The month of October has been very sweet to the Arkansas State football team with the Red Wolves devouring Sun Belt opponents like a Wal-Mart size bag of Mars Chocolate Favorites, going 23-4 since 2010. But there have been a few moments in that run that the door was opened to a flaming pile of trick. Let’s take a look back at a few of the least fall favorites.
October 22, 2013, Arkansas State 7 UL-Lafayette 23
This was game 7 of the Bryan Harsin experiment in Jonesboro and the results were not great as the Red Wolves had lost 3 out of 4 non-conference games by an average of 28 points, including an eye opening 31-7 loss at Memphis.
But, as they so often do, the Red Wolves rallied to wins in their first two conference games and averaged nearly 45 points a contest. So it seemed that all was going according to plan with the path to the Sun Belt title truly starting on a Tuesday night and UL-Lafayette coming to Jonesboro with a 2-0 record in conference play as well. Cajuns running backs Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire did a 1-2 punch on the ASU defense combining for 215 yards on the ground and Harris scoring 2 touchdowns in the first quarter.
ASU QB Adam Kennedy threw for 89 yards and rushed for the only Red Wolves score on the night as the offense could manage 10 first downs and 168 total yards. The Cajuns pulled out to 20-7 halftime lead and the Red Wolves were never close in the 23-7 loss that sent them to 3-4 on the season in a rare midweek loss.
October 16, 2010, Arkansas State 34 Indiana 36
The 2010 season included a non conference 0-4 record highlighted by a trip to Bloomington to take on Indiana who was limping in at 3-2 after consecutive losses to Michigan and Ohio State. The Hoosiers started slow out of the gate and trailed the visiting Red Wolves 14-12 at the halftime of homecoming, but Indiana QB Ben Chappell threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns in the second half leading IU to the 36-34 victory. The game was an opportunity for ASU QB Ryan Aplin to showcase his talents against a Big 10 opponent and he did not disappoint running for 2 TDs and throwing for 2 more in the loss for the (2-5) Red Wolves.
October 21, 2014, Arkansas State 40 UL-Lafayette 55
The Red Wolves came into this game 4-2 and feeling pretty good about itself with a 2-0 record in Sun Belt play. The Cajuns had an identical conference record and viewed this game as an opportunity to showcase their program on national TV. It turned out that Elijah McGuire was the star of the show as he ran for 265 on 19 carries and four touchdowns only to be matched with another four rushing touchdowns from backfield mate Alonzo Harris.
The Cajuns would finish the night with 419 yards on the ground. The Red Wolves lack of physicality was glaring, and Blake Anderson knew he would have to address that matter immediately for Arkansas State to compete in the conference after being manhandled two years in a row by the Cajuns.