Senior defensive back Darryl Feemster easily had his best game of the season in Arkansas State's season-ender against Troy, starting the game off with a bang when he returned a fumble for 60 yards into the end zone.
Feemster's touchdown was the first of the game for the Red Wolves, and the only in the first quarter.
"Somebody came and made a great play on the running back, I just happened to be at the right spot at the right time," Feemster said. "I was blessed to be able to pick the ball up and make a play to help our team win this game today."
Feemster came into the game tied for first in the Sun Belt in interceptions with four, and recorded his fifth in the second quarter against Troy. In addition to leading the conference, he also leads his team in interceptions this season.
While his biggest plays as an individual came in the first half, the Red Wolf defense as a whole came out much sharper and played with higher pressure in the second half, shutting out Troy in the third and fourth quarters.
Feemster attributed second half success to being more aggressive, and coming out with a mentality of "finishing the game."
"I think in the first half we kinda got a little timid, and people weren't flying around and doing exactly what we should have been, but in the second half we definitely just tightened things up," Feemster said. "Our coaches told us make sure we finish, so we just wanted to come out in the second half and make sure we did that."
All week long Coach Freeze said his biggest concern heading into the Troy game was stopping the pass game. Troy quarterback Corey Robinson was 32 of 52 with two interceptions, and Troy didn't score after the second quarter.
"I want to make a point. I certainly don't like to compare us to anyone, but this team played Arkansas to a ten point game and threw 470 yards on them," Freeze said. "I was scared to death and our defensive staff was scared to death, because they have so many athletes. So for the job that our guys did tonight was just phenomenal."
Feemster, named the Regions Bank Player of the Game (along with WR Dwayne Frampton), had a career high of nine total tackles in addition to his interception and fumble recovery. Besides "being in the right place at the right time." he credited the success of himself and the rest of the defense to good coaching.
"My coach - coach Batoon, and also coach Wommack our defensive coordinator - they did a great job preparing us this week," Feemster said. "We watched a lot of film, they broke down stuff and that really helped us out alot today."
The senior, having not only won his last game at ASU Stadium, but clenched an outright Sun Belt title, said he just felt blessed.
"I felt good being out there, my mother and father flew in so it was good knowing they were in the stands, and we played great as a unit," he said. "It's definitely about everybody, and it was just great we can make those plays and pull out the win, and be the outright champions."