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(Saturday, September 8th)
Final Score: Arkansas State 33, Memphis 28
Jonesboro, AR (Sports Network) - David Oku rushed for 130 yards and scored the decisive touchdown to lead the Arkansas State Red Wolves to a 33-28 win over the Memphis Tigers at ASU Stadium.
Ryan Aplin connected on 23-of-43 passes for 302 yards and a score for Arkansas State (1-1), which captured its first win under first-year head coach Gus Malzahn. Frankie Jackson had only 38 yards on 14 carries but scored twice. Josh Jarboe had six receptions for 101 yards and J.D. McKissic also had a strong game catching the ball with eight receptions for 99 yards.
Jacob Karam completed 14-of-24 pass attempts for 154 yards and a pair of scores for Memphis (0-2), which has lost six straight dating back to last season. Jerrell Rhodes ran for 71 yards in the game and Keiwone Malone caught seven passes for 90 yards including a touchdown.
Memphis got the scoring started in a back-and-forth first half on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Karam to Alan Cross at the 12:18 mark of the first quarter.
Arkansas State then settled for a 23-yard field goal by Brian Davis after an 11-play, 75-yard drive on its first possession.
The score remained 7-3 until Tevin Jones recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for Memphis four minutes into the second quarter to put the Tigers up, 14-3.
Jackson scored on a one-yard run midway through the quarter to make it a one-score game, 14-10.
However, just over two minutes later Memphis pushed its lead back to double- digits on a 41-yard touchdown reception by Malone.
It took ASU only two plays on its next drive to cut back into the Tigers' lead. First Rocky Hayes ripped off a 33-yard rush and then Aplin hit Jarboe for a 42-yard scoring strike.
ASU had a chance to get even closer but Davis missed a 38-yard field goal attempt at the end of the second quarter.
Jackson put ASU ahead for the first time, 24-21, on the Red Wolves' second drive of the third quarter. The running back scored on a one-yard run after the squad marched 89 yards on 13 plays.
Memphis' special teams accounted for the its next score. McKissic fumbled the ball on a punt return, which was recovered in the end zone by Memphis' Winton McManis, putting the Tigers ahead 28-24.
A 25-yard field goal off the foot of Davis made it a one-point game, 28-27, going into the final quarter.
Neither team got on the board in the first half of the fourth quarter until Oku scored on a one-yard run with 6:31 remaining. The ensuing two-point conversion attempt failed however, leaving ASU with a 33-28 lead.
Memphis was forced to punt on its next possession after a three-and-out. ASU then took over with 5:22 remaining and ate up the clock on an 11-play, 81-yard drive before turning the ball over on downs with 11 seconds left. Two Karam passes fell incomplete in the waning seconds and ASU was able to come away with the win.
The game was close despite ASU outgaining Memphis, 619 total yards to 293.
09/08 23:48:58 ET
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