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A-STATE GAME NOTES: vs Tulsa

September 21, 2020

GAME 3: Arkansas State (1-1) hosts Tulsa (0-1)
Sept. 26, 2020 | Centennial Bank Stadium
Jonesboro, Ark. | 2:30 p.m.
Radio: EAB Red Wolves Sports Network (107.9 FM, flagship)
Matt Stolz (pxp), Tim Allison (analyst), Brad Bobo (sideline)
Television: ESPN2
Anish Shroff (pxp), Tom Luginbill (analyst), Lericia Harris (sideline)
Live Stats: AStateStats.com
Live Game Notes: twitter.com/AStateGameDay

 
ON TAP:  Receiving votes in both the Associated Press and Coaches Top 25 polls, Arkansas State is set to resume its 2020 schedule Saturday when it hosts Tulsa in its first home game of the season.  The Red Wolves’ Homecoming contest is set to appear on ESPN2, and every A-State football game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Northeast Arkansas area.  The live radio broadcast can also be accessed on the official A-State Athletics web site (AStateRedWolves.com).
 
THE PRINCIPALS:  Playing its first game since defeating Big 12 foe Kansas State on Sept. 12, the Red Wolves are receiving votes in both the Associated Press Top 25 and Coaches polls for the first time since the end of the 2012 season.  The Red Wolves were originally slated to host UCA in its home opener on Sept. 19, but the game was postponed and rescheduled for Oct. 10 after A-State announced it was unable to assemble a two-deep depth chart at one specific position group due to player unavailability.  A-State most recently knocked off Kansas State 35-31 in Manhattan, Kan., for its first win over a Power 5 conference opponent since 2008.  Tulsa remains on the road for its second game after falling 16-7 at then-ranked No. 11 Oklahoma State this past Saturday.
 
BY THE NUMBERS…
1 of just two all-time programs to win five Sun Belt Conference championships.
3 consecutive home victories by A-State dating back to last season.
4 consecutive years A-State had a player named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year.
5 A-State players on a major award watch list (J. Adams, A. Harris, Horst, Grupe, Murray)
5 Sun Belt Conference titles (2011-13, 2015, 2016) over the last nine seasons (2011-19).
6 A-State players named Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference.
7 or more victories each of the last nine seasons (2011-19) — first time in school history.
9 offensive starters, including all five offensive linemen, returning from the 2019 season.
9 straight bowl-game appearances (2011-19) – school record & the 14th longest active streak in the nation.
9 consecutive winning seasons (2011-19) by A-State for the first time in school history.
9 consecutive Homecoming victories by Arkansas State.
11 all-time Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Awards, including four of the last five years.
12 of the last 15 seasons (2005-19) have seen A-State reach bowl eligibility, including the last 9 in a row.
12 A-State victories over its last 15 home openers.
15 A-State players made their first career start with the Red Wolves over the first two games.
15 consecutive seasons with a winning record at Centennial Bank Stadium (2005-19).
30 or more points scored by A-State in 71 of its last 108 regular-season games (66 percent).
36 all-time Sun Belt wins under Blake Anderson are the second most in league history by any head coach.
48 of the last 52 games the A-State defense has recorded at least one sack.
48 victories under Blake Anderson (2014-20) are the most by an A-State head coach over his first 7 seasons.
50 of the last 57 games with at least 5.0 tackles for loss by the A-State defense.
56 Sun Belt Conference victories over the last nine (2011-19) seasons (56-17 league record).
61.7 winning pct. (79-49) from 2010-19 for A-State was the 2nd highest in program history for any decade.
76 victories by A-State over the last 10 seasons (2011-20) ranks tied for the 23rd most in the nation.
88 all-time Sun Belt victories by A-State — the most in the history of the league by any program.
300 or more yards total offense in 109 of last 130 games (84%), including all but five under Blake Anderson.
400 or more yards total offense in 55 of 79 games (70%) during the Blake Anderson era.
 
HEAD COACH BLAKE ANDERSON:  Blake Anderson, a 19-year coaching veteran at the NCAA FBS level who also coached in an NJCAA National Championship game, was named the Red Wolves’ 30th all-time head coach on Dec. 19, 2013.  Anderson led the Red Wolves to Sun Belt Conference championships in 2015 and 2016, as well as six consecutive winning seasons and six bowl-game appearances (2019 and 2017 Camellia Bowl, 2018 Arizona Bowl, 2016 Cure Bowl, 2015 New Orleans Bowl, 2014 GoDaddy Bowl) during his first six years leading the program.  Under his direction, the Red Wolves have set 12 new single-season records, including average yards total offense (494.8 ypg in 2017), total offense (6,174 yards in 2014) and points scored (520 in 2015).  Following the 2019 season, Anderson received the Capital One Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award and was named the Grant Teaff Coach of the Year, presented annually by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
 
FAST START:  Out of 30 all-time head coaches at Arkansas State, Blake Anderson became one of just four to win at least seven games in his first season (2014) at the school.  The other head coaches to win at least seven games in their first season as head coach at A-State were Bryan Harsin (2013), Gus Malzahn (2012) and Hugh Freeze (2011).
 
SEVEN YEARS RUNNING:  Blake Anderson is the only head coach in Arkansas State history to win 48 or more games over his first seven years at the school.  Additionally, he is one of just three head coaches at A-State to  ever direct the program to at least 48 wins in 78 or fewer games — Forrest England won 49 games over the same span tween 1946-53 and Bennie Ellender won 52 times over his 76 games total games between 1963-70.
 
DOUBLE DIGITS:  Thirty-eight (38) of the Red Wolves’ 48 wins under head coach Blake Anderson have come by 10 or more points.  At the same time five of their 10 single-digit victories under Anderson have been posted over the Red Wolves’ last seven outings dating back to last season.  Last season, A-State collected the program’s most single-digit wins (5) in one year since the 1982 season when it also had five.  Arkansas State has outscored its opponents 2,002-1,001 in the 48 wins under Anderson for a 20.9-point average scoring difference.
 
CLIMBING THE LADDER:  Blake Anderson has led the Red Wolves to a pair of Sun Belt titles and collected 36 league wins along the way, which are the second most ever by any of the conference’s all-time head coaches.
 
CHANGE OF PLANS:  A-State, which played back-to-back road games to start its season for the first time since 2010, didn’t announce Central Arkansas and Kansas State as additions to its 2020 schedule until Aug. 7 and Aug. 12, respectively.  The Red Wolves were originally slated to play a home game against Howard on Sept. 12 and a road game at Michigan on Sept. 19 before the two contests were canceled.  A-State’s original schedule called for it to alternate road and home games throughout the regular season for the first time in school history.
 
UCA GAME POSTPONED UNTIL OCT. 10:  Arkansas State announced last week that its game against UCA, originally scheduled for Sept. 19, was rescheduled for Oct. 10 due to being unable to assemble a full two-deep depth chart at one specific position group.  The Red Wolves and Bears last played each other in 2016.
 
THE ARKANSAS STATE-TULSA SERIES:  Arkansas State is set to play Tulsa for the sixth time in school history, holding a 3-2 record against the Golden Hurricane.  The series dates back to 1978 and most recently saw the Red Wolves claim a 29-20 road win in 2018.  This year’s game completes a two game home-and-home series between A-State and Tulsa.
A-STATE/TULSA SERIES
S. 15, 2018:  at Tulsa (W, 29-20)
S. 20, 2003:  at Tulsa (L, 7-54)
S. 7, 2002:  at Tulsa (W, 21-19)
N. 21, 1981:  vs Tulsa (W, 31-7)
S. 2, 1978:  at Tulsa (L, 20-21)
 
A-STATE vs AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE:  Arkansas State holds an all-time 29-39-5 record against current members of the American Athletic Conference.  While the Red Wolves are set to face a team competing as a member of the league at the time of the game for just the seventh time in school history, this is the ?fth consecutive season they have played an AAC foe.  Their six previous games (2-4 record) against the AAC came in 2013 (L 31-7 at Memphis), 2016 (W 31-13 vs UCF in the Cure Bowl), 2017 (L 44-21 at SMU), 2018 (W 29-20 at Tulsa), 2019 (L 37-30 vs SMU) and 2020 (L, 24-37 at Memphis).  A-State has also played the following current AAC teams, although they weren’t members of the league at the time of the games:  Cincinnati (1-1), East Carolina (0-2) and Navy (0-1).
 
ON THIS DATE:  The first time on record that Arkansas State played a game on Sept. 26 was during the 1925 season when it fell 53-0 at Ole Miss.  Dating back to that game, the Red Wolves hold an 8-5-1 record when playing on the date.  The last time A-State played on Sept. 26 was the 2015 season when it fell 37-7 at Toledo.  While the Red Wolves have dropped their last two games played on Sept. 26, it won six  in a row between 1964-1998.  Their last win on the date came in 1998 at Hawaii by a 20-0 score.  In addition to Hawaii, A-State has also defeated Southern Illinois (twice), Texas A&M-Commerce, Central Michigan, Southeastern Louisiana, North Alabama and Abilene Christian in games played on Sept. 26.
 
THE NOMINEES ARE…:  As selected by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), the four nominees for the Reveal Suits National Team of the Week included Arkansas State after the Red Wolves defeated Kansas State 35-31 in Manhattan on Sept. 12.  Fellow Sun Belt member Louisiana earned the weekly award after defeating No. 23 Iowa State 31-14 in Ames.
 
POWER PLAY:  With its 35-31 road win over Kansas State, the Red Wolves collected their first win over a Power 5 conference opponent since defeating Texas A&M 18-14 in 2008.  It also marked their second win over a Power 5 team since moving to FBS status in 1992.  In the process, A-State handed Kansas State its first defeat in a home opener since a loss to North Dakota State in 2013.  The Red Wolves’ victory also marked just the eighth time an opponent has defeated K-State over the Wildcats last 84 regular-season non-conference home games.
 
HOMECOMING HISTORY:  Arkansas State is 62-27-3 all-time in Homecoming contests.  The Red Wolves have won 16 of their last 17 Homecoming games, including the last nine in a row, dating back to the 2003 season.  The only setback during that time came 34-24 against Louisville in 2010.  Saturday’s game will mark the first time A-State has hosted Tulsa for its Homecoming game.  This year marks just the fourth time in school history that A-State’s Homecoming game was also its home opener.  The previous three times it occurred was 2001, 1924 and 1923.
 
HOME OPENERS:  While Arkansas State dropped its home (and season) opener 37-30 against SMU in 2019, it has still won its first home game played in 12 of the last 15 seasons dating back to 2005.  The Red Wolves stand 32-14 all-time in home openers at Centennial Bank Stadium and are also 18-9 in such games since moving to FBS status in 1992.  The last time A-State played its home opener on a date later than Sept. 26 was in 1974 (Sept. 28).
 
HOME SWEET HOME:  Arkansas State has strung together 15 consecutive years (2005-19) with a winning record at Centennial Bank Stadium dating back to 2005.  The Red Wolves are now 68-17 (.800 winning percentage) since the 2005 season and have won 43 of their last 53 home outings.  The Red Wolves actual on-field record all-time at Centennial Bank Stadium is 160-80-1 since it opened in 1974.  A-State’s six home wins in 2011 were its most since 1985.  The 2011 season also marked the last time the Red Wolves went undefeated at Centennial Bank Stadium.
 
AN A-STATE VICTORY WOULD . . . :  give the Red Wolves their second consecutive win against Tulsa and run their all-time record against the Golden Hurricane to 4-2 . . . move it’s all-time record against AAC opponents to 3-4 . . . mark its 10th consecutive Homecoming victory . . . make it 13-3 over its last 16 home openers . . . extend its home winning streak to four games . . . guarantee the Red Wolves at least a .500 non-conference record during the regular season for the third consecutive year, fourth time under head coach Blake Anderson and sixth time over the last 10 seasons . . . give it a winning record after three games for the second time over the last three seasons (2018, 2020), but just the sixth time since moving to FBS status in 1992 (2020, 2018, 2013, 2008, 2003, 1995).
 
FOR STARTERS:  Fifteen (15) A-State players made their first career start with the Red Wolves over the team’s first two games of the season.  The total includes six offensive and nine defensive players.
OFFENSE (6)Brandon Bowling (WR), Dahu Green (WR), Jamal Jones (RB), Ethan Miner (OL), Wyatt Luebke (OL), Roshauud Paul (WR)
DEFENSE (9)Elery Alexander (S), Taylon Doss (CB), Jaden Harris (LB), Tahj Herring-Wilson (CB), Fred Hervey (LB), Noel Iwuchukwu (DL), Samy Johnson (CB), Justin Rice (LB), Vidal Scott (DL)
 
IMMEDIATE IMPACT:  Twenty-three (23) A-State players have earned their first playing time with the Red Wolves this season, including nine true freshmen, seven FBS transfers and five junior-college transfers who are all new additions to the Red Wolves’ roster in 2020.
TRUE FRESHMEN (9)Jack Bullard (DS), Taylon Doss (CB), Antwon Fegans (S), Kenneth Harris (CB), Lincoln Pare (RB), Corey Rucker (WR), Javar Strong (S), Trevian Thomas (S), Israel Whitmore (LB)
FBS TRANSFER (7)Giles Amos (Sr., TE), Ryan Hanson (R-Fr./P), Javan Hawes (Jr./WR), Tahj Herring-Wilson (CB), Roshauud Paul (Jr./WR), Justin Rice (Sr./LB), Kennan Solomon (Jr./DL)
JC TRANSFER (5)Avery Demmons (Jr./OL), Booker Ficklin (Jr./CB), CJ Harris (R-Fr./DB), Fred Hervey (Jr./LB), Vidal Scott (Jr./DL)
 
WATCH ME, WATCH ME:  A-State has five players on at least one major watch list for the 2020 season, including four offensive players and one specialist.
BILETNIKOFF:  Jonathan Adams, Sr., WR
WUERFFEL:  Andre Harris Jr., Jr., OL
OUTLAND:  Jarrett Horst, Jr., OL
LOU GROZA:  Blake Grupe, Jr., K
DOAK WALKER:  Marcel Murray, Jr., RB
 
PRESEASON ALL-SUN BELT:  Including three first-team and three second-team selections, A-State placed six players on the Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Team.  Representing the Red Wolves on the first team were senior offensive lineman Jarrett Horst, senior wide receiver Jonathan Adams Jr. and junior kicker Blake Grupe.  A-State’s second-team choices included senior offensive lineman Jacob Still, senior defensive lineman Forrest Merrill and junior safety Antonio Fletcher.  The Red Wolves’ six selections tied Coastal Carolina for the third most in the conference, while Appalachian State placed a league-high 10 different players on the preseason team.  Louisiana followed with nine players appearing on the team and 10 total selections.
 
BOWL ELIGIBLE:  Arkansas State has obtained bowl eligibility status each of the previous nine years (2011-19) and 12 times over the previous 15 seasons.  Arkansas State has become bowl eligible in 10 games or less each of those seasons.  Since moving to FBS status in 1992, the earliest A-State ever became bowl eligible was in 2011 when it was 6-2 through eight games.
 
BOWL STREAK:  Arkansas State has made a school-record nine consecutive bowl-game appearances (2011-19), which is the third longest streak in the Group of 5 and ranks 14th in the nation among all FBS programs.
 
DECADE BY DECADE:  The Red Wolves won 79 games from 2010-19, which were the most in a decade in a program history.  Five of A-State’s all-time 12 conference titles also came during the 2010s.  The Red Wolves .617 winning percentage (79-49) last decade was the second highest for a decade in program history.  Arkansas State had a .627 winning percentage (66-39-1) from 1970-79, including two 11-0 seasons (1970-75).  The program’s third best winning percentage (.609) for a single decade came from 1960-69 (54-34-4).  A-State had nine winning seasons last decade, by far the most for a decade in program history.  The previous record for winning seasons in a decade was six in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
 
A-STATE vs THE SUN BELT:  Arkansas State has won 56 of its last 71 Sun Belt Conference games (.789 winning percentage) to run its all-time record in the league to 88-51.  The Red Wolves hold their most all-time victories against ULM with 27.  A-State has defeated every team in the conference since the football league was formed in 2001.  Along with ULM and Louisiana, A-State is one of three teams that have been a part of the conference since its inaugural football season.
 
NON-CONFERENCE HISTORY:  In 2019, Arkansas State produced a .500 or better non-conference record for the second consecutive season, third time under head coach Blake Anderson and fifth time over the last nine seasons, but just the sixth time since moving to FBS status in 1992 (1995, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019).  A-State posted a winning non-conference record (3-1) in 2018 for the first time since 1995 (3-2).
 
NINE STRAIGHT:  Arkansas State has secured a winning record in a school-record nine consecutive seasons (2011-19).  The next longest streak was six straight seasons from 1912-17.  The Red Wolves piled up 75 victories from 2011-19 for its most over a nine-year span in the program’s 106-year history.
 
ELITE COMPANY:  Arkansas State is one of just four teams in the nation to win at least five conference titles and appear in nine bowl games since 2011, joining Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma.  The Red Wolves won the Sun Belt title in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 and hold the 14th longest active streak in the nation for bowl game appearances with nine.
 
106TH SEASON:  Arkansas State kicked off its 106th season of football Sept. 5 against Memphis at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.  A-State holds a 482-493-37 record since the inaugural season and has played in 17 bowl games.  A-State did not field a 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.
 
SUN BELT CHAMPS (5 of 9):  The Red Wolves most recently won back-to-back Sun Belt titles in 2015 and 2016, compiling a 15-1 league record over that span.  A-State also won the league title 2011-13, making it one of just two programs in league history with at least five SBC titles.  The other is Troy (2017, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2006).
 
OFFENSIVE NOTES
 
300-PLUS:  Dating back to the 2010 season, Arkansas State has posted at least 300 yards total offense in 118 of its last 130 games (.908 percentage).  A-State has produced 300 yards in 73 of 79 games during the Blake Anderson era.
 
400-PLUS:  Arkansas State has hit the 400-yard total offense mark 55 times over its last 79 games (70 percent) since 2014, which was Blake Anderson‘s first season as head coach.  The Red Wolves have posted 400 or more yards total offense in 19 of their last 22 games.
 
LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD:  The Red Wolves have posted at least 30 points in 71 of their last 108 regular-season games (66 percent) dating back to the 2011 season.  The Red Wolves have won 56 of their last 65 games when scoring at least 30 points.
 
IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT:  Biletnikoff Award Watch List member Jonathan Adams Jr. put together one of his best career games on a huge stage during the Red Wolves’ 35-31 win at Kansas State.  He was catapulted into the national spotlight, garnering interviews from media members such as Reggie Bush with FOX and multiple national awards.  Following his performance that included eight catches for 98 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, he was named the national Player of the Week by the Maxwell Award and 247Sports and Offensive Player of the Week by Athlon Sports and the Frisco Bowl.  He was also tabbed the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
 
RUSHING RED WOLVES:  A Pair of A-State running backs posted career-best rushing numbers against Kansas State, including senior Jamal Jones and Lincoln Pare with 95 and 65 yards, respectively.  Pare’s total included a 58-yard run that was the longest play of the season by A-State.  Jones has already accumulated 159 rushing yards in two games for the 17th most in the nation.
 
CAREER GAME:  A pair of A-State senior receivers set new career highs during the Red Wolves’ game at Memphis, including Dahu Green and Bubba Ogbebor.  Green accounted for a career-best 99 yards on five catches, which tied his career high.  Ogbebor finished with four receptions for 45 yards — both career highs.  Green and Ogbebor also posted the longest receptions of their career covering 39 and 26 yards, respectively.
 
DEFENSIVE NOTES
 
A LOSS ON THE PLAY:  Dating back to the 2015 season, the Red Wolves have posted at least five stops behind the line of scrimmage in 50 of their last 57 games.  A-State has ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation four of the last five seasons (2016-20) in tackles for loss.
 
GETTING TO THE QUARTERBACK:  A-State has ranked among the top 36 teams in the nation in sacks five of the last seven years (2014-20), posting a combined 204 sacks over that span.  The Red Wolves have recorded at least one sack in 48 of their last 52 games dating back to the 2016 season.
 
PICK IT OFF:  Dating back to last season, A-State has intercepted at least one pass three of its last four games and continues to be an opportunistic defense over the last seven seasons (2014-20) when the ball has been put in the air.  During that time span, A-State has intercepted 92 passes that rank as the ninth most in the nation.  Since 2014, San Diego State ranks No. 1 with 105 interceptions.
 
FORCING TURNOVERS:  Arkansas State has recorded at least one turnover gained in 64 of its last 79 games dating back to the 2014 season.  The Red Wolves have ranked among the top 33 teams in the nation in turnovers gained four of the last seven years (2014-20), and their combined 148 forced turnovers over that span are the 10th most in the nation.
 
DEFENSE IS THE BEST OFFENSE:  Arkansas State has ranked among the top 21 teams in the nation in defensive touchdowns each of the previous six seasons (2014-19).  In fact, the 2015 season saw the Red Wolves record an FBS-high eight touchdowns.  The Red Wolves have 25 total defensive touchdowns over the previous six seasons.
 
DEFENSIVE STAND:  Arkansas State limited Kansas State to 374 yards total offense (5.4 yards per play) and 91 rushing yards (2.3 yards per attempt).  The last time A-State held a Power 5 conference opponent to less than 374 yards total offense was Missouri in 2015, when the Tigers posted 288 yards.  K-State’s rushing output was the lowest by an A-State opponent from a Power 5 conference since at least 2000.
 
ON THE STOP:  Sophomore cornerback Jarius Reimonenq recorded a career-high 11 tackles for loss, including a team-best two tackles for loss, during the Red Wolves’ road game at Memphis.  Ten of his 11 stops were solo tackles and his two tackles behind the line of scrimmage tied his career high.  Reimonenq also finished the Red Wolves’ season opener with one pass break-up, which came in the end zone on a third-down play to help hold Memphis to a field goal.
 
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
 
PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Junior kicker Blake Grupe was named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after connecting  on his only field goal try and converting all three of his extra point attempts to finish the Red Wolves’ season opener at Memphis with six points.  Grupe earned the recognition for the third time of his career, also collecting the honor twice last season as a sophomore.

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Original article source: https://astateredwolves.com/news/2020/9/21/football-a-state-game-notes-vs-tulsa.aspx | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council

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