Arkansas State University was expected to make a statement Saturday night against in-state 1-AA University of Central Arkansas.
The statement took longer than expected, despite Hugh Freeze's high power offense moving up and down the field.
Instead of scoring touchdowns, the Red Wolves had to settle for field goals, making this game a lot closer than expected or even made it appear a lot closer than it actually was.
"We drove the ball up and down the field," Freeze said after the game. "We didn't do a great job in the red zone, we challenged them at the half to do a better job getting it in the endzone."
That they did.
Leading 19-10 at the half, the Red Wolves responded to the challenge Freeze gave them at the intermission, scoring 34 second half points.
Offensively speaking the game was was definitely a contest of two different offensive philosophies.
First half Arkansas State threw the ball around the field collecting 156 yards passing. ASU never punted throughout the entire game, the only negative offensive in the first half was the fact that the Red Wolves had to settle for four field goals instead of four touchdowns. Convert those field goals into touchdowns and ASU would have held a comfortable 35-10 lead at the intermission.
Instead the offense had to feel the wrath of Coach Freeze at the break.
"I definitely challenged everyone to perform better, to give better effort," Freeze said. "We felt like that they couldn't stop our run in a couple of sets that we had success with in the first half, so we came back out and ran the ball and take control of the game."
Take charge they did.
Arkansas State rushed for 110 yards in the first half, they responded with 265 in the second half, but more importantly four touchdowns.
The Red Wolves finished the game with 646 yards total offense, Ryan Aplin threw for 220 yards and ran for 86 yards to finish the game with 306 yards.
Aplin, a red-shirt junior threw for one touchdown, had one interception and was only sacked once in the contest.
It can be said that Arkansas State ran the football by committee Saturday night against the Bears.
Nine different Red Wolves ran the ball against UCA, with Aplin leading the way with 86 yards on 10 carries, Derek Lawson added 10 carries for 74 yards, Andre Smith 11 carries for 66 yards and Sirgregory Thornton with 7 carries for 55 yards.
Senior Dwayne Frampton had a great night offensively, he had eight receptions for 100 yards, one carry for 10 yards and a touchdown for 145 yards all purpose yardage.
Arkansas State has scored 100 points against Memphis and Central Arkansas.
The Red Wolves open its Sun Belt schedule on the road this upcoming weekend as they travel to Bowling Green, Kentucky to take on the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky.