GAME 10: Arkansas State Red Wolves (5-4, 3-1)
host Texas State Bobcats (6-3, 2-2)
Nov. 16, 2013 | Liberty Bank Stadium
Jonesboro, Ark. | 6:30 p.m.
Radio: EAB Red Wolves Sports Radio Network (107.9 FM, flagship)
Television: Sun Belt Network
Live Stats: AStateRedWolves.com, TapStats
ON TAP: Arkansas State begins a two-game home stand Saturday when its hosts Sun Belt Conference newcomer Texas State in the fourth of six consecutive league contests to close out the regular season. The game is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff and will be televised by the Sun Belt Network. 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: Saturday's game will feature a pair of teams in the top half of the Sun Belt Conference standings. The Red Wolves have won their last two games and enter the contest in second place in the Sun Belt standings with a 3-1 league record. The Bobcats have won three consecutive games to become bowl eligible and are currently fourth in the conference standings with a 2-2 mark. Texas State brings a 2-2 road record into the game, while the Red Wolves are 3-1 at home this season and 14-2 over its last 16 games at Liberty Bank Stadium.
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 Allen Muse to tie the 9th most (9) in school history.
1 point needed by Brian Davis to break the Sun Belt record for points by kicking in a career (295).
1.3 passes defended per game by Rocky Hayes ranks 15th in the nation.
3 ASU was picked to finish 3rd in the preseason Sun Belt Coaches Poll with 45 pts. and 2 first-place votes.
3 out of the last four games Qushaun Lee (12.8 tpg over that span) has posted double-figure tackles.
3 A-State players (Davis, Hayes, McKissic) ranked 1st in the Sun Belt in at least 1 statistical category.
4 games with over 300 yards total offense by Adam Kennedy, including the ULM game.
4 consecutive seasons with a victory over the top team in the Sun Belt Preseason Coaches Poll, including 2013.
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 consecutive wins in the month of November dating back to the 2011 season.
8 consecutive winning seasons at Liberty Bank Stadium.
8 receptions needed by J.D. McKissic to break the school record for career receptions (163).
8 straight victories in games decided by 7 points or less, the second longest active streak in the nation.
9 turnovers lost by A-State is tied for the seventh fewest in the nation.
9 players (Albright, Campbell, Carrethers, Haunga, Kennedy, McCants, Muse, Oliver, Williams) already with their degree.
9 consecutive games won by A-State against teams from the state of Texas.
10.0 tackles per game by Qushaun Lee is ranked as the 17th highest average in the nation.
10 game Sun Belt Conference road winning streak held by A-State.
10 tackles needed by Qushaun Lee to become first ASU player since 2002-03 with 100 stops in consecutive seasons.
10 win seasons in 2011 & 2012, making ASU the first team in SBC history w/ back-to-back 10-win campaigns.
10 A-State players named to Phil Steele's midseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team.
10 Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Awards over the last 11 years.
12 passes defended by Rocky Hayes is three more than the most by an ASU player for all of last season.
12 consecutive field goals made by Brian Davis for the second longest streak in school history.
13 consecutive victories by A-State when scoring at least 30 points.
13 votes in the final 2012 USA Today Coaches Top 25 poll, ranking A-State No. 32 in the nation.
13 A-State players named to at least one preseason All-Sun Belt Conference team.
15 players named to the most recent Sun Belt Conference Commissioner's List (3.5 GPA or higher).
16 statistical categories in which A-State ranks among the top 50 teams in the nation.
18 Sun Belt Conference victories over its last 20 league games.
19 receptions by Darion Griswold are the most by an A-State tight end since Trevor Gillott (24) in 2009.
19. 3 points allowed per game over A-State's last four contests, 8.7 less than its season average.
23 All-Sun Belt Conference selections over the last two years combined.
24 A-State wins over its last 33 regular-season games dating back to 2011.
26.3 yards per kickoff return by ASU is ranked 7th in the nation, and 18.4 ypr KO coverage is ranked 16th.
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 22 of its last 32 games.
46.4 third-down conversion percentage by A-State is ranked 31st in the nation.
48 of J.D. McKissic's 54 receptions have come over the last seven games (6.9 per game).
66 tackles by Ryan Carrethers are the most in the nation by a defensive lineman.
68.4 completion percentage by Adam Kennedy is ranked 10th in the nation.
300 yards or more of total offense recorded by ASU in 42 of its last 47 games.
400 or more yards total offense by A-State in six of its first nine games.
433.2 yards total offense per game is the third highest in school history for a single season.
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 37 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, 37 (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 - TEXAS STATE SERIES: Saturday's game will mark the first ever meeting between Arkansas State and Texas State.
RUSHING OFFENSE vs RUSHING DEFENSE: Saturday's game will feature an Arkansas State offense ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference in rushing offense (199.4 ypg) and a Texas State defense ranked first in rushing defense (106.2 ypg). The Red Wolves have rushed for over 200 yards in three games this season and hold a nine-game winning streak when hitting the mark. A-State has also rushed for at least 150 yards in five games this year and holds a 5-0 record in those contests. Texas State hasn't allowed an opponent to rush for 150 yards in seven outings and is 5-2 in those outings.
LONE STAR SUCCESS: Dating back to the 2007 season, Arkansas State has won its last nine games against teams from the Lone Star state. The Red Wolves fell to Texas in their 2007 season opener, but came back to sweep their games over SMU and North Texas that year. A-State knocked off Texas A&M, Texas Southern and North Texas in 2008 and also defeated the Mean Green in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
TEXAS RED WOLVES: Arkansas State has 13 players on its roster from the state of Texas, the second most among all states outside of Arkansas (Alabama, 16). Players on A-State's roster from the state of Texas includes Kendrick Daniels (Sulpher Springs), Christian Flewellen (Duncanville), Jeremy Fulcher (Dallas), John Gandy (Houston), Hunter Holmes (Dallas), Money Hunter (Prosper), Colin Janice (Orange), Ja'Von Jones (Mesquite), Cliff Mitchell (Jasper), Chris Odom (Arlington), Cade Oliver (Mansfield), Eddie Porter (Woodlands) and Raziel Valgis (El Paso).