Red Wolves to face Wolf Pack in Ari­zona

The Sentinel-Record - - SPORTS - FROM STAFF RE­PORTS

JONES­BORO — The Arkansas State foot­ball team learned this week it will play Moun­tain West Con­fer­ence mem­ber Ne­vada in the 2018 Nova Home Loans Ari­zona Bowl on Dec. 29, at 12:15 p.m. in Tus­con, Ariz.

The game will be broad­cast on the CBS Sports Net­work (Re­sort Chan­nel 32).

Mak­ing its eighth con­sec­u­tive and 16th all-time bowl game ap­pear­ance, the Red Wolves (8-4, 5-3 Sun Belt) an­nounced last week they had ac­cepted an of­fi­cial in­vi­ta­tion to play in the fourth edi­tion of the bowl game. While A-State is mak­ing its first all­time ap­pear­ance in the Ari­zona Bowl, Ne­vada (7-5,

5-3) will be mak­ing its sec­ond af­ter also play­ing in the in­au­gu­ral con­test in 2015.

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 Divi­sion I-AA — now Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship Sub­di­vi­sion — 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 Divi­sion I-A — now Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion — in­de­pen­dent.

The Red Wolves com­pleted the 2018 reg­u­lar sea­son as the Sun Belt Con­fer­ence West Divi­sion co-cham­pi­ons. Their eight vic­to­ries matches their third-high­est to­tal since mov­ing to FBS sta­tus in

1992. A-State has se­cured a school-record eight con­sec­u­tive win­ning sea­sons and piled up 67 vic­to­ries from 2011-18 for its most over an eight-year span in the pro­gram’s 104-year his­tory.

Ne­vada com­pleted its reg­u­lar sea­son tied for sec­ond in the Moun­tain West Con­fer­ence’s West Divi­sion. Ne­vada has played in three bowl games since join­ing the Moun­tain West in 2012. In ad­di­tion to the 2015 Ari­zona Bowl, the Wolf Pack also played in the 2014 New Or­leans Bowl and 2012 New Mex­ico Bowl.

Tick­ets are cur­rently on sale on­line at http:// www.as­tatered­wolves.com and through the First Na­tional Bank Arena ticket of­fice in per­son or by phone at 870-972-2781. Tick­ets were sold as place­holder seats through Wed­nes­day, but they are now al­lo­cated based on pri­or­ity. Tick­ets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve ba­sis af­ter the ini­tial al­lo­ca­tion.

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