Idaho First Reaction

Memories of South Alabama a year ago? In a less than crisp performance, Arkansas State, playing after an off week, was able to manage enough offense and big plays to dust off stubborn Idaho 48-24 before a crowd of 26,281 at Liberty Bank Stadium Saturday night. Idaho, with 17 straight points, closed to within 31-24 with 14:22 left. ASU closed the game with a 17-0 run.

The difference: Clearly the Red Wolves' big plays. On the game's first play Adam Kennedy hit Julian Jones for an 80-yard touchdown pass. The Red Wolves finished with 565 yards offense and had 25 plays of more than 10 yards, including a 98-yard kickoff return by J.D. McKissic. The Red Wolves also had 226 yards in kickoff returns and averaged 45.2 yards per return. Aside from McKissic's game-breaker R.J. Fleming had a 56-yard kickoff return. Fleming also had a 28-yard pass reception.

J.D. McKissic: For the second straight game the sophomore from Alabama had a huge night. Aside from this kickoff return, he nine passes for 80 yards and a touchdown. He ran once for 8 yards, returned five punts for 48 yards and two kickoffs for 125 yards.

Brian Davis: The senior from Brentwood, Tenn., hit two field goals to run his consecutive streak to 11. He is the second player in school history to make more than 50 field goals in his career.

Darion Griswold: The Red Wolves' red-shirt sophomore tight end from Dumas had a career night with five receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. They were the first two touchdowns of his career.

Big night for Kennedy: The senior quarterback had his biggest night as a Red Wolf when completed 22 of 32 passes for 375 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran for 22 yards. He was sacked just twice.

The other QBs: For the first time this season, Kennedy took all the snaps at quarterback and the Red Wolves never lined up in the Wild Wolf offense.

The crowd: The announced attendance of 26,281 for the homecoming game.

Defensive numbers: Qushaun Lee led the way with 15 tackles and one tackle for loss. Kyle Coleman had nine tackles. Sterling Young and Ryan Carrethers seven each. Rocky Hayes had four tackles, an interception and a 43-yard return and broke up two passes. Dexter Blackmon had five tackles, two of them for losses.

Special teams: Other than a failed fake punt try it might have been ASU's best special-teams performance in years. Brian Davis hit two field goals and was perfect on seven extra points. The Red Wolves punted four times and a net of 39 yards per kick. The kickoff team averaged 45.2 yards per return and McKissic had the 98 yard TD return. Idaho averaged 16.2 yards per kickoff return.

The streak: With the victory, ASU has won five straight at Liberty Bank Stadium.

Up next: The Red Wolves now get 10 days off before have Louisiana-Lafayette in town for a Tuesday night game that will be shown nationally on ESPN2. ULL plays at Western Kentucky this Tuesday.