A-State (7-4, 5-1) was dominated statistically but a blocked punt and a defensive score early in the third quarter turned the game around and the Red Wolves did enough in the second half to win their 10th straight game in November and keep their hopes alive for a third straight Sun Belt Conference championship.
Thanks in part to scoring plays of 80 and 70 yards the Panthers (0-11) finished with 432 yard offense, 184 rushing and 248 passing. The Red Wolves finished with 290 yards on two less plans than G-State.
The big difference -- the Panthers lost four fumbles, one of which was returned by Sterling Young for a touchdown with less than a minute gone in the second half.
"You have to give credit to the special teams, even though we missed a field goal,'' said coach Bryan Harsin. "They were the dominant team on the field tonight.
"We were able to fight and grind through it tonight, and I was proud of our guys for that, and the bottom line is that college football is hard to win a game each week. No matter how it is statistically or not you find a way to win, and we did that tonight."
Trailing 17-7, the Red Wolves turned it around with Young's touchdown and a blocked punt by Brock Barnhill that was recovered by walk-on Raziel Valgis for the touchdown with 11:09 left in the third quarter. That gave A-State a 21-17 lead.
Georgia State regained the lead at 24-21, but Michael Gordon's 5-yard touchdown run, which was set up by a fumble forced and recovered by Chris Humes.
The Panthers trimmed it to 28-27 on the first play of the fourth quarter. A-State answered with its best drive of the game, covering 64 yards in eight plays with McKissic scoring on a 5-yard pass from Kennedy with 11:01 left.
A 70-yard end-around touchdown pass cut the margin to 35-33 with 2:13 left and the Panthers failed on the two-point pass.
McKissic recovered the ensuing onside kick attempt and Arkansas State ran out the clock.
The star: There was not a lot offense for the Red Wolves, but Adam Kennedy ran for 77 yards on 20 carries and hit 14 of 19 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns.
What is means: For the third straight season the Red Wolves will have a winning season and the victory makes them more attractive to bowl games. It also keeps ASU's on the heels of Louisiana-Lafayette in the conference standings.
So special: Harsin game the credit to special teams for their "dominant performance." Barnhill blocked a punt and McKissic returned the first two kickoffs for 107 yards, forcing the Panthers to squib kick the rest of their efforts. ASU recovered the only onside kick and the punting game allowed no return yardage and there was one kick inside the 20.
Defensive numbers: From the tackle chart, Ryan Carrethers turned in another big game with 12 tackles, 1.5 for a loss. Dexter Blackmon had seven tackles, three for losses and forced a fumble.
The crowd: The announced attendance was announced at 18,512.
The streak: With the victory, ASU's streak of November victories is now at 10 and the Red Wolves are 20-2 in Sun Belt games the past three seasons.
Up next: The Red Wolves hit the road for the season finale at Western Kentucky. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game is on ESPN3.
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