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Arkansas State football faces Tulsa Saturday in non-conference finale

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 8:22 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 24, 2021 at 4:21 PM CDT
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GAME 4: Arkansas State (1-2) at Tulsa (0-3)

Sept. 25th, 2021 | H.A. Chapman Stadium | Tulsa, Okla. | 4:00 p.m. (CT)

Radio: EAB Red Wolves Sports Network (107.9 FM), flagship

Matt Stolz (pxp), Phillip Butterfield (analyst), Brad Bobo (sideline)

Television: ESPN+

Courtney Lyle (pxp), Brandon Weeden (analyst)

Live Stats: AStateStats.com

Live Game Notes: twitter.com/AStateGameDay

ON TAP: Arkansas State remains on the road for the second consecutive week to close out its non-conference schedule with a 4:00 p.m. game Saturday against American Athletic Conference member Tulsa. The contest will appear on ESPN+, and every A-State football game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Northeast Arkansas area. The live broadcast can also be accessed on the official A-State Athletics web site (AStateRedWolves.com).

THE PRINCIPALS: Arkansas State is in the midst of its first three-game road swing where each contest is being played on consecutive Saturdays for the first time since 2004. The Red Wolves will conclude the non-conference portion of their regular-season schedule this weekend, but remain on the road next week as well to face Georgia Southern in their Sun Belt Conference opener. They enter the contest with a 1-2 record, while Tulsa will bring an 0-3 mark into the contest after most recently falling 41-20 at Ohio State last week.

HEAD COACH BUTCH JONES: Butch Jones was announced as the Red Wolves’ 31st all-time head football coach on December 12, 2020. Jones not only brought 11 years of head-coaching experience at the NCAA FBS level with him to Jonesboro after previous stops leading the football programs at Tennessee (2013-17), Cincinnati (2010-12) and Central Michigan (2007-09), but he also spent the last three seasons (2018-20) working as part of Nick Saban’s staff at national-power Alabama. During Jones’ first 11 seasons serving as a head coach, his teams combined to win four conference championships, played in eight bowl games and finished ranked in the AP Top 25 five times. He has coached a combined 77 all-conference honorees and 27 NFL Draft picks.

DEBUT GAMES: Butch Jones is A-State’s 31st all-time head coach, but became just the 11th to claim a victory in his first ever game at the school. Each of the two head coaches (Blake Anderson and Bryan Harsin) immediately preceding Jones won their initial games, but Harsin in 2013 was actually the first to do so since Larry Lacewell in 1979, snapping a streak of seven head coaches to drop their debuts. A-State’s head coaches to win their first game at the school include Jones (2021), Anderson (2014), Harsin, Lacewell, Bill Davidson (1971), Gene Harlow (1955), Glen Harmeson (1954), Bill Adams (1939), Jack Dale (1931), Bill Stanley (1924) and Clint Young (1913). Among the same group, Davidson was the last to win his first two games in 1971.

FAMILY TIES: Research indicates that Butch Jones is one of nine FBS head coaches in the nation with a son currently playing at an FBS institution. Adam Jones, one of Jones’ three sons, is currently a redshirt freshman wide receiver for the Red Wolves after transferring from Central Michigan to A-State after Jones accepted the Red Wolves’ head coaching position. Jones’ oldest son, Alex, is also in his first season in an offensive quality control position for the Red Wolves. His youngest son, Andrew, is a member of the freshman football team at Valley View in Jonesboro.

THE ARKANSAS STATE - TULSA SERIES: Arkansas State and Tulsa are set to meet for the first time since 2018, although the two squads were scheduled to face each other in Jonesboro last year before the game was canceled. The Red Wolves will now face the Golden Hurricane for the sixth time in school history, holding a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series that dates back to 1978. A-State claimed a 29-20 road victory in the 2018 game and has won three of the last four meetings between the two schools.

A-STATE/TULSA SERIES

2018, A-State @ Tulsa (W, 29-20)

2003, A-State @ Tulsa (L, 54-7)

2002, Tulsa @ A-State (W, 21-19)

1981, Tulsa @ A-State (W, 31-7)

1978, A-State @ Tulsa (L, 21-20)

A-STATE vs AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: Arkansas State is set to play a member of the American Athletic Conference for the second time this year and eighth time since the league’s inaugural season in 2013, including each of the last six seasons. While the Red Wolves hold an all-time 2-5 record versus AAC opponents, two of those five setbacks were decided by seven points or less.

A-State vs the AAC

2021 vs Memphis (L, 55-50)

2020 at Memphis (L, 37-24)

2019 vs SMU (L, 37-30)

2018 at Tulsa (W, 29-20)

2017 at SMU (L, 44-21)

2016 vs UCF (W, 31-13 at the Cure Bowl)

2013 at Memphis (L, 31-7)

ON THIS DATE: Dating back to the 1926 season, Arkansas State holds an 8-5 record when playing on Sept. 25. The Red Wolves have played on the date twice during this century, falling 35-28 at Troy in 2010 and defeating ULM 28-21 at home in 2004. They claimed four consecutive wins in games played on Sept. 25 from 1948-71.

OKLAHOMA RED WOLVES: Arkansas State has five players on its roster from the state of Oklahoma, including four who are listed on its current depth chart. The list includes Dahu Green (Oklahoma City), Jeff Foreman (Oklahoma City), Austin Woods (Claremore), Andre Harris Jr. (Oklahoma City) and Justin Dutton (Guthrie). The Red Wolves’ roster also includes Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College transfer Quinton Lee.

THE FIRST FIVE: While Arkansas State began its 2021 campaign with back-to-back home games for the first time since 1987, it is now in the midst of playing three consecutive Saturdays on the road for the first time since 2004. The Red Wolves also played three road games in a row in 2020, 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2008, but none of them on three consecutive Saturdays.

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