Frankie Jackson fired up the locker room at halftime and in the second half Adam Kennedy started running and the Red Wolves rallied for a 17-16 victory. That victory started a four-game winning streak that was only stopped by the last-minute non-sense against Western Kentucky.
It was the second straight year the Red Wolves and Jaguars (5-4, 4-2) played a close game. In 2012, A-State won 36-29 in Jonesboro.
The teams meet Saturday with a 2 p.m. kickoff at Centennial Bank Stadium.
"All year long we've talked about getting over the previous game whether we won it or lost it,' said USA coach Joey Jones, "we're going to move on to the next one, so I don't think it will be a problem getting our guys ready [for Arkansas State]; they understand what we need to do to get prepared for the next ballgame.
"Next week is a new challenge for us, we've got another great team to play in Arkansas State. They are very, very good and explosive on offense and they play great defense so it's going to be a challenge for our guys to go up there, but we are looking forward to it."
A-State is coming off a 44-28 victory at Idaho and the Red Wolves have scored 52, 40 and 44 points in their last three games.
"Offensively UL-Lafayette is a big power team and Arkansas State works more on the perimeter, they throw the ball out there a lot and try to get their running backs outside on the edges," said Jones. "They have a real athletic quarterback who is as good as any runner at the position that we've faced other than the guy at Georgia Southern, but he can throw it as well. They are more of a true spread team."
After finishing 6-6 last season, the Jags are in position to be bowl eligible for the second straight season.
"The next two weeks are our last two [Sun Belt] conference games; we're sitting here at 4-2 and would like to finish strong," said Jones. "To win these two would ice bowl game possibilities, that's big for our guys — they want to get that done and understand what is at stake.
"We are struggling on third down, we were 4-of-15 last week; you have to convert third downs in order to keep drives alive. On deep-play balls we've had a lot of guys open for touchdowns and not been able to convert some of those. When you play Arkansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette you better hit some of those big plays, they can change the game. It just comes down to execution, it's not a matter of any secret X's and O's or some special play. It is just a matter of throwing and catching the ball most of the time."
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