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The Arkansas State Red Wolves wrapped up back-to-back Sun Belt conference championships Saturday night with a 45-0 victory over Middle Tennessee.
Here is one final look at the game before the Red Wolves move on to their bowl game.
The Good News
There were a lot of good things that happened Saturday night. First, the crowd was great. Secondly, the Red Wolves gave Middle Tennessee their only shut out in school history against a Sun Belt opponent and last but certainly not least, they won the conference championship.
"This was a very big game," said Arkansas State head coach Gus Malzahn. "I felt like our guys played their best game of the year in the biggest moment. I'm very proud of them, and I'm proud of the coaches. We played a very good team, and we played our best game."
Bowl representatives from the GoDaddy.com and Liberty Bowls were in attendance for the game, and at the time this article was published, the Red Wolves were still awaiting word of which bowl game they will be playing in this year.
Senior quarterback Ryan Aplin ended his home field career in style, completing 19 of 21 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran the ball six times for 64 yards, and another score.
Senior linebacker Nathan Herrold led the defense with 10 tackles and an interception.
Speaking of the defense, they were very impressive. Not only did they throw the shut-out, they only allowed Middle Tennessee to gain 203 yards of total offense.
The Bad News
When you throw a shut-out and win a conference championship on the final night of the season, there is no bad news.
If there has to be bad news, it is the opinion of this writer that it will be all of the rumors surrounding new job interest and offers for head coach Gus Malzahn over the next few weeks.
Inside The Numbers
1: fourth down attempt by Arkansas State. They converted.
3: receptions for Taylor Stockemer.
5: punts by Middle Tennessee.
6: possessions and touchdowns for Arkansas State until the third quarter.
9: points for kicker Brian Davis. He had six PAT's and one field goal.
12: first downs allowed by the Red Wolf defense.
19: pass completions by Arkansas State.
26: first downs for Arkansas State.
45: points scored by the Red Wolf offense.
59: yards receiving for Julian Jones on one reception. It was a touchdown.
89: rushing yards for Middle Tennessee.
102: rushing yards for Oku.
114: receiving yards for Middle Tennessee.
203: total yards for Middle Tennessee.
238: receiving yards for Arkansas State.
274: rushing yards for Arkansas State.
512: total yards for Arkansas State.
31,243: announce attendance for the game.
Did You Notice?
Don Jones was suspended for the first half, and had a huge hit once he entered the game?
Herrold was sitting and waiting for Kilgore to throw the ball, setting up his interception?
Julian Jones had his defender beat by five steps when he caught his 59-yard touchdown pass?
Don Jones had a batted pass with 8:17 to play in the third quarter to stop an MTSU drive?
Oku went over 1,000 yards on the last play of the third quarter?
Oku is the first 1,000 yard rusher since the 2008 season?
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