Arkansas State took yet another step in trying to win its first ever outright Sun Belt Conference championship.
The Red Wolves (7-2, 5-0) used a career day by junior quarterback Ryan Aplin to win its seventh game for the first time since joining Division I with a 39-21 victory over Florida Atlantic.
ASU dominated the first 15 minutes leading 15-0 after the first quarter that included two Aplin rushing touchdowns and on two point conversion but quickly found itself down 21-18 early in the second half before scoring 21 straight points to finish the game.
The victory now gives ASU its best record through nine games since 1986 when it was a member of the NCAA 1-AA Southland Conference and the road victories ASU has this season are the most in a season since 2006.
The Red Wolves have actually won all three of its road games consecutively for the first time since the '86 season also.
ASU has now won five games by a double-figure margin this season, including the last three in a row by 18 or more points.
Arkansas State used a balanced attack for the majority of the game with 429 yards of total offense, including 182 rushing.
The victory was Arkansas States first ever in Boca Raton, helping add another first to an exciting 2011 season for Arkansas State fans.
Through eight games Arkansas States defense had yet to allow a 100-yard rusher but in its road victory at Florida Atlantic on Saturday the Red Wolves allowed the Owls' Alfred Morris to finish with 163 yards and two touchdowns.
Keep An Eye On: DL Dorvus Woods. Woods recorded one sack to give him 3.5 for the season and 8.5 for his career while also recording a forced fumble for the second game in a row and fourth time in his career.
Looking Good: Arkansas States defense has now held four straight opponents under 300 yards, including the last three in a row and six under 350. The Red Wolves have also recorded an interception in the last seven games and have a total of 12 under that span.
Still Needs Work: Arkansas State is still looking for continued improvement in the special teams return game but the Red Wolves may be onto something now with freshman defensive back Andrew Tryon. Tryon's 60-yard kickoff return was the longest by an ASU player this season and his 83 total return yards tied the most ASU's had total as a team for the entire season.
Quote To Note: "We understand who we are and know we are not talented enough to just roll out against anyone and win. I preach it daily."-ASU coach Hugh Freeze.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
QB Ryan Aplin's scored a career-high four rushing touchdowns and threw for another to lead the Red Wolves. Aplin was 24 of 47 passing for 244 yards in the air while running for 49 on the ground. Aplin's total career passing total grew to 6,187 as he became just the third player in school history to reach the 6,000 yard mark.
RB Derek Lawson carried the ball a career-high 20 times for 91 yards to lead the ASU rushing attack. Lawson carried the ball 13 times in the first half for 66 yards. Lawson is now second on the team with 314 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
DE Brandon Joiner recorded one sack, giving him at least a partial sack in 11 of ASU's last 14 games. Joiner also recorded his first fumble recovery this year, but the second of his career.
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