its last nine games when coming off an open week.
9 victories over its last 10 Homecoming games, and 57 all-time Homecoming wins.
10 win seasons in 2011 & 2012, making ASU the first team in SBC history w/ back-to-back 10-win campaigns.
10 Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Awards over the last 11 years.
13 votes in the final 2012 USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll, ranking A-State No. 32 in the nation.
14 statistical categories in which A-State ranks among the top 50 teams in the nation after five games.
15 players named to the most recent Sun Belt Conference Commissioner's List (3.5 GPA or higher).
16 Sun Belt Conference victories over its last 17 league games.
18 points needed by Brian Davis to break the school record for points by kicking in a career (288).
18 A-State players named to at least one preseason All-Sun Belt Conference team.
21 A-State wins over its last 29 regular-season games dating back to 2011.
23 All-Sun Belt Conference selections over the last two years combined.
25 points needed by Brian Davis to break the Sun Belt record for career points by kicking (295).
27 players named to the most recent Sun Belt Conference Academic Honor Roll (3.0 GPA or higher).
28 votes in the final 2012 Associated Press Top 25 poll, ranking A-State No. 32 in the nation.
30 or more points scored by A-State in 20 of its last 28 games.
31 receptions recorded by Julian Jones over the last four games (7.8 per game).
91 yd rush by Michael Gordon vs UAPB matched the 2nd longest in ASU history.
213.2 rushing yards per game by A-State ranks 30th in the nation.
300 yards or more of total offense recorded by ASU in 39 of its last 43 games.
400 or more yards total offense by A-State in four of its first five games.
464.4 yards of total offense per game ranks as the 35th highest average in the nation.
26.7 million-dollar football facility project in Liberty Bank Stadium's north end zone announced.
 
HEAD COACH BRYAN HARSIN: Bryan Harsin was named the Red Wolves' 29th head football coach on Dec. 12, 2012.  Harsin is a 13-year coaching veteran at the NCAA FBS level who has coached in 10 bowl games as either an assistant or offensive coordinator.  Harsin, a finalist for the 2009 Broyles Award recognizing the top assistant coach in the country, has been associated with two nationally-prominent programs during his rise to A-State's head coach.  Working closely with Chris Petersen at Boise State and Mack Brown at Texas, two of the most well-respected coaches in the country, Harsin spent the last seven seasons as an offensive coordinator with the Broncos and Longhorns.
 
HIGH MARKS:  Arkansas State head football coach Bryan Harsin was ranked as the sixth best hire in the nation among 26 new coaches at the time, according to CBSSports.com.  The article written by Dennis Dodd said the following when referring to A-State's 29th head coach:  "We're talking a Sun Belt program that has changed its AD (once) and coaches (twice) over the last two years. Somehow the Red Wolves went from national championship game offensive coordinator (Malzahn) to Fiesta Bowl-winning offensive coordinator with a stop in Texas (Bryan Harsin). Not too shabby."
 
STARTING STRONG:  With the Red Wolves victory over UAPB, Bryan Harsin became the Red Wolves first head coach to win his inaugural game at the school since Larry Lacewell in 1979.  ASU's previous seven head coaches all suffered setbacks in their first game, including Al Kincaid, Ray Perkins, John Bobo, Joe Hollis, Steve Roberts, Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn.
 
YOUNGEST FBS HEAD COACHES:  At 36 years of age, Arkansas State head coach Bryan Harsin is the fourth youngest head coach in the nation.  Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck is the youngest at 32 years old with a Nov. 29, 1980 date of birth.
Coach   Age (DOB)
P.J. Fleck, Western Michigan       32 (11-29-80)
Matt Campbell, Toledo    33 (11-29-79)
Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech         34 (8-9-79)
Bryan Harsin, Arkansas State      36 (11-1-76)
Willie Taggart, USF        37 (8-27-76)
Justin Fuente, Memphis   37 (7-30-76)
Matt Rhule, Temple        38 (1-31-75)
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern       38 (12-2-74)
Garrick McGee, UAB       40 (4-6-73)
Matt Wells, Utah State    40 (8-10-73)
 
THE ARKANSAS STATE - IDAHO SERIES:  Arkansas State holds an all-time 4-4 record against Idaho, including four meetings as Sun Belt Conference opponents (2001-04) and two as Big West Conference foes (1999-2000).  The series dates back to 1975 when A-State claimed a 23-6 home victory on its way to an unblemished 11-0 record, but the two teams haven't played since Idaho's last season in the Sun Belt in 2004.  The Vandals are set to rejoin the Sun Belt Conference next season.  Idaho picked up a 45-31 home victory in the 2004 contest, but Arkansas State won the previous three contests.  A-State holds a 3-2 home record against the Vandals and a 1-2 road mark.
 
A-STATE vs. INDEPENDENTS:  Since the formation of Division I-A (FBS), Arkansas State has played 12 opponents while they were an NCAA FBS Independent.  A-State holds an all-time 11--35-3 record in those games played against Akron, UAB, Army, East Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Navy, Northern Illinois, Richmond and Southern Miss.  The last time the Red Wolves played an Independent was 2010 when it suffered a 35-19 setback at Navy.  A-State's last victory against an Independent came in 2006 when it defeated Army at home, 14-6.
 
99th SEASON UNDER WAY:  Arkansas State kicked off its 99th season of football Aug. 31, 2013, vs. UAPB.  A-State now holds a 428-460-37 record since its inaugural 1911 season and has played in nine bowl games.  ASU did not field a football team from 1942-44 due to World War II.  Arkansas State also didn't have a team in 1918 as World War I was ending.
 
AN A-STATE VICTORY WOULD . . .:  Make the Red Wolves 3-3 through six games for the second consecutive year . . . Give the Red Wolves two non-conference victories for the third straight season . . . Give it six consecutive victories at Liberty Bank Stadium and secure at least a .500 home record . . . Make the Red Wolves 5-4 all-time versus Idaho . . . Extend its winning streak in the month of October to nine games . . . Give it three consecutive Homecoming victories and improve its record to 10-1 in such games over the last 11 seasons.
 
HOME SWEET HOME:  With a 5-1 home mark last season, Arkansas State secured its eighth consecutive winning record at Liberty Bank Stadium dating back to 2005.  ASU is now 38-8 at Liberty Bank Stadium since the 2005 season and has won 13 of its last 14 home games.  The Red Wolves actual on-field record all-time at Liberty Bank Stadium is 130-71-1 since it opened in 1974. ASU's six home wins in 2011 were its most since 1985.
 
RED WOLVES OCTOBER:  Arkansas State is undefeated in October over the last two seasons with a 7-0 record over that span and has won its last eight games in the month dating back to the 2010 season.  A-State's first outing in October last year began a 7-game winning streak to close out its regular season.  The Red Wolves' first game in October of 2011 was its second outing in a string of nine straight wins to end the regular season.
 
COMING OFF THE OPEN WEEK: Arkansas State is coming off the first of two open weeks this season, with the other being prior to the Oct. 22 game against Louisiana-Lafayette.  Since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2001, the Red Wolves hold a 9-6 record in games played after an open week.  A-State has won eight of its last nine games played following an open week.
 
HOMECOMING HISTORY: Arkansas State is 57-27-1 all-time in Homecoming contests. The Red Wolves have won nine of their last 10 Homecoming games dating back to the 2003 season. A-State had a seven-game winning streak on its Homecoming snapped in 2010 with a 34-24 setback to Louisville, but knocked off North Texas 37-14 in 2011 and South Alabama 36-29 last year.
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