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Arkansas State7710731
Western Ky1467734
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34


Arkansas State (7-4) at Western Kentucky (7-4)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 4 p.m. (ET).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium (23,113) -- Bowling Green, Kentucky. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: ASU 5-1, WKU 2-2. Away Record: ASU 2-3, WKU 4-2. Neutral Record: ASU 0-0, WKU 1-0. Conference Record: ASU 5-1, WKU 3-3. Series Record: Series is tied, 3-3-1.

GAME NOTES: Two of the top teams in the Sun Belt Conference get together on Saturday afternoon to close out the 2013 regular season, as the Arkansas State Red Wolves come calling on the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Both clubs come in sporting identical 7-4 records, with ASU sitting at 5-1 in conference, and WKU two games behind at 3-3. Both teams are bowl eligible after logging the required six victories to be considered, and the Red Wolves have an outside chance of still winning the SBC crown for the third straight year should they win this bout and first-place Louisiana falter in its final two games against ULM and South Alabama.

Arkansas State is riding a four-game win streak, the team keeping that streak alive last week by surviving a scare from winless Georgia State, 35-33. The Red Wolves have won 10 straight conference road games.

Western Kentucky has won its last three games to gain postseason eligibility for the third straight season. The Hilltoppers claimed a 38-7 victory at Texas State last Saturday, winning their fourth road game in six tries.

The all-time series between these two teams is tied at 3-3-1, but interestingly enough, the home team has never won. WKU won in Jonesboro last season, 26-13.

Arkansas State puts forth a balanced offensive attack in most games, averaging 204.5 ypg on the ground and 214.9 ypg through the air. That kind of production results in 29.5 ppg, and is earned on the backs of guys like Michael Gordon (87 carries, 585 yards, 10 TDs), Adam Kennedy (208-of-300, 2,282 yards, 11 TDs, five INTs; 141 carries, 509 yards, four TDs), David Oku (132 carries, 493 yards, six TDs), J.D. McKissic (66 rec., 555 yards, four TDs) and Julian Jones (49 rec., 614 yards, three TDs).

The Red Wolves are allowing their opponents to score 26.0 ppg, as they churn out 186.5 ypg and 19 TDs via the run, and 232.5 ypg and 16 scores by way of the pass. The team boasts one of the most active defenders in the nation, as Qushaun Lee has amassed 109 tackles, and he has forced two fumbles. Ryan Carrethers has 85 stops to his credit, and he has four of the team's 22 sacks, while Rocky Hayes has three of its eight interceptions.

Trailing Georgia State 17-7 at halftime, Arkansas State scored two quick touchdowns in the third quarter, they coming on a fumble recovery return and a blocked punt return, and the Red Wolves needed every point they could in an attempt to avoid the upset loss to the Panthers. ASU was outgained on the day, 432-290, but Kennedy was his usual productive self in throwing for 152 yards and a two TDs, while rushing for 77 yards on 20 totes. Gordon led the receiving corps with five grabs for a 53 yards -- both career highs.

The ASU defense gave up 184 yards on the ground and 248 through the air, but as mentioned got in on the scoring action after intermission. Carrethers tallied 12 tackles in the game, while Lee and Dexter Blackmon added seven stops apiece.

Western Kentucky features a potent offense, the unit producing 201 ypg and 29 TDs on the ground, and 262.3 ypg and a dozen scores through the air. The Hilltoppers are fortunate to have one of the nation's top running backs calling Bowling Green home these days, as Antonio Andrews has gained 1,611 yards with 15 TDs, and when you factor in his 37 receptions for 420 yards, 97 punt return yards and 290 kick return yards, he leads the FBS with 219.8 all- purpose ypg. His rushing total alone ranks him third. Brandon Doughty has taken the bulk of the snaps and has completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,602 yards, although his TD-to-INT ratio (11-14) could certainly stand to improve.

The Hilltoppers have performed admirably on defense this season, allowing 24 ppg behind typical yields of 155.6 ypg rushing and 181.9 ypg passing. They have been beaten over the top for only nine aerial scores, and the unit has logged 25 sacks while coming up with 20 turnovers. Xavius Boyd paces the group with 94 tackles, which includes 15.5 TFL and 8.5 sacks. Cam Thomas has been as opportunistic as any player in the conference, picking off five passes, while Tyree Robinson is hot on his heels with four interceptions.

In last week's rout of Texas State, WKU piled up 473 yards of total offense, compared to only 130 for the Bobcats. Andrews ran free for 204 yards and three TDs, while Doughty hit the mark on 20-of-30 passes for 152 yards. The Hilltoppers didn't commit a turnover, but were flagged eight times for a loss of 77 yards, which was about the only negative you could take from the effort.

Texas State ran the ball 29 times, but finished with only 21 net rushing yards thanks to the fact that Bobcats' QB Tyler Jones was sacked five times. The Hilltoppers gave up a mere 109 passing yards as well, and Andrew Jackson led the stand with 10 tackles, which included two TFL and a sack. Robinson and Cam Thomas both had two interceptions in the game.

This has all the makings a real slugfest, as neither team is expected to give up much ground to the other. WKU will try to get Andrews going early, but the Red Wolves still have an outside shot at the conference crown.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Arkansas State 31, Western Kentucky 24

11/27 11:11:50 ET

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Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
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SFLA 65
Half
MIA 53
CHA 44
 
Half
MIA 53
CHA 44
 
Half
MEM 53
LAC 40
 
Half
BOS 49
POR 44
 
1st
OKC 6
GSW 12
 
9:30pm Tonight
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Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
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Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
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LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
 
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
 
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
 
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
 
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
 
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
 
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
 
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
 
2nd
NAVY 65
BING 62
 
2nd
SHU 41
GWEBB 33
 
Half
UNT 32
IONA 32
 
2nd
KENT 48
MNTST 11
 
2nd
FORD 36
MLOWELL 37
 
2nd
UCF 59
USCU 56
 
1st
SCAR 20
AKR 28
 
1st
WVU 5
UCONN 3
 
1st
CALST 7
DEL 7
 
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HOW
HOOD
 
1st
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1st
VANDY 5
TENST 2
 
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Final
WIN 2
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1st
NYR 0
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8:00pm Tonight
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Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
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ARI 3
 
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STL 24
 
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