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7 Up, 7 Down: Red Wolves Throttle The Aggies

Seven Sun Belt games, seven Sun Belt wins. Arkansas State took care of business against New Mexico State, 52-28. And they looked good doing it.

Coach Blake Anderson just guaranteed A-State a championship season. Is it his last?
Coach Blake Anderson just guaranteed A-State a championship season. Is it his last?
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The game began the way many A-State games have started: with the opposition scoring on its first drive. Andrew Allen hurled a 45-yard dart into the end zone to give the Red Wolves the briefest of doubts. And then Fredi Knighten immediately answered with a 75-yard strike to Dijon Paschal, and from there the outcome was never in question.

Verily, the Red Wolves defeated The Aggies in a potpourri of ways.

Defensively, DC Joe Cauthen's monster squad limited the talented Larry Rose III to 106 yards and no scores. When New Mexico State did its damage, it was through the air – Andrew Allen and Nick Jeanty combined for four TDS. But the risk-taking Red Wolves also added three more INTs to its collection, including a 66-yard Pick Six from Quanterio Heath.

Offensively, Fredi Knighten combined his fleet feet with strong-armed bombs, tossing two TDs and running one in. But it seemed like everyone got a piece of the Aggies. Johnston White and Michael Gordon collected touchdowns, and so did Blaise Taylor, who returned an Aggie punt for a spectacular score. Tres Houston (155/1) and Dijon Paschal (115/1) were brilliant, while hard-nosed J.D. McKissic added fifty-three of the toughest yards you'll ever see.

When the desert dust had settled, the Aggies found their three-game win streak unceremoniously brought to a bruising end. The Red Wolves, guaranteed at least a share of the Sun Belt title, are now a perfect 7 for 7 in conference play, with only the Texas State Bobcats standing in the way of perfection.

Play of the Game

Blaise Taylor's 73-yard TD punt return was certainly impressive, but Fredi Knighten rolling out of the pocket to escape the Aggie pass rush and connect with Tres Houston on a 57-yard TD strike was (we'll just say it) breathtakingly beautiful – like listening to Adele's Hello for the first one thousand times.

The Predictable Aftermath

Another successful Red Wolves' season, another year on the coaching Tilt-O-Whirl of Hell.

A-State fans are accustomed to end-of-season hijinx, but the thought of Blake Anderson bolting to Memphis is especially difficult to digest. Anderson may very well parlay a championship Sun Belt season into a shinier new gig, but let us hope that this rumor is without substance.

What's Ahead

Let's check in on A-State's remaining opponent, the Texas State Bobcats:

Yep. See y'all December 5th at The Cent, where only the hapless Bobcats stand between the Red Wolves and an outright Sun Belt Championship – its 4th trophy in five years.