Some­thing to howl about

Red Wolves bash Golden Lions be­hind Hansen’s 5 TD passes.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - BROOKS KUBENA

JONES­BORO — Arkansas State Univer­sity earned its first vic­tory of the sea­son after an­other mile­stone ef­fort by red­shirt ju­nior quar­ter­back Jus­tice Hansen, who passed for a ca­reer-high five touch­down passes in a 48-3 vic­tory over the Univer­sity of Arkansas at Pine Bluff on Satur­day night.

ASU (1-1) had lit­tle trou­ble han­dling its in-state op­po­nent, lead­ing 20-3 at half­time, and the Red Wolves earned their first non­con­fer­ence vic­tory in the reg­u­lar sea­son since de­feat­ing Mis­souri State 70-7 in 2015.

Hansen was 24-of-31 pass­ing for 336 yards be­fore an an­nounced crowd of 24,371 at Cen­ten­nial Bank Sta­dium, with touch­down passes go­ing to five dif­fer­ent re­ceivers.

Hansen, who has thrown for 751 yards and 8 touch­downs in 2 games, tied the ASU sin­gle-game record for touch­down passes set by Fredi Knighten in the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl.

ASU led 41-7 after three quar­ters, and Hansen left the game.

The Red Wolves got a sixth touch­down pass, a 9-yard com­ple­tion from red­shirt fresh­man Lo­gan Bon­ner to Chris­tian Booker with 11:41 to play, to com­plete the scor­ing. It was Booker’s sec­ond touch­down re­cep­tion of the night.

An­der­son com­pli­mented Hansen’s per­for­mance but also pointed out that he missed some passes, in­clud­ing when he over­threw ju­nior re­ceiver Ken­drick Ed­wards, who was wide open in the

end zone dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter

“We’re go­ing to strive for per­fec­tion and it re­ally wasn’t,” An­der­son said of Hansen, who set a school record with 46 com­ple­tions in ASU’s sea­son-open­ing loss to Ne­braska. “He’s play­ing re­ally well. … He could have thrown 6 or 7 or 8 touch­downs.”

ASU’s vic­tory, which comes a week after Mi­ami can­celled its game with ASU due to Hur­ri­cane Irma, was the Red Wolves’ first in a home opener since they de­feated Mon­tana State 37-10 in 2014.

UAPB (1-2) has never beaten an FBS-level op­po­nent — a feat that no team from the South­west­ern Ath­letic Con­fer­ence has ac­com­plished since Gram­bling State’s 23-6 vic­tory over Oregon State in 1985.

The Golden Lions kept the game close for a ma­jor­ity of the first half with of­fen­sive drives that were both clock-con­sum­ing and fruit­less.

ASU led 13-0 after one quar­ter and 20-3 at half­time, but the Golden Lions held a five-minute edge in time of pos­ses­sion.

UAPB seemed to catch the ASU de­fense by sur­prise from the very first play, which was a 32-yard read op­tion pass from red­shirt se­nior quar­ter­back Bran­don Dun­can to wide open red­shirt fresh­man re­ceiver Tyrin Ralph.

ASU’s de­fense yielded 154 yards to UAPB dur­ing the first half — just be­low the 198-yard to­tal the Red Wolves gave up in the schools’ last meet­ing in 2013, a 62-11 ASU vic­tory.

The Red Wolves gave up 280 yards to UAPB after giv­ing up 463 to­tal yards in a 4336 loss to Ne­braska.

“It def­i­nitely showed us that we needed to ac­tu­ally get our heads on and know we had a lit­tle com­pe­ti­tion out there,” said se­nior line­backer Kyle Wil­son, who had a sack and an in­ter­cep­tion.

UAPB could not cap­i­tal­ize on early op­por­tu­ni­ties.

The Golden Lions drove to the ASU 17 on their first drive be­fore Dun­can threw an in­ter­cep­tion to ASU se­nior cor­ner­back Blaise Tay­lor.

ASU was called for a kick-catch in­ter­fer­ence on a first-quar­ter punt that set up UAPB at the ASU 32, but the Golden Lions missed a 41yard field goal at­tempt.

Later, UAPB drove to the ASU 13, but Dun­can threw three con­sec­u­tive in­com­plete passes to set up a 30-yard field goal, which were UAPB’s only points of the first half and the game.

By then, ASU held a 13-3 lead as Hansen went 9 of 10 for 113 yards and 3 touch­down passes dur­ing the first three drives, which started at the Red Wolves’ 7, 4 and 25.

The first touch­down, a 38yard catch and run by Booker, came after Tay­lor’s in­ter­cep­tion

at the ASU 7 — the Red Wolves’ first forced turnover of the sea­son.

The Red Wolves scored touch­downs on three out of their five drives dur­ing the first half, but were kept out of the end zone on fourth and goal at the UAPB 1 when Hansen re­cov­ered a fum­bled snap for a loss.

Four of ASU’s touch­downs were on gains of more than 20 yards, in­clud­ing a 73-yard pass from Hansen to 6-6, 210-pound ju­nior re­ceiver Justin McIn­nis that broke the game open, 27-3, on the sec­ond play of the sec­ond half.

ASU rushed more of­ten (37 rushes) than it did against Ne­braska (21 rushes), and the run­ning backs to­taled over 100 rush­ing yards.

Ju­nior War­ren Wand led the team with 62 yards on nine car­ries, which in­cluded a 12-yard touch­down run for ASU’s only score of the sec­ond quar­ter.

Se­nior John­ston White had 10 rushes for 37 yards after miss­ing the Ne­braska game with a deep thigh bruise, and se­nior run­ning back Ar­mond Weh-Weh recorded a 12-yard run after re­cov­er­ing from an ACL tear from last sea­son and the an­kle in­jury he sus­tained dur­ing spring prac­tice.

UAPB will start SWAC play at home against Jack­son State next week, and ASU will play at SMU next week at 6 p.m. SMU lost to TCU 5636 on Satur­day night in Fort Worth.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/THOMAS METTHE

Arkansas State re­ceiver Di­jon Paschal (right) slips away from Arkansas-Pine Bluff cor­ner­back Shu­fon Al­corn dur­ing Satur­day night’s game at Cen­ten­nial Bank Sta­dium in Jones­boro.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/THOMAS METTHE

Quar­ter­back Jus­tice Hansen threw five touch­down passes, ty­ing the Arkansas State record, to five dif­fer­ent re­ceivers. Hansen to­taled 336 pass­ing yards.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/THOMAS METTHE

Run­ning back War­ren Wand (6) ran for 62 yards and a sec­ond-quar­ter touch­down on nine car­ries to lead Arkansas State past UAPB 48-3 on Satur­day in Jones­boro.

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