Memories of South Alabama a year ago? In a less than crisp performance, Arkansas State, playing…
A-State 48 Idaho 24
I'm excited about the win," said A-State coach Bryan Harsin. "Coming off these last few games, getting a win was the main thing we needed to accomplish tonight. I'm proud of our players and the preparation leading into the game this week coming off the loss to Missouri and just the changes that we felt like we needed to make. That needs to continue."
The Red Wolves scored with ease on their first two plays – an 80-yard pass from Adam Kennedy to Julian Jones on ASU's first play and a 13-yard toss to J.D. McKissic – before falling into sloppy play.
Idaho (1-6) made it a 17-7 game with a short drive that was set up by a fail fake punt attempt.
Brian Davis hit a 38-yard field goal with 6:43 left in the second quarter to make it 17-7 and Kennedy hit Darion Griswold with a 13-yard TD pass for a 24-7 lead that stood up at the half.
Early in the second half Kennedy and Griswold connected on a 1-yard scoring pass. Davis' fourth extra point made it 31-7 with 10:48 left in the third quarter.
About the time everyone at the stadium was feeling comfortable the Vandals reeled off 17 straight points, including a touchdown set up by an interception. With 14:22 left in the game, it was ASU 31, Idaho 24.
But McKissic answered immediately, returning the ensuing kickoff 98 yards, the third longest in school history, for a touchdown. That play provided the momentum shift the Red Wolves needed.
Davis added a 21-yard field goal and with 2:39 left David Oku's scored from the 3 to cap the scoring.
"Overall I thought our guys played really hard," said Harsin. "I thought our guys came off the sidelines and made adjustments that they needed to make. Idaho was a team that is improved, which you knew they would be after the teams that they played. They're going to come back after the loss. That's what happens, you get coached harder, and that's how it is. We knew the mentality of those guys would be tougher and about doing more things. The nice thing about it is that we can go back and make all of those corrections with a win next to it before we go back on Tuesday and play Louisiana-Lafayette."
ASU has won nine of its last 10 homecoming games. R.J.Fleming had a 56-yard kickoff return and a 29-yard pass reception.
The Red Wolves had 565 yards, 375 in passing and 190 rushing.
Kennedy passed for a career game-best 375 yards and four touchdowns.
McKissic caught nine for 80 yards, Griswold five for 89, and Jones had four grabs for 135.
Sirgregory Thornton's 85 yards rushing led A-State and Oku added 79.
Qushaun Lee led the defense with 15 tackles.
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