UAPB Game Rapid Reaction

JONESBORO – With all of the suspension news, we expected the Red Wolves to roll. And they did. Everything clicked. UAPB, minus half of the players on its two-deep, trailed 48-0 at halftime. The Red Wolves ran the ball behind the solid play of its offensive line and Adam Kennedy was very efficient in his debut. The first defense was dominating.

Runnin' wild: It was a huge night for the offense as four backs clipped the 100-yard mark, topped by David Oku with 124 on 16 carries. Sirgregory Thornton was 112 on 9 carries, Michael Gordon gained 102 on 4 carries and Fredi Knighten added 101 on 3 carries. Knighten, Thornton and Oku all scored two TDs each. Gordon had one. Gordon also had a 48-yard pass reception. Gordon had a 91-yard run, the second longest in school history. ASU is just the seventh team in NCAA history to have four backs gain 100 yards in a game. The 509 yards rushing is the second best in school history.

QB debut: In his first start in red and black, Adam Kennedy hit 9 of 12 passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. His longest play, 48 yards. He missed on his three longest passes.

The other QBs: Not counting the wildcat formation with David Oku at quarterback, A-State played Fredi Knighten and Phillip Butterfield at QB. Knighten did not attempt a pass, but did have 101 yards on three carries, including a 79-yard run. Butterfield was 1 of 1 for 14 yards.

Career first: Kenny Rains, a junior tight end from Lake Hamilton, caught his first pass, gaining 9 yards on a first-quarter reception. Defensive lineman Darius Dunaway, a senior from Monroe, La., turned in a career best with five tackles and 1.5 sacks. Another big night for a senior. Sirgregory Thornton had 112 yards on 9 carries. He had 9 carries total in 2012.

Defensive numbers: ASU dominated the line of scrimmage and the first unit gave UAPB very little. The Golden Lions finished with 12 yards rushing, an average of 0.4 per play. The Red Wolves forced 15 negative yardage plays, led by two each from Ryan Carrethers, Quashaun Lee, and Chris Stone with 2 each.

Big crowd: The announced attendance of 30,451 is the second largest in school history and the best opening night crowd ever at LBS. It was also the second straight announced crowd of 30K.

Family fued: Prior to the game, Not only was this game unique because it was the first meeting between the schools and one of rare meetings between the top NCAA level schools in the state, it was a game that matched a father (Monte Coleman of UAPB) and son (ASU's Kyle Coleman). The pair exchanged a big hug after the game.

Special teams: Not a perfect performance but not a disaster. Australian Paul Jones made his debut and punted once for 39 yards with no return. Punt receiving did not go smoothly. Kickoff coverage was strong with five touchbacks and three stops inside the 20.

The streak: With the victory, ASU has won nine straight games, the second longest in FBS in the nation. Ohio State leads with 13.

Up next: It is time for Auburn-geddon and the game with former coach Gus Malzahn. Auburn won 31-24 over Washington State. The game will be carried on the Fox Sports Network.