Red Wolves Roll Past USA Into Bowl Eligibilty

AState's victory gives the Red Wolves (6-3, 4-1) their fourth straight season being bowl eligible and keeps the momentum rolling toward a strong finish to the season. It also keeps the hopes of sharing a conference title alive. It also means for the first time the Red Wolves have a senior class that has been bowl eligible every season of their career.


HOW IT HAPPENED

The offense was OK and the defense was outstanding. The Red Wolves won the turnover margin by a 4-0 count and that paved the way for this thumping. After Rocky Hayes was ejected for targeting on the Red Wolves’ fourth defensive play, the A-State defense took over.

“That lit the fire,’’ said linebacker Q Lee, who led the way with 7 tackles and 2 interceptions.

USA (5-4, 4-3) finished with 201 yards offense and 111 yards rushing. Almost half, 98, of that came in the fourth quarter when the Red Wolves started subbing liberally. Perhaps the biggest state of the game, USA was 1 of 12 on 3d down conversions. (A-State was 10 of 19.)

SOME NUMBERS

The Red Wolves have scored 40 or more points in their last four games, a school record.

Fredi Knighten ran for 80 yards and a touchdown and passed for 186 yards (17-32-0) and two more scores.

Michael Gordon ran for 77 yards and scored a touchdown.

Dijon Paschal grabbed 5 receptions for 95 yards, including a 47-yard scoring pass.

The Red Wolves had four sacks – 1.5 for freshman Chucks Ota, .5 for Dexter Blackmon, and one each for Javon Rolland-Jones and Chris Stone – and seven tackles for loss for a negative 26 yards.

Lee had 2 interceptions and Artez Brown had the other, which he returned for a touchdown.

QUOTABLE

USA offensive lineman Ucambre Williams: “They gave us a lot of movement on the line, a lot of blitzing and they just had a lot of intensity going into the game and we didn’t match that.”

USA coach Joey Jones: “They came out and just played hard. We had a lot of guys out; we had 8 starters out and it makes a difference. But it shouldn’t have made that much of a difference. I just don’t think we played very well.”

A-State coach Blake Anderson: “I thought it was very impressive to play as well as we did in all three phases of the game. You just have to say hats off to the guys on that one and how they prepared.”


The Scoring plays

1st Quarter
A-State: Dijon Paschal 47 pass from Fredi Knighten, Luke Ferguson PAT.
S. Ala.: Sunanon 41 FG.

2nd Quarter
A-State: Fredi Knighten 17 run, Luke Ferguson PAT.
A-State: Luke Ferguson 46 FG, Luke Ferguson PAT.
A-State: Warren Leaphart 2 pass from Fredi Knighten, Luke Ferguson PAT.

3RD Quarter
A-State: Michael Gordon 1 run, Luke Ferguson PAT.
A-State: Johnston White 5 run, Luke Ferguson PAT.

4th Quarter
A-State: Artez Brown 58 yard interception return, Luke Ferguson PAT.