Hilton meet Mr. Ryan Aplin

T.Y. Hilton meet Mr. Ryan Aplin. Hilton, who won the Sun Belt Conference player of the year last year, was a major concern for the Arkansas State coaching staff and team going into Tuesday night's nationally televised game. Hilton's game never materialized, while Arkansas State's junior signal caller Aplin put on a show of his own, staking a claim for the Sun Belt Offensive MVP.

T.Y. Hilton meet Mr. Ryan Aplin.

Hilton, who won the Sun Belt Conference player of the year last year, was a major concern for the Arkansas State coaching staff and team going into Tuesday night's nationally televised game.

Hilton's game never materialized, while Arkansas State's junior signal caller Aplin put on a show of his own, staking a claim for the Sun Belt Offensive MVP.

Aplin led his team to a very impressive 34-16 win over the defending Sun Belt Conference Champions. The quarterback did it more with his feet than he did with his arm.

Aplin finished the game with 21 carries for 164 yards and two touchdowns rushing.

He completed 14 out of 24 of his passes for another 147 yards and a score with only one interception.

"Ryan had a tremendous game tonight," Freeze said. "We thought going in that we could run the ball on them, especially with Aplin reading the defense and making the call whether to keep it and run."

Aplin smiled when asked if he was a little bruised up after the impressive victory.

"I'm just fine, we got the win," Aplin smiled. "The offensive line did a great job, gave me a lot of opportunities to run the ball. This is a big win for our team."

No one probably expected a defensive struggle in the first half, but that's just what the crowd of 15,000 got in the first two quarters as both teams went into intermission with a 6-6 tie.

"We had a confidence going into half that we were going to be fine," Freeze said. "We didn't panic, this team knew we were going to win the game, we knew it was going to be hard fought, but we believed that we were going to win this game in the second half."

Aplin, who will most likely set every offensive record in the AState record books before his career is over in Jonesboro, was just pleased that his team found a way win their third straight Sun Belt Conference game.

"We want a Sun Belt Championship," Aplin said. "It's great to get the win tonight."

While Aplin may been off his game a little early in the passing category, he basically was taking what the Florida International Defense was giving him.

"I told Ryan that he was going to run the ball a lot more this game," Freeze said. "I told him that he had several days to get healthy after the game. He made some outstanding reads and some great fakes on the read options."

Aplin is in his second season in the Hugh Freeze offense and has already stated earlier this fall that he was indeed coming back for his senior season next fall.

"I'm so proud of our young men," Freeze said. "They are really playing well right now, they deserve this victory. It's great to see their expressions in the locker room after these last three wins."

The Red Wolves will have this upcoming weekend off before returning to the grid iron on October 29 to host North Texas for homecoming.