JONESBORO, AR (ASU) - The Arkansas State football team allowed Texas State to rack up 370 yards on the ground as the Red Wolves dropped their second straight Sun Belt Conference contest by a score of 45-27 to the Bobcats Thursday night in an ESPNU televised game at Bobcat Stadium in San Marcos, Texas.
Robert Lowe led Texas State (6-5, 4-3) with 236 yards on the ground and had four rushing touchdowns of nine, 24, 26, and 50 yards. His 50-yarder with 3:43 remaining in the contest to make the score 45-27 put the game out of reach for the Red Wolves (6-5, 4-3). The Bobcats had 562 yards of total offense and quarterback Tyler Jones was very efficient with 192 yards through the air on 14-of-22 passing with two touchdowns while chipping in 77 yards in the running game.
Fredi Knighten set career highs in passing yards (366) and total offense (406), but his two touchdown passes weren't enough to keep Arkansas State in the game. Michael Gordon ran for 77 yards on 16 carries, while Blake Mack set career highs in receptions (3) and yards (90) and caught his first career touchdown pass to help the Red Wolves gain 498 yards of total offense.
Texas State struck first in the contest with a two-yard pass-and-catch from Jones to Demun Mercer late in the first quarter, but a missed field goal by the Bobcats after an interception sparked the A-State offense early in the second quarter. Knighten found Dijon Paschal for a 21-yard catch on the first play of the drive before Mack hauled in a 47-yard touchdown pass three plays later to tie the contest at 7-7.
However, the Bobcats responded with 21 unanswered points, starting with a 26-yard run for a touchdown by Lowe for a 14-7 edge. The Red Wolves went three-and-out on the next drive and Jones found C.J. Best on a slant route that turned into a 70-yard touchdown for a 21-7 advantage for Texas State. The Bobcats scored later in the quarter on another Lowe run, a nine-yarder, for a 28-7 lead.
Blaise Taylor took the ensuing kickoff 54 yards into Texas State territory and six plays later Knighten connected with Booker Mays on a 26-yard touchdown pass, the first of Mays' career, to set the halftime score at 28-14.
The Red Wolves came out strong after the break by driving 73 yards on 13 plays before the drive stalled at Texas State's two-yard line. A-State settled for Logan Spry's first career field goal, an 18-yarder, to cut the deficit to 11 points at 28-17. Darrius Rosser forced a fumble on the next drive that Xavier Woodson recovered to give the Arkansas State offense the ball at Texas State's 35-yard line, but the drive stalled and the Bobcats kicked a field goal to take a 31-17 advantage. A-State added another Spry field goal to put the score at 31-20 going into the final period.
The fourth quarter didn't start out as planned with Lowe cashing in on a 24-yard run to extend Texas State's advantage to 38-20 with 13:06 on the clock. Neither team capitalized on its next drive, but Johnston White found the end zone with five and a half minutes remaining to cap a 12-play, 82-yard drive that included a 25-yard catch-and-run by Darion Griswold. A-State needed a stop down 38-27, but Lowe's 50-yard scamper for a touchdown quelled any threat of a Red Wolves' comeback.
Defensively, Qushaun Lee collected 11 tackles and had 368 for his career, which moved him ahead of former A-State linebacker Mike Morris for fifth most in school history. Sterling Young and Chris Stone added seven tackles each, while Stone registered the team's only sack. As a team the Red Wolves recorded eight tackles-for-loss with Rosser leading the way with two.
Arkansas State returns home to Centennial Bank Stadium for its final game of the 2014 regular season when the Red Wolves take on SBC foe New Mexico State. A-State will honor its 14 seniors before the game, which is slated for a 2 p.m. (CT) kickoff. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the A-State Central Box Office at 870-972-2781 or 1-888-ASU-FANS or online at tickets.astate.edu.
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