MBB: Mountaineers Fall at Georgetown 83-73

Dec. 18, 2018

Contact: Andrew Korbakorbaam@appstate.edu
PDF box score attached


Georgia State Men’s Golf: Panthers Competing in Top Amateur Events During Holidays


Dec. 18, 2018

Contact: Mike Holmes

Phone: (404) 413-4033

E-mail: rholmes@gsu.edu


Panthers Competing in Top Amateur Events During Holidays

ATLANTA – Four golfers with Georgia State ties will be teeing it up in two of the premier amateur events during the holiday season starting Wednedsday.

Senior Severin Soller, along with recent graduates Alex Herrmann and Max Herrmann will be competing in the South Beach International Amateur beginning on Wednesday, while Will Chambless, who will compete for the Panthers starting next season will compete in the Jones Cup Junior Invitational starting Thursday.

The South Beach International Amateur is ranked the No. 5 amateur tournament in the world. The tournament is limited to the top 210 amateurs in the world and played in Miami Beach, Fla.

Soller finished the fall with a 72.67 scoring average including a tie for fourth at the GSU hosted Autotrader Collegiate Classic. The Herrmann brothers graduated from Georgia State last spring as two of the top golfers in program history.

“The South Beach International Amateur is an elite field and I’m happy to see three Panthers competing in Miami Beach this week,” head coach Chad Wilson said. “Severin is coming off of a 4.0 semester academically that included six A’s and now has time to focus on his golf. He’s one of our hardest workers and I’m excited to see him put that work on display. Alex and Max are incredible ambassadors for our program and we love seeing their names on leaderboards. Alex had three rounds of 70 or lower here last year, so hopefully he can get in to contention this week.”


The Jones Cup Junior Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play event featuring 84 of the best junior golfers in the country on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club. The event begins on Thursday with a champion being decided on Saturday.


“It’s a great honor for Will to compete in the prestigious Jones Cup Junior,” Wilson said. “The list of current PGA Tour players that have competed in this event is very long and Will gets the chance to show how well he can handle the tough Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club. The best junior golfers get invited to this event and to see Will among them has to be exciting for him and his family. “

Chambless is currently a senior at Stratford Academy and will join the Panthers as a freshman in the fall.

Fans can follow the action this weekend on the official Georgia State men’s golf Twitter account @GaStateGolf.

Georgia State will return to the course for the Tiger Invitational hosted by Auburn Feb. 24-26, at Grand National Golf Club in Opelika, Ala.




MIKE HOLMES | Associate Athletic Director – Sports Communications | Georgia State University
Georgia State Stadium, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315
| Office: (404) 413-4033 | Cell: (404) 259-9716

GeorgiaStateSports.com | Twitter: @GSUPanthers



Georgia State Basketball: Panthers Host Former Conference Foe UNCW Wednesday

Game Notes attached


Quick Notes

• Georgia State made its second NCAA Tournament in the last four years in 2018 and returns four of five starters from the 2017-18 squad.

• GSU will play just its fourth home game of the season (as compared to eight games on the road) on Wednesday.

• Georgia State and UNCW will meet for the 20th time on Wednesday. As former CAA foes, the Panthers had a five-game winning streak going against the Seahawks before their last match-up in Feb. 2013.

• Georgia State has faced five opponents who competed in the 2018 NCAA Tournament in the first 11 games of the season. GSU faced Montana, St. Bonaventure, Creighton, Alabama, and No. 24 Kansas State all away from home going 2-3.

• Last time out, GSU dropped a hard-fought contest at No. 24 Kansas State 71-59. The Panthers led 53-50 with just over eight minutes to play, but the Wildcats outscored GSU 21-6 to end the game and earn the win.

• GSU has beaten two Power 5 opponents in one season for the second time in program history (Georgia and Alabama). In the 2000-01 season, GSU topped Georgia to open the season then defeated Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament. Those wins are the only two P5 wins for Sun Belt schools this season.

• Georgia State’s 21-point halftime comeback over Alabama (Dec. 4) is tied for the 12th-largest halftime comeback in NCAA history.

• GSU won five games in November for just the third time in program history. The previous two Novembers (2014 & 2017) found the Panthers playing in the NCAA Tournament the following March.

• Over the last 10 months, three Panthers have made at least eight 3-pointers in a game. Malik Benlevi knocked down eight against UGA last week, while Jeff Thomas did it against Mercer earlier this year. Last season, Devin Mitchell made 10 3-pointers at Little Rock.

• Since the start of the 2013-14 season, Georgia State has won more games (117) than any other NCAA Division I team in Georgia.

• Since returning to the Sun Belt in 2013-14 (5 seasons), Georgia State has finished in the top two of the final regular season conference standings four times.

• D’Marcus Simonds was named the Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year after earning AP All-America Honorable Mention last season. He earned Sun Belt Player of the Week honors on Nov. 12.

• Jeff Thomas has made 166 3-pointers in his career, sixth on GSU’s all-time.

• GSU is one of just 13 programs in the country to feature two assistant coaches who have NCAA D1 head coach experience (McCallum – Ball State/Houston/Detroit and Williams – Tennessee State).

• Head coach Ron Hunter, Georgia State’s all-time leader in wins, earned the 150th win of his career at GSU in the opening game of the Cayman Islands Classic against St. Bonaventure.

•             Hunter has led the Panthers to four of the seven most successful seasons in program history, including a pair of 25-win seasons and 24 wins last year.


Dec. 18, 2018
Contact: Mike Holmes
Phone: (404) 413-4033


Georgia State Hosts Former Conference Foe UNCW Wednesday

ATLANTA-After playing eight of their first 11 games on the road, Georgia State will return home to face former conference foe UNCW on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena.

Georgia State (7-4) is coming off a hard-fought 71-59 loss at No. 24 Kansas State on Saturday, while UNCW (4-7) fell on the road at No. 23 Furman 93-50.

The two schools were “travel partners” as members of the Colonial Athletic Association from 2005-2013. The Panthers lead the series 10-9 and have won five of the last six meetings with the Seahawks.

Wednesday’s contest can be heard live on WAOK-AM 1380 and WRAS-FM 88.5 with Dave Cohen, now in his 36th year as the Voice of the Panthers, being joined by former Panther Lamont McIntosh calling the action. The game will also air live on ESPN+ with Sam Crenshaw and Rodney Turner calling the action. Live statistics and live audio will be available at GeorgiaStateSports.com and on most mobile devices.

“Obviously our guys are disappointed with the loss on Saturday, but we showed we are able to go wire-to-wire with a team ranked in the top 25,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “I loved the way we played defensively. If we play defensively like that every night, we will be hard to beat. Offensively the shots just didn’t fall for us, but I know our guys are excited to get home and start making them again on Wednesday.”

Junior D’Marcus Simonds, the Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year, is second in the league averaging 20.9 points per game which also ranks No. 33 in the NCAA. He stands in sixth-place on Georgia State’s all-time scoring list with 1,360 points, just 15 points shy of Chavelo Holmes for fifth on the all-time scoring list. He is currently on pace to break R.J. Hunter’s school record of 1,819 career points by the end of the season.

Despite being just a junior, Simonds is either in the top 10 or on the verge of the top 10 in Georgia State history in points, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made, free throws attempted, assists, and steals.

Seniors Malik Benlevi and Jeff Thomas are also averaging in double figures. Benlevi, who has knocked down a team-high 25 3-pointers, is averaging 12.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Thomas is adding 11.3 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest and currently stands sixth in program history with 166 3-pointers.

Sophomore Kane Williams and redshirt-junior Damon Wilson round out the starting line-up. Williams is averaging 10.9 points per game to go along with 36 assists, while Wilson is shooting 49.0 percent from the floor and grabbing just under four rebounds per game.

Georgia State enters play averaging 8.5 steals per game, No. 1 in the Sun Belt and 39th in the NCAA. The Panthers swiped 13 steals at K-State on Saturday. Benlevi, along with Williams rank among the top four in the conference in steals. The Panthers 4.9 blocks per game average is also second in the league and No. 42 in the nation.


  • Georgia State has won four-straight home games dating back to last season.
  • With wins in the final two non-conference games, Georgia State would tie for the most wins before the start of conference play in program history.
  • Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won more games (117) than any other NCAA Division I team in the state of Georgia.

Following Wednesday’s game, Georgia State will conclude non-conference play hosting Middle Georgia State on Dec. 29, in the GSU Sports Arena at 1 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting GeorgiaStateSports.com/Tix or calling 404-413-4020.




MIKE HOLMES | Associate Athletic Director – Sports Communications | Georgia State University
Georgia State Stadium, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315
| Office: (404) 413-4033 | Cell: (404) 259-9716

GeorgiaStateSports.com | Twitter: @GSUPanthers



FB: Eliah Drinkwitz Introduced As App State’s Football Coach

December 17, 2018


Contact: Joey Jones (jonesj7@appstate.edu)


Secondary contact: Bret Strelow (strelowb@appstate.edu)


ONLINE: https://appstatesports.com/news/2018/12/17/football-drinkwitz-driven-by-pride-passion-purpose.aspx

BOONE, N.C. — Like so many others who traveled to New Orleans last week and watched Appalachian State cap a memorable football season with a thrilling bowl win, Eliah Drinkwitz showed up to work Monday morning.
He parked behind Kidd Brewer Stadium and was greeted as soon as he walked into the fourth-floor lobby of the Ricks Athletics Complex at 9 a.m. An exciting, busy first on-campus day as App State's head coach began with Director of Athletics Doug Gillin showing Drinkwitz his new office.
Welcome to The Rock.
Joined in Boone by his wife, Lindsey, and their three daughters (Addison, Emerson and Ella), Drinkwitz toured the locker room before his introductory press conference, which was open to the public and drew a large crowd to the fifth floor of the building.
"What I realized down in New Orleans is what makes this place so unique and so special is you," Drinkwitz told the crowd. "I really believe people are your most powerful resource. The pride and tradition of championships is because of you. I'm certainly excited to be your new football coach. I couldn't be any happier to bring my family to join the Appalachian State Football and University family."
With a videoboard message welcoming him to Kidd Brewer Stadium, Drinkwitz followed Gillin's formal introduction by sharing many of his beliefs and philosophies.
He's taking over a program that has won four straight bowl games and three consecutive Sun Belt Conference championships. A 45-13 victory against Middle Tennessee on Saturday in the New Orleans Bowl capped an 11-2 season, and App State's 41 wins in the last four seasons currently leads the nation's Group of Five conference programs.
After conducting a national search, Gillin and Appalachian last week announced the hiring of Drinkwitz to a five-year contract that runs through the 2023 season.
"It was early on that we connected on our core values, and those were things we weren't going to waver on," Gillin said. "Academic integrity, first and foremost. We're here to graduate student-athletes, and we want to make sure we recruit students who can compete academically, certainly on the fields of play as well, but also in the classroom. We want to make sure, with social responsibility, how are we preparing them for life after football? How are we preparing them while they're here to be good citizens in the community, in the dorm rooms, in the classrooms?
"And how are we preparing them to win? We don't expect to go backward. We're keeping this thing climbing, and competitive excellence is really, really important to us around here. We compete for championships, and what we want to provide for our student-athletes is a world-class experience."
Drinkwitz, 35, had been the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for record-setting NC State teams the past three seasons, and he joined the Wolfpack's staff after excelling in a similar role at Group of Five power Boise State.
He graduated magna cum laude and served as the student body president at Arkansas Tech, was a quality control assistant at Auburn when the Tigers won the 2010 national championship and helped Arkansas State win back-to-back Sun Belt championships in 2012-13 as that program's co-offensive coordinator.
In announcing that he strives to enhance an already strong program in Boone, Drinkwitz said App State will be about low ego and high output.
"We're excited to continue to move this university and this football program forward," Drinkwitz said. "Our stated goal is to win the Sun Belt Conference championship and a bowl game with class, integrity and academic excellence."
In working toward those goals, Drinkwitz said three critical things will be visible: Pride, Passion and Purpose.
"The first thing you're going to see is pride because that's what being a representative of Appalachian is. When I was down in New Orleans, you could see the pride. Everybody that came and shook my hand and wished me luck, you could tell there was a sense of pride and a sense of belonging in this university, in this program. All these players, and all these student-athletes that we're going to recruit, the current team, they're going to display pride for who we are and what we're going to be."
"A passion for the game, a passion to wake up every single day and be better than you were before, to be the best version of yourself that you can be. Passion is that fuel that drives you, that wakes you up in the morning and says you have a higher calling. When you see our football program and you see our players and you see our community, you see passion. We're going to represent this program with passion.
"Passion is also a competitive edge. We believe in competition. The only thing better than a little competition is a lot of competition."
"I believe that each and every one of us have been given a gift and a purpose. I believe you have to have a purpose-driven life in order to succeed. We're going to work with our student-athletes to make sure they understand that there's something bigger than just football. You're chasing two dreams. You're chasing a dream of life with football, but we also have to realize this game has a short window, and at some point, this game stops. When it does, you have to Make An Impact, a significant legacy we want you to leave."

Georgia State Football: Media Availability on Early Signing Day

College Football Early Signing Day

Wednesday, Dec. 19


Georgia State head coach Shawn Elliott will be available to the media at 1 p.m. at the GSU Practice Complex (188 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 30312)


Parking: Parking is available in the front parking lot as well as street parking in the area, including Moore Street on the east side of the practice field.


Contact: Allison George (678-595-7728)



ALLISON GEORGE | Assistant AD – Communications | Georgia State University
Georgia State Stadium, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315
| Office: (404) 413-4032  |  Cell: (678) 595-7728

GeorgiaStateSports.com | Twitter: @GSUPanthers





MBB: Game Notes for App State/Georgetown

Dec. 17, 2018

Please find game notes attached for Appalachian State men's basketball contest at Georgetown on Tuesday (6:30 p.m.; FS1).

A-STATE FOOTBALL GAME NOTES: at Arizona Bowl, Dec. 29, 12:15 p.m. (CT), CBS Sports Network, EAB Red Wolves Sports Network

For Immediate Release: December 17, 2018

Arkansas State University

Contact:  Jerry Scott (870-972-3405)


*PDF version attached


ARIZONA BOWL:  Arkansas State (8-4) vs. Nevada (7-5)

December 29, 2018 | Arizona Stadium

Tucson, Ariz. | 12:15 p.m. CT

Radio:  EAB Red Wolves Sports Network (107.9 FM, flagship)

Television:  CBS Sports Network

Live Stats:  AStateStats.com

Live Game Notes:  twitter.com/AStateGameDay


ON TAP: Set to play its eighth consecutive bowl game, Arkansas State will face Nevada at Arizona Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 29, at 12:15 p.m. (CT) in the 2018 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.  The game will be televised by CBS Sports Network, and every Red Wolves football game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Northeast Arkansas area.  The live radio broadcast can also be accessed on the official A-State Athletics web site (AStateRedWolves.com) and the A-State Athletics app.


THE PRINCIPALS:  The Red Wolves will carry a season-best four-game winning streak into the Arizona Bowl after completing the regular season with an 8-4 overall record and as the Sun Belt Conference West Division co-champions.  The Wolf Pack will play in their first bowl game since the 2015 season, when they also competed in the inaugural Arizona Bowl.  Nevada ended the regular season with a 7-5 overall mark and tied for second place in the Mountain West Conferences’ West Division.



-15 punt return yards allowed are currently the fewest in NCAA history.

0 games ever played by the Red Wolves in the state of Arizona.

1 or more turnovers gained by A-State in 51 of 63 games (81%) under defensive coordinator Joe Cauthen.

1 of just two programs in league history owning at least five Sun Belt Conference championships.

1 or more touchdown passes by Justice Hansen in 27 of the last 29 games.

1 touchback and just 12 opponent return attempts (11%) in 107 career punts by Cody Grace.

3 interceptions by Jerry Jacobs are tied for the 4th most in the SBC, while he ranks T5th in passes defended.

3 years (1993-95) that A-State and Nevada shared the Big West Conference together.

4 different A-State players named 1 of the Sun Belt’s 5 major individual award winners – 1st time by any SBC member.

4 fumble recoveries by Tajhea Chambers are tied for the second most in the nation.

5 players named a SBC Player of the Week a combined 6 times (Hansen, Bradley-King, Chambers, Clifton, McInnis).

5 punt returns this season by A-State’s opponents for -15 yards (No. 1 punt return defense in the nation).

5 Sun Belt Conference championships (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016) over the last eight seasons (2011-18).

5 Sun Belt guaranteed bowl games that A-State has played in — the only program to ever play in all five.

6 A-State players on a combined 16 college football award watch lists.

7 or more victories each of the last eight seasons (2011-18) — first time in school history.

7 points or less allowed in the first half by the A-State defense in eight of its last 10 games.

7 players in school history, including Warren Wand, who have rushed for over 2,900 yards in a career.

8 wins are A-State’s third highest total during a regular season since moving to FBS status in 1992.

8 straight bowl game appearance (2011-18) — a school record & the 15th longest current streak in the nation.

8 consecutive winning seasons (2011-18) by A-State for the first time in school history.

9 all-time Sun Belt Conference Team Academic Awards.

10 explosive plays (15+ pass/12+ rush) per game this season by the A-State offense.

11 of the last 14 seasons (2005-18) have seen A-State reach bowl eligibility, including the last eight in a row.

14 consecutive seasons with a winning record at Centennial Bank Stadium (2005-18).

16 current A-State players have already earned their degree.

16 all-time bowl game appearances by Arkansas State, including the 2018 Arizona Bowl.

16 consecutive games with at least 100 rushing yards by A-State.

16.4 kickoff return defense average ranks No. 7 in the nation, one year after allowing a 21.4 avg. & ranking No. 74.

17 All-Sun Belt Conference selections were the second most in school history.

19 points for A-State in the Coaches’ Poll tied Troy for the most ever by an SBC program in a preseason poll.

22 defensive touchdowns between 2014-18 under DC Joe Cauthen.

25 consecutive games with a reception by Justin McInnis, including the last 15 in a row with multiple catches.

30 or more points scored by A-State in 61 of its last 94 regular-season games (65 percent).

30 or more sacks in five straight seasons (2014-18) for the first time in school history.

35 out of the last 36 games the A-State defense has recorded at least one sack.

35 of A-State’s 39 victories under HC Blake Anderson have come by a double-figure margin.

38 of the last 41 games with at least 5.0 tackles for loss by the A-State defense.

39 victories under Blake Anderson are the most by any A-State head coach over his first five seasons.

51 Sun Belt Conference victories over the last eight (2011-18) seasons (51-14 league record).

61 tackles by Kevin Thurmon are the most in the Sun Belt Conference among interior defensive linemen.

67 victories by A-State over the last eight seasons ranks tied for the 24th most in the nation.

75 catches by Kirk Merritt lead the Sun Belt and are the fourth most in school history.

77 interceptions by the A-State defense over the last five seasons are the 7th most in the nation.

83 all-time Sun Belt victories by A-State, which are the most in the history of the league by any program.

100 or more rushing yards in 12 straight games for the first time since 2012.

128 consecutive games played without A-State being shutout.

300 or more yds total off. in 103 of last 114 games (90%), including all but 5 games under Blake Anderson.

400 or more yards total offense in 42 of 63 games (67%) under Blake Anderson.

463.5 yards per game by the A-State offense is the 21st highest in the nation.

793 rushing yds by Marcel Murray are the most by an A-State true freshman since Lamont Zachary in 1996 (846).


HEAD COACH BLAKE ANDERSON: Blake Anderson, an 18-year coaching veteran at the NCAA FBS level who also coached in an NJCAA National Championship game, was named the Red Wolves’ 30th all-time head football coach on Dec. 19, 2013.  Anderson led the Red Wolves to Sun Belt Conference championships in 2015 and 2016, as well as five consecutive winning seasons and five bowl-game appearances (2018 Arizona Bowl, 2017 Camellia Bowl, 2016 Cure Bowl, 2015 New Orleans Bowl, 2014 GoDaddy Bowl) during his first five seasons leading the program.  Under his direction, the Red Wolves have set nine new single-season school records for average yards total offense (494.8 yards per game in 2017), first downs (322 in 2017), first downs passing (190 in 2017), passing yards (4,106 in 2017), passing touchdowns (38 in 2017), points scored (520 in 2015), touchdowns scored (69 in 2015), total offense (6,174 yards in 2014) and total plays (1,024 in 2014).  During his first four years at the helm of the program, he saw 49 of his players earn 81 All-Sun Belt Conference selections — the most in the league over that span.


FAST START:  Out of 30 all-time head coaches at Arkansas State, Blake Anderson became one of just four to win at least seven games in his first season (2014) at the school.  The other head coaches to win at least seven games in their first season as head coach at A-State were Bryan Harsin (2013), Gus Malzahn (2012) and Hugh Freeze (2011).


FIVE YEARS RUNNING:  Blake Anderson is the only head coach in Arkansas State history to win 39 or more games over his first five years at the school.  Additionally, he is one of just two head coaches at A-State to ever direct the program to at least 39 wins in 63 or fewer games — Bennie Ellender also won 39 times over his first 63 games between 1963-69.


DOUBLE DIGITS:  Although 35 of the Red Wolves’ 39 victories under head coach Blake Anderson have come by 10 or more points, the Red Wolves have won two games this season by a single-digit margin.  The previous four seasons combined under Anderson saw A-State claim just two wins by less than 10 points, including a 21-14 overtime victory against Utah State in 2014 and 27-26 outcome versus Georgia Southern in 2016.


CLIMBING THE LADDER:  Blake Anderson has led the Red Wolves to a pair of Sun Belt titles and collected 30 league wins along the way, which are tied for the fourth most ever by any of the conference’s all-time head coaches.


THE ARKANSAS STATE – NEVADA SERIES:  Arkansas State has played Nevada five times in the all-time series dating back to 1985, holding a 2-3 record against the Wolf Pack.  The Red Wolves claimed a 44-28 home win in 1999, the last time they played Nevada.  Arkansas State and Nevada were both members of the Big West Conference from 1993-95, playing twice over that three-year span.  A-State collected a 23-21 win in Jonesboro in 1993, while Nevada evened the conference series with a home victory a year later.  The first ever game played between the two schools took place during the 1985 NCAA I-AA (now FCS) playoffs and saw the Wolf Pack pick up a narrow 24-23 win.  The only other game in the series saw Nevada win during the 1996 season when A-State was playing as an NCAA I-A (now FBS) independent.


A-STATE vs. THE MOUNTAIN WEST:  While Arkansas State has faced nine current members of the Mountain West Conference and holds an 8-16 record against those teams, the Arizona Bowl will mark just the fourth time it has played a game against an opponent while it was a member of the league — the other three were against Utah State in 2014 (W, 21-14, OT) and 2016 (L, 34-20) and UNLV this season (W, 270-20).  The Red Wolves have played Boise State (0-2), Colorado State (0-2), Hawai’i (1-0), Nevada (2-3), San Diego State (0-1), San Jose State (1-1), UNLV (1-1), Utah State (3-4) and Wyoming (0-2).  Additionally, A-State at one point or another was a member of the Big West Conference with five of those teams — Boise State, Nevada, San Jose State, UNLV and Utah State.


A-STATE vs. THE SUN BELT:  Arkansas State has won 51 of its last 63 Sun Belt Conference games (.810 winning percentage) to run its all-time record in the league to 83-48.  The Red Wolves hold their most all-time victories against ULM with 26.  A-State has defeated every team in the conference since the football league was formed in 2001.  Along with ULM and Louisiana, A-State is one of three teams that have been a part of the conference since its inaugural football season.


SUN BELT CHAMPS (5 of 8):  While Arkansas State last won the Sun Belt in 2016, it is still the only Group of 5 program and one of just four FBS programs in the nation to win five conference championships over the last eight years (2011-18).  The only other teams to do so are Alabama (SEC), Clemson (ACC) and Oklahoma (Big 12).  The Red Wolves most recently won back-to-back Sun Belt titles in 2015 and 2016, compiling a 15-1 league record over that span.  A-State also won the league title 2011-13, making it one of just two programs in league history with at least five all-time SBC titles.


HOME SWEET HOME: Arkansas State has strung together 14 consecutive years (2005-18) with a winning record at Centennial Bank Stadium dating back to 2005. The Red Wolves are now 64-15 (.810 winning percentage) since the 2005 season and have won 39 of their last 47 home games. The Red Wolves actual on-field record all-time at Centennial Bank Stadium is 156-78-1 since it opened in 1974. A-State’s six home wins in 2011 were its most since 1985.  The 2011 season also marked the last time the Red Wolves went undefeated at Centennial Bank Stadium.


REGULAR SEASON COMPARISON:  Arkansas State’s eight victories are its third highest regular-season total ever as an FBS member and ties its fourth most in the history of the program.  A-State has now reached at least eight regular-season wins four of the last eight years (2011-18) and 11 times in school history.


BOWL ELIGIBLE:  Arkansas State has obtained bowl-eligible status each of the last eight years (2011-18) and 11 times over the last 14 seasons.  Arkansas State has become bowl eligible in 10 games or less each of those seasons.  Since moving to FBS status in 1992, the earliest A-State ever became bowl eligible was in 2011 when it was 6-2 through eight games.


BOWL HISTORY:  Including the Arizona Bowl, Arkansas State has appeared in 16 bowl games all-time and holds a 7-7-1 record in the previous 15.  This is the 8th consecutive year A-State has been in a bowl game (2011-18), and it also played in the 2005 New Orleans Bowl for its first bowl-game appearance since 1970.  A-State played in seven bowl games from 1951-70.


BOWL STREAK:  Arkansas State is making a school-record eighth consecutive appearance in a bowl game, which is the third longest streak in the Group of 5 and ranks 15th in the nation among all FBS programs.


PLAY ‘EM ALL:  Headed to the 2018 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, Arkansas State becomes the only team that will have ever played in all five of the Sun Belt Conference’s guaranteed bowl games.  The Red Wolves have previously appeared in the Dollar General Bowl (formerly GoDaddy) four times (2011-14) and the New Orleans Bowl (2015), Cure Bowl (2016) and Camellia Bowl (2017) once each.  Two current players on the team, including redshirt seniors Jarrod Chandler and Jhamahl Bell, have been to all five contests.  Outside of A-State, no other all-time member of the Sun Belt Conference has been to more than three of the league’s five bowl games.  Appalachian State has been to three (Camellia twice, Dollar General, New Orleans), while the rest of the all-time Sun Belt members haven’t appeared in more than two.


A NEW DESTINATION:  The Arkansas State football team will play its first ever game in The Grand Canyon State when it competes in the 2018 Arizona Bowl, leaving just 12 other states where the Red Wolves have never played.  Just six of those 12 states have an FBS member, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.  The other six are Alaska, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Vermont.


AN A-STATE VICTORY WOULD . . . :   give it four bowl game wins over the last eight seasons (2011-18) . . . mark its eighth all-time bowl victory and its second under head coach Blake Anderson . . . move its all-time bowl record to 8-7-1 . . . give it least nine victories for the fourth time as an FBS member and ninth time in the history of the program . . . give it nine wins to tie its second highest total for a season as an FBS member and tie its fourth highest in school history . . . give it nine victories, matching (2015)  its most under head coach Blake Anderson . . . give it nine or more wins for the fourth time over the last eight seasons (2011-18) . . . even its all-time record versus Nevada to 3-3 . . . give it a 2-0 record against Mountain West Conference teams this season and a 3-1 record against members of the league at the time of the game.


17 TABBED ALL-CONFERENCE:  Arkansas State racked up 17 All-Sun Belt Conference selections this season.  Including five players tabbed First Team, six Second Team, two Third Team and four Honorable Mention, A-State’s 17 total selections were the second most in school history behind only its 18 last year.  The Red Wolves have now had at least 10 all-conference selections nine consecutive years and 12 times since the Sun Belt’s inaugural season in 2001.  They have also accumulated 81 all-conference picks since 2014, which are the most in the league over that span.


THAT’S A FIRST:  Arkansas State became this year the first program in league history to have different players win four of the conference’s five major individual player awards.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR:  With the addition of QB Justice Hansen, A-State has now seen three different players named the Sun Belt’s Player of the Year a combined five times – both the most in conference history.  Former quarterback Ryan Aplin (2011-12) and defensive end Ja’Von Rolland-Jones (2016-17) both received the honor as well.  An Arkansas State player has also won the award the last three consecutive years between Hansen and Rolland-Jones, which happened only one other time in Sun Belt history by North Texas from 2002-04.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:  DE Ronheen Bingham joined former defensive ends Brandon Joiner and Alex Carrington and safety Tyrell Johnson as all-time A-State players to be named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year.  The four standouts have combined to give the Red Wolves the most players in the league to ever receive the recognition.

NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:  WR Kirk Merritt became Arkansas State’s second all-time Sun Belt Newcomer of the Year, joining former defensive back Jonathan Burke (2002).  A-State is one of three programs in league history with multiple players to win the award.

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR:  Joining former wide receiver J.D. McKissic and running back Reggie Arnold, RB Marcel Murray is the third all-time A-State player to be named the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Year, which ties the most in conference history.


EIGHT STRAIGHT:  Arkansas State has secured a winning record in a school-record eight consecutive seasons (2011-18).  The next longest streak was six straight seasons from 1912-17.  The Red Wolves piled up 66 victories from 2011-18 for its most over an eight-year span in the program’s 103-year history.


RED WOLVES NOVEMBER:  Arkansas State completed November with an unblemished 4-0 record this year and, dating back to the 2011 season, now holds a 25-5 record over its last 30 games played in the month.  The Red Wolves have won their last six November games.


WINNING NON-CONFERENCE RECORD:  With a 3-1 record, Arkansas State secured a winning record this season against non-conference opponents for the first time since 1995 when it went 3-2. Additionally, with wins against Tulsa and UNLV, the Red Wolves won back-to-back non-conference games against FBS opponents for the first time ever since moving to FBS status in 1992.


RON CARROLL WORKS No. 500:  Now in his 43rd season as Arkansas State’s head certified trainer, A-State Hall of Honor inductee (2005) Ron Carroll reached a milestone number in his career when the Red Wolves played Georgia Southern this year.  A part of eight all-time A-State conference championships and eight bowl games, Carroll worked his 500th all-time Arkansas State game on Sept. 29, 2018.  Carroll has not only worked every A-State football contest since his first in 1976, he has never missed a fall practice and missed only one spring practice in 2013 to have his gallbladder removed.  Since being named A-State’s first certified athletic trainer at the age of 24, he has worked with 11 head football coaches and 11 athletics directors.  Now 66 years old, Carroll has also since been married (1979), has three children and is expecting his seventh grandchild this October.


ROAD WARRIORS:  Arkansas State has won 25 of its last 32 conference road games dating back to the 2011 season.  A-State had won 10 consecutive conference road games, its longest streak ever as a member of any league, before falling to Western Kentucky in its 2013 regular-season finale.


WATCH ME, WATCH ME:  Arkansas State had six different players on at least one major watch list for the 2018 season, including four who play on the offensive side, two on defense and one on special teams.  All combined, A-State had a player on 13 different major watch lists.


TOP 25:  For the first time since moving to FBS status in 1992, Arkansas State entered a season receiving votes in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches’ top-25 polls.  However, A-State did receive votes in the FINAL version of both 2012 polls (28 pts AP, 13 pts Coaches).  The Red Wolves earned 19 points in the 2018 preseason Coaches’ Poll, matching Troy’s total to give both programs the highest amount of points ever by a Sun Belt Conference team in a preseason poll.  A-State also received one point in the 2018 USA Today Preseason Poll.  Since 1992, this is the first time A-State has received any votes in the AP Preseason Poll, while the last time it received votes in the preseason Coaches’ Poll was 2013 (1 point).


104TH SEASON:  Arkansas State kicked off its 104th season of football Sept. 1 at home against Southeast Missouri State.  A-State holds a 473-486-37 record since the inaugural season and has played in 16 bowl games (including the 2018 Arizona Bowl).  A-State did not field a team from 1942-44 due to World War II.  Arkansas State also didn’t have a team in 1918 as World War I was ending.




EXPLOSIVE OFFENSE:  Based on gains of at least 15 yards passing and 12 rushing, Arkansas State has recorded at least nine explosive plays in all but one game this season and is averaging 10.4 per contest.  The Red Wolves recorded a season-high 15 explosive plays against SEMO, followed by 14 versus Georgia State, 11 versus UNLV, Louisiana, Coastal Carolina and ULM, 10 against Georgia Southern, South Alabama and Texas State and nine against both Tulsa and Alabama. A-State has recorded 125 total explosive plays, including 70 covering at least 20 yards.


RUSHING RED WOLVES:  Arkansas State has rushed for at least 170 yards in eight games, which are its most since hitting the mark in 10 outings in 2015.  A-State has also posted at least 100 rushing yards in every game this year, marking the first time it has reached the century mark in 12 consecutive games since the 2012 season (12 straight).  A-State has never rushed for 100 yards in 13 games in the same season as an FBS member, and the last time it did so at any level was 1987.  Dating back to last season, the Red Wolves have recorded at least 100 yards on the ground in 16 consecutive games.


300-PLUS: Dating back to the 2010 season, Arkansas State has posted at least 300 yards of total offense in 103 of its last 114 games (.903 percentage).  A-State has produced 300 yards in 58 of 63 games under head coach Blake Anderson, including the last 24 in a row.


400-PLUS:  Arkansas State has hit the 400-yard total offense mark 42 times over its last 63 games (67 percent) since 2014, which was Blake Anderson’s first season as head coach.  A-State is ranked 21st in the nation this season with 466.7 yards per game, one year after it posted a school-record 494.8 average that ranked 10th in the nation.  The Red Wolves have hit the 400-yard mark in their last six outings.


LIGHTING UP THE SCOREBOARD:  Including 20 of the last 29 contests, the Red Wolves have now posted at least 30 points in 61 of their last 94 regular-season games (65 percent) dating back to the 2011 season. The Red Wolves have won 48 of their last 54 games when scoring at least 30 points.


TOP 30:  Senior quarterback Justice Hansen was named on Oct. 5 as a “top 30” candidate for the 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.  The senior from Edmond, Okla., was named a “top 20” candidate for the award last season as a junior.


FAST START:  The Coastal Carolina game marked the fifth time this season that Arkansas State scored on its first possession (all touchdowns).  A-State also found the end zone on its first drive versus Louisiana, Georgia State, UNLV and SEMO.


GOING FOR 100:  True freshman running back Marcel Murray posted a career-high 121 rushing yards against Louisiana and has recorded two 100-yard rushing performances on his way to a team-leading 793 yards, which are the most by an A-State true freshman since Lamont Zachary ran for 846 in 1996.


JUSTICE SERVED:  Senior quarterback Justice Hansen was named the Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 3, recognizing his record-setting performance against Southeast Missouri State.  He set a school record with six touchdown passes and finished the night 26-of-36 passing with 423 yards.  All six touchdowns went to different receivers, and he became the first Sun Belt quarterback to toss six or more touchdown passes since Giovanni Vizza of North Texas had eight against Navy on Nov. 10, 2007.


HANSEN EARNS SECOND WEEKLY HONOR:  Senior quarterback Justice Hansen was named the Sun Belt Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 22 after accounting for five touchdowns and 333 yards total offense while also breaking the Arkansas State school record for career passing touchdowns during the Red Wolves’ 51-35 victory over Georgia State.  He completed three touchdown passes, running his career total to 70 that gave him the sixth most in Sun Belt Conference history.


MERRITT ON THE RECEPTION:  Junior receiver Kirk Merritt has either led A-State or tied for the team high in receptions eight of 12 games this season, hauling in a combined 75 receptions over that span.    Merritt’s 75 catches are the fourth most in school history and the most by an A-State player since J.D. McKissic (now with the Seattle Seahawks) had 82 in 2013.  Merritt posted a career-high 11 catches against both Coastal Carolina and Georgia Southern, a total ranking tied for the seventh most in school history for a single game.  He has caught at least four passes in 11 of the Red Wolves’ 12 games as well and is currently leading the Sun Belt Conference with 6.2 receptions per game, which is also the 20th highest average in the nation.


HITTING THE MARK:  Junior quarterback Justice Hansen has thrown at least one passing touchdown in 27 of his last 29 games and two or more touchdown passes in 20 of his last 26 outings.  He has thrown multiple scoring passes in 25 career games.  The former Oklahoma transfer has thrown for at least 200 yards 28 times, 300 yards 12 times and 400 five times during his three-year career at A-State.  Dating back to the 2015 season, Hansen has passed for at least 200 yards in 26 of his last 31 games.


ECLIPSING 2,000:  Running back Warren Wand has pushed his career rushing total to 2,955 yards, making him one of 10 players in A-State history to post 2,500 in a career.  He is currently ranked 18th in the nation among active players in career rushing yards, while his 22 career rushing touchdowns are the 45th most.




A LOSS ON THE PLAY:  Dating back to the 2015 season, the Red Wolves have posted at least five stops behind the line of scrimmage in 38 of their last 41 games.  A-State has ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation each of the last three seasons in tackles for loss.


GETTING TO THE QUARTERBACK:  A-State has ranked among the top 20 teams in the nation in sacks three of the last five years, posting a combined 174 sacks over that span.  The Red Wolves have recorded at least one sack in 35 of their last 36 games dating back to the 2016 season.


PICK IT OFF:  A-State has proved to be an opportunistic defense the last five seasons (2014-18) when the ball has been put in the air, intercepting a combined 77 passes over that time that rank as the seventh most in the nation over that span.  The only teams with more interceptions are San Diego State (86), Ohio State (82), Utah (81), Alabama (80), Iowa (80) and Appalachian State (78).


FORCING TURNOVERS:  Arkansas State has recorded at least one turnover gained in 51 of 63 games (81 percent) under defensive coordinator Joe Cauthen.  The Red Wolves have ranked among the top 30 teams in turnovers gained three of the last five years as well (2014-18), and their combined 126 forced turnovers over that span are the sixth most in the nation.


DEFENSE IS THE BEST OFFENSE:  Arkansas State has ranked among the top 21 teams in the nation in defensive touchdowns each of the last five seasons (2014-18) under defensive coordinator Joe Cauthen.  In fact, the 2015 season saw the Red Wolves record an FBS-high eight touchdowns.  The Red Wolves have 22 total defensive touchdowns over the last five seasons (2014-18).


BINGHAM ON THE STOP:  Senior defensive end Ronheen Bingham recorded a career-high 13 tackles against Louisiana, and he now has two career games with double figure stops (both this season).  Bingham has posted 52 of his 65 stops over the last eight outings, averaging 6.5 per game over that span as he has climbed to No. 28 in the Sun Belt Conference in the stat.


CLIFTON TABBED SBC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:  Senior safety Justin Clifton was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week after recording a season-high two interceptions, including one he returned 43 yards for a touchdown, and a pass break-up to help lead Arkansas State to a 31-14 victory over ULM.


CHAMBERS RECOGNIZED:  Sophomore linebacker Tajhea Chambers was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week after recording seven tackles and a career-high two fumble recoveries, including one he returned 34 yards for his first career touchdown, during Arkansas State’s 51-35 victory over Georgia State.   The Gordon, Ga., native now has five career fumble recoveries to his credit, while his 70 tackles this season are the third most on the squad.


BRADLEY-KING COLLECTS WEEKLY HONOR:  Sophomore defensive end William Bradley-King was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week after his dominating performance in the Red Wolves’ 27-20 victory over UNLV.  He recorded his second career forced fumble while setting career highs with nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. With the Red Wolves leading 27-20, Bradley-King recorded a strip-sack on fourth down that ended UNLV’s final possession and secured the victory for Arkansas State. The Kansas City, Mo., native also posted a sack on the final play of the first half, helping preserve a six-point A-State lead by not allowing UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers to get off a pass to the end zone. He additionally came up with tackles on two third-down plays that forced UNLV punts during the game.


JACOBS HONORED BY CSM:  College Sports Madness named junior cornerback Jerry Jacobs its Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Week following his two-interception performance against UNLV.  Jacobs became the first A-State player to intercept multiple passes in a game since Kyle Martin had two against ULM in the Red Wolves’ 10th game of last season.  Jacobs is now ranked tied for fourth and tied for fifth in the Sun Belt Conference for interceptions and passes defended, respectively.


DOUBLE-FIGURE STOPS:  Senior safety Darreon Jackson recorded a career-high 13 tackles against Tulsa, which also ties the most this year by an A-State player through 10 games.  Jackson has now posted double-figure stops in four career games, all coming over the Red Wolves’ last 13 outings.  Jackson is currently ranked ninth in the Sun Belt Conference with 7.0 per game.




COVERAGE GAME:  Arkansas State’s punt and kickoff coverage units have been successful early this season as both rank among the top seven in the nation.  In fact, the Red Wolves are ranked first in the nation in punt coverage by allowing -1.9 yards per return by its opponents.  The kickoff coverage team is allowing just 16.4 yards per return, which is a significant improvement over its 21.4 average and No. 74 ranking a year ago.


RECORD ON THE LINE:  Arkansas State has allowed -15 yards on punt returns this season and if that number holds up, the Red Wolves will set a new NCAA record for fewest punt return yards allowed in a season.  The current record is -9 yards allowed by TCU during the 2014 season.


ON THE RETURN:  Stepping into a punt return role for the first time of his career, senior running back Warren Wand has already recorded 230 return yards that rank eighth in A-State history for a single season.  While his 8.8 yards per attempt ranks third in the Sun Belt Conference, it ranks Wand 28th in the nation.


AMAZING GRACE:  Junior punter Cody Grace has posted only one touchback in 107 punting attempts during his two-year career at A-State, while his punts have also been returned just 12 times (11 percent).  He has played a big part in the Red Wolves ranking No. 1 in the nation this season and No. 2 a year ago in punt return defense.  He has posted at least one punt inside the opponent’s 20-yard line in 21 of 23 career games and multiple in all but five.  He was a Ray Guy Award semifinalist (top 10) this year and last.


GRUPE ON THE KICK:  Since taking over place kicking duties in the third game (Tulsa) of the season, redshirt freshman Blake Grupe has made 12 of his 17 field goal attempts.  He made a career-high three against Appalachian State, including a career-long covering 47 yards.  Grupe is ranked among the top six players in the Sun Belt Conference for field goals made (3rd),  points by kicking (5th) and field goal percentage (6th).


McINNIS CLAIMS WEEKLY HONOR:  Senior wide receiver Justin McInnis was named the Sun Belt Conference Special Teams Player of the Week following the Texas State game after he both blocked a punt and then returned it 17 yards for a touchdown.  The play marked A-State’s first blocked punt return for a touchdown since its 2016 victory over UCF in the Cure Bowl.



Jerry Scott

Arkansas State University

Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations

P.O. Box 1000 | State University, AR 72467

p: (870) 972-3405 | c: 870-243-6021




MEDIA ADVISORY: A-State Football Signing Day Press Conference Scheduled for Dec. 19 at 3:00 PM

For Immediate Release:  December 17, 2018

Arkansas State University

Contact: Jerry Scott (870-972-3405)


*PDF version attached







JONESBORO, Ark. (12/17/18) – An Arkansas State football press conference with Head Coach Blake Anderson on the first day of college football’s early signing period is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 19, in Jonesboro at 3:00 p.m.  The press conference will be held on the third floor of the Arkansas State Football Facility, where coach Anderson will announce members of the football program’s 2019 recruiting class.







3:00 PM









Jerry Scott

Arkansas State University

Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations

P.O. Box 1000 | State University, AR 72467

p: (870) 972-3405 | c: 870-243-6021




FB: App State Rolls to Fourth Straight Bowl Win

December 16, 2018


Contact: Joey Jones (jonesj7@appstate.edu)


Secondary contact: Bret Strelow (strelowb@appstate.edu)


ONLINE: https://appstatesports.com/news/2018/12/15/football-app-state-rolls-to-new-orleans-bowl-win.aspx



By Bret Strelow | App State Athletics

NEW ORLEANS — The R+L New Orleans Bowl turned into a season-ending coronation for the Sun Belt champions.
Malik Williams and the rest of the Mountaineers threw quite a Black and Gold party in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Williams delivered two trick-play touchdowns on wide receiver passes, including one to quarterback Zac Thomas, and the defense made several important stops under tough circumstances to help Appalachian State maintain its perfect bowl record with a 45-13 victory against Middle Tennessee on Saturday night.
With App State alum Mark Ivey serving as the interim head coach, college teammate Shawn Clark making aggressive play calls for the offense and 23-year App State assistant Dale Jones coordinating the defense, the Mountaineers (11-2) rolled after persevering through a slow start against the Conference USA runners-up.
"We knew, as tough as these players were, if they smelled any fear or weakness or confusion out of us, you can't fake it," Ivey said. "We decided we'd have fun with it and make sure they'd get exactly what they've been getting all along. If we did that, they'd give us exactly what they've been giving. That's what they did, and they were phenomenal."
App State is the only FBS program with no losses or ties in at least four bowl appearances, and it has accomplished that feat in just four postseason-eligible seasons. It also matched the 2015 team for the best final record since the transition.
Appalachian led 24-6 at halftime Saturday even though Middle Tennessee (8-6) reached the App State 30 on four first-half drives, with Josh Thomas' red zone interception in the first quarter serving as a key momentum swing, and senior Okon Godwin accounted for 2.5 of the defense's six sacks. Anthony Flory, Demetrius Taylor and Chris Willis contributed in that category, and Tae Hayes also posted a first-half interception.
In addition to becoming the first App State quarterback to catch a touchdown pass in at least 35 yards, New Orleans Bowl MVP Zac Thomas threw three touchdown passes, including his ninth and 10th connections of the season with Corey Sutton. With Thomas Hennigan catching Williams' first touchdown pass and Henry Pearson also scoring on a Thomas throw, the Mountaineers totaled five TDs through the air.
Darrynton Evans rushed for 108 yards to go over 100 for the seventh time in the last nine games, and true freshman Camerun Peoples' 63-yard score on his second carry of the night gave the Mountaineers a 38-6 lead midway through the third quarter.
"The culture we have here at App State, you really can't explain it," said two-year captain MyQuon Stout, whose work at nose tackle played a key role for a defense that didn't allow 20 points in any of the team's 11 wins. "It's great coaches, great staff, great players. We break it down on 'Family' every day, like two or three times a day. We really care about each other and work hard for each other."
App State's first two touchdowns came on passes from Williams, but two turnovers in the first five offensive plays created an uphill battle for the Mountaineers.
Middle Tennessee, which had missed a 47-yard field goal to cap the game-opening series, followed a quick interception on App State's first series with a 24-yard field goal. The Blue Raiders faced a second down from the Appalachian 5 before Godwin and Noel Cook combined on a tackle for loss, and Desmond Franklin broke up a third-down pass to the end zone.
A fumble on the second play of App State's next series gave Middle Tennessee possession at the Mountaineers' 21, but Cook's pressure contributed to an interception by Josh Thomas at the 15 as left-handed quarterback Brent Stockstill rolled to his right.
"Making turnovers, that's just what our defensive backs have talked about all year," Thomas said. We're real greedy when it comes to picks."
Zac Thomas' 35-yard completion to Jalen Virgil was the big play on a drive that ended with a 22-yard field goal from Chandler Staton, whose kick followed a long snap from fill-in true freshman Max Durschlag.
Hennigan and Tyler Bird helped stuff a fourth-and-2 rush on a fake punt from the Middle Tennessee 43 a few minutes later, and Hennigan gave the Mountaineers the lead for good with a 30-yard touchdown on an accurate deep throw from Williams, the former high school quarterback who had caught a backward pass from Thomas near the right sideline.
That was the second time in two seasons that App State had scored with Hennigan catching a pass from Williams, whose next TD throw of the night followed a Hayes interception that resulted from Elijah Diarrassouba's quarterback pressure.
"Before the game, Coach (Justin Watts) told me I was going to have two passing touchdowns before this game was over," Williams said. "After that, I told Zac it felt better throwing him a touchdown than receiving one from him."
In last year's bowl win, Williams tried to throw a short touchdown pass to quarterback Taylor Lamb but kept the ball for a score when Lamb was unavailable as a target. On Saturday, after taking a reverse handoff from Evans, Williams rolled right and lofted an 8-yard touchdown pass to Thomas in the right side of the end zone for a 17-3 advantage with 6:38 remaining in the half.
The only other touchdown with an App State quarterback reaching the end zone on a pass play in recent memory occurred in 2010, when DeAndre Presley was credited with a TD "reception" on a play in which he recovered his receiver's fumble against Chattanooga and ran the final 33 yards with the ball.
"I've had my eyes on that play for a while, so today it was the perfect call," Thomas said.
Evans' 62-yard run set up Pearson's 1-yard touchdown reception in the final minute of the half, and Middle Tennessee advanced to the Appalachian 16 before settling for a 33-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter.
Clark, App State's run game coordinator and offensive line coach before Scott Satterfield's departure created the need for a new play-caller, had planned to coach from the seventh-floor booth for one half and then make a decision about the second half. He stayed upstairs instead of returning to his familiar spot on the sidelines, in part so he could maintain his bigger-picture approach to directing the offense.
"I knew if I was on the sideline I'd be more involved watching the offensive line than trying to watch the whole game," Clark said. "For me personally, I had to get away from it. (QB coach) Pete Thomas did a great job, and it was the offensive staff calling the plays. I told them that it can't be hectic on the headset. We're going to think about it, and we're going to take our shots, and we're going for broke."
The view from the top of the Superdome remained just as clear after halftime.
The Mountaineers marched 75 yards in 10 plays to begin the third quarter, with Sutton catching a 17-yard touchdown pass from Thomas, and back-to-back sacks of Stockstill led to a punt that paved the way for Peoples to make his bowl debut.
Able to not lose a year of eligibility because he was playing in just his third game, Peoples gained 1 yard on his first carry before breaking free down the right sideline on his 63-yard score.
"The feeling is indescribable," Peoples said. "I've been preparing all year, waiting on it. With the redshirt rule, I've been patient, waiting my turn. To get in, see that opening, I'm asking God to give me everything in my legs and let me get in this end zone. The bulls up front, they did a great job, so it's really just a team thing."
Middle Tennessee posted a third-quarter touchdown to cut into its deficit, but App State's defense applied constant pressure to Stockstill the rest of the way, and Sutton capped the scoring on an 11-yard touchdown with 13:06 remaining.
Willis and Godwin recorded sacks on the next series, enabling App State's coaches to play senior quarterback Zeb Speir, senior receiver Brad Absher and many other reserves in the closing minutes. 
As time wound down, players repeatedly chanted Ivey's name. He was even lifted into the air and carried across part of the field.
As the celebratory, Ivey-led song suggests, it wasn't nothin' but an App State party.
That's all for a memorable, record-setting 2018 season
"For me personally, this was my last game," Godwin said, "and I just wanted to leave everything on the field."

App State is the only FBS program with no losses or ties in at least four bowl appearances, and it has accomplished that feat in just four postseason-eligible seasons. It won the Dollar General Bowl in 2017 following back-to-back Camellia Bowl wins in 2016 and 2015.
Thanks to a 34-0 shutout of Toledo in 2017 and a 45-13 win against Middle Tennessee, App State has outscored its last two bowl opponents 79-13.
The Mountaineers are 47-11 in their last 58 games. They won the last six games of their FBS debut in 2014 before going 11-2 in 2015, 10-3 in 2016, 9-4 in 2017 and 11-2 this season.
App State's 41 wins in the last four seasons lead Group of Five programs and is tied for sixth place nationally, topped only by Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Georgia.
App State had five touchdown passes Saturday and allowed just eight all season.
App State finished with season with 37 offensive plays of at least 30 yards and only 10 plays of at least 30 yards allowed. The Mountaineers allowed just one play of at least 50 yards — a 57-yard gain by Georgia Southern.
Of the 22 starters for App State on offense and defense Saturday, only one offensive starter and three defensive starters were seniors.
App State didn't allow 20 points in any of its 11 wins this season. Discarding a non-offensive touchdown by Coastal Carolina, Appalachian's defense allowed an average of 10.5 points in the team's victories.
With 73 interceptions in the last four seasons, App State ranks first nationally, one ahead of San Diego State's 72. Josh Thomas and Tae Hayes intercepted passes Saturday.
Senior defensive end Okon Godwin recorded career highs of 2.5 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss in his final college game. His previous single-game highs were one sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.
Outside linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither had a team-high 10 tackles to give him 105 for the season.
True freshman defender Hansky Paillant made his App State debut in the fourth quarter.
App State lost only five fumbles all season, and its running backs didn't fumble a single time in 417 rushing attempts that gained 2,533 yards. The running backs in 2018 were Jalin Moore, Darrynton Evans, Marcus Williams Jr., Camerun Peoples, Daetrich Harrington, D'Andre Hicks and DeMarcus Harper.
For the fifth straight year, App State's offensive line will rank in the top 25 nationally in both rushing yards per game and fewest sacks allowed. The Mountaineers rushed for 233 yards Saturday and didn't allow a sack.
Running back Darrynton Evans rushed for 1,187 yards as a sophomore even though he didn't become App State's primary back until the fifth game, when Jalin Moore suffered a season-ending injury. Evans had at least 100 rushing yards in seven of the Mountaineers' last nine games.
With two touchdown receptions, Corey Sutton increased his season total to 10, the highest mark at App State since Brian Quick had 11 in 2011. Sutton's total ranks fifth in App State's single-season records.
Zac Thomas finished his first season as an FBS starting quarterback with 2,039 passing yards, 21 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. He rushed for 504 yards.
Left tackle Victor Johnson returned to the starting lineup after missing the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game with an injury, giving him 38 starts in 39 games over the last three seasons, but Cole Garrison filled in at left tackle after the first series.
Senior long snapper Elias McMurry, who had held that position for each of the last 51 games, sat out the bowl win with an injury. True freshman Max Durschlag snapped on field goals and extra points, and true freshman Keaton Forbes snapped on App State's only punt.
Clayton Howell's only punt was a 60-yard kick that A.J. Beach downed at the 1-yard line.

Appalachian State Strategic Communications
6048 Appalachian Athletics Center
425 Jack Branch Drive
Boone, NC, 28608

Georgia State Basketball: Panthers Fall Late at No. 24/25 Kansas State

Final Stats attached


Dec. 15, 2018
Contact: Mike Holmes
Phone: (404) 413-4033


Georgia State Falls to No. 24/25 Kansas State 71-59

MANHATTAN, Kan.-After Georgia State took the lead with just under 10 minutes to play, No. 24/25 Kansas State finished the game on a 21-6 run to top Georgia State 71-59 on Saturday night at Bramlage Coliseum.

Georgia State (7-4) took a 53-50 lead on a jumper by freshman Nelson Phillips with 9:51 to play, but Kansas State (7-2) held the Panthers to just six points the rest of the game to remain extend its home court winning streak to 27-straight non-conference games.

Phillips, who was celebrating his 20th birthday, finished with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting in just 14 minutes off the bench. Senior Jeff Thomas led the Panthers with 13 points, including three 3-pointers, while Sun Belt Conference leading scorer D’Marcus Simonds was held to 10 points.

The Wildcats, which advanced to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament last season, finished with four players in double figures led by All-Big 12 Second Team member Barry Brown who scored 21 points, going 8-of-10 from the floor and 4-of-5 from 3-point range.

“I want to give Kansas State a lot of credit,” head coach Ron Hunter said. “I thought the crowd really helped them. We took a top 15 program and hung with them wire-to-wire. I’m really proud of our guys. We have played a number of road games this season and to end our last non-conference game like this, I really like the direction we are going.”

Georgia State played its fifth 2018 NCAA Tournament opponent in its first 11 games on Saturday, finishing 2-3 against those opponents with none of those games coming on the Panthers’ home court.

Kansas State used an early 8-0 run to take an 8-2 run at the first media timeout, but the Panthers immediately responded an on a jumper by Devin Mitchell, the Panthers led 11-9 with 13:35 to play.


Brown scored the first eight points of the game for the Wildcats, but picked up two quick fouls and ended the first half playing just six minutes.


Tied 15-15, Kansas State used a 10-0 run that included back-to-back 3-pointers to take a 25-15 lead with 8:41 remaining in the first half.


However on a steal and fast break lay-up by Phillips, the Panthers trailed 31-27 with 3:07 to play, causing K-State to call a timeout.


Thomas’ 3-pointer with just seconds to play in the half sent the Panthers into the locker room trailing just 35-32, despite Georgia State shooting just 4-of-16 from beyond the arc in the opening half. The Panthers finished the game shooting an uncharacteristic 8-of-31 from 3-point range.


Georgia State scored the first five points of the second half to take a 37-35 lead just over a minute into the half before the Wildcats responded with a 10-0 run to take a 48-39 lead with 15:28 to play.


The Panthers responded again and tied the game 48-48 on a 3-pointer from Mitchell before taking a 51-50 lead on a trey from Phillips.


With Georgia State leading 53-50, Kansas State started its final run by using a 12-0 stretch to lead 62-53 with just over five minutes to play.


Sophomore Kane Williams finished with eight points and five steals as Georgia State forced Kansas State into 19 turnovers which led to 25 points. Mitchell came off the bench to score eight.


Dean Wade just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds for Kansas State before leaving the game with an injury. Kamau Stokes added 15 points while Xavier Sneed scored 14.


  • Georgia State fell to 0-3 all-time against Kansas State.
  • The Panthers fell to 1-10 all-time against current members of the Big 12.
  • Georgia State is now 2-1 against Power 5 opponents this season.
  • Georgia State has played three Power 5 opponents in the same season for the first time since 2013-14.
  • Since the start of the 2013-14 season, the Panthers have won more games (117) than any other NCAA Division I team in the state of Georgia.

Georgia State will return home to face UNC Wilmington on Wednesday in the GSU Sports Arena at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting GeorgiaStateSports.com/Tix or calling 404-413-4020.



MIKE HOLMES | Associate Athletic Director – Sports Communications | Georgia State University
Georgia State Stadium, 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Atlanta, GA 30315
| Office: (404) 413-4033 | Cell: (404) 259-9716

GeorgiaStateSports.com | Twitter: @GSUPanthers



MBB: Late Rally Comes Up Short in Men’s Basketball 76-69 Loss at South Florida

MEDIA ADVISORY: Eliah Drinkwitz Introductory Press Conference on Monday

December 14, 2018


App State Football Communications Contacts:

Joey Jones (jonesj7@appstate.edu), Bret Strelow (strelowb@appstate.edu)

New Appalachian State football head coach Eliah Drinkwitz will be formally introduced in a press conference Monday, Dec. 17, at the Ricks Athletics Complex in Boone.


The press conference will take place at 11 a.m., on the fifth floor of the building, overlooking Kidd Brewer Stadium from the west side club level. The event will be open to media and the public.


Media who plan to attend should contact Joey Jones or Bret Strelow. Parking for media and guests will be available in Stadium Lot adjacent to Kidd Brewer Stadium.


Director of Athletics Doug Gillin will introduce Drinkwitz, who will provide comments and answer questions from reporters in attendance.


Press release announcing Drinkwitz as the 21st head coach of App State Football: https://appstatesports.com/news/2018/12/13/drinkwitz-tabbed-to-lead-app-state-football-program.aspx