In a wild roller-coaster of a ride game Thursday night at Liberty Bank Stadium, the Arkansas State…
First Reaction to Troy
The difference: It came down to turnovers. Troy had four, three interceptions and a lost fumble. ASU had none. Amos Draper and Rocky Hayes, both Alabama guys, had picks and Frankie Jackson iced with his interception with 55 seconds left. Monsters of the Mid-week: With the victory, Arkansas State has won six straight games on on Tuesday and Thursday. The Red Wolves play UL-Lafayette on Oct. 22.
Flash Gordon: The Red Wolves finished with 228 yards rushing. Michael Gordon led the way with 115 on 8 carries and had two touchdowns. David Oku finished with 80 yards on 21 carries and also scored a pair of touchdowns.
Long balls: No doubt the Red Wolves stretched the Troy defense with a vertical passing game. Allen Muse grabbed a 55-yarder for a score and also had a 27-yarder. J.D. McKissic had a 28-yarder and Darion Griswold caught a 29-yarder.
The other QBs: Fredi Knighten, JD McKissic and David Oku all took snaps in the Wildcat offense. Knighten's touchdown came off a double reverse where the ball was handled by McKissic and Oku. The only other pass was thrown by Tres Houston, who hit Darion Griswold for a 29-yard gain in the first quarter. "We have a lot of guys who think they can throw," said Harsin. "Tres really can."
The crowd: The announced attendance of 26,012 was good for a mid-week game. The 6:30 start on a school night makes things difficult. It also did not help with lightning in the area that did cause one delay. That runs ASU's home average for the season at 28,000-plus.
Special teams: A botched two-point try on the Red Wolves' second touchdown kept that eerie feeling that it might be costly. But Troy returned the favor early in the fourth quarter when a bad snap and ASU pressure led to a missed PAT that left things tied with 12:28 to play.
The punters averaged 40.1 with the highlight being Luke Ferguson's 63-yarder. Paul Jones had a 48-yard punt but also shanked one.
The streak: With the victory, ASU has won 16 of its last 17 Sun Belt Conference games. That is now 8 straight in the SBC, and four straight at Liberty Bank Stadium.
What the others said: "I knew coming in here it was going to be a tough outing and we had to play good and we couldn't do those things to win. We had to stop them in third-down situations and we didn't do that very well."
Up next: The Red Wolves now get 10 days off before traveling to Memphis for a 3:30 kickoff against the Tigers. The ASU players will have Saturday off and begin prepping for the Tigers on Sunday. Memphis is 0-1 and will play Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
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