(Saturday, October 1st)
Final Score: Arkansas State 26, Western Kentucky 22
Bowling Green, KY (Sports Network) - Derek Lawson's one-yard touchdown run with under a minute to play proved to be the difference, as Arkansas State came from behind to knock off the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in Bowling Green, 26-22.
The nation's longest home losing streak reached 18 games, as Western Kentucky (0-4, 0-1) lost in its Sun Belt Conference opener to Arkansas State at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.
Arkansas State got a dominant performance from quarterback Ryan Aplin, who completed 37-of-49 passes, for 396 yards and one TD, while scoring a second time on a 23-yard reception. Dwayne Frampton and Josh Jarboe both finished with over 100 yards receiving. Frampton hauled in nine balls, for 126 yards and a score, while Jarboe matched with nine catches of his own, for 112 yards.
Western Kentucky's Kawaun Jakes struggled under center, completing just 13- of-23 passes, for 142 yards, with one TD and two INTs. Tailback Bobby Rainey finished the game with 154 total yards, but the explosive rusher was held in check with just 86 yards on the ground.
The Hilltoppers got off to a fast start. For the first time this season, WKU got on the scoreboard on its initial drive of the game, as Kadeem Jones scored on a two-yard run just over six minutes into the contest.
The second quarter belonged to the visiting Red Wolves (3-2, 1-0) though, as ASU opened up the quarter with a 14-play, 86-yard drive that was finished off when Aplin was on the receiving end of a 23-yard TD pass from Frampton. Frampton took a pitch on a reverse and hit Aplin for the score.
WKU went three-and-out following the TD and the Red Wolves made it 10-7 right after, with a 26-yard field goal from Brian Davis.
The Hilltoppers showed their own ability to fool a defense late in the third quarter, as Rainey took a pitch and then threw a 17-yard TD pass to Dexter Haynes to make the score 14-10 in favor of the home team.
Frampton and Aplin went back to their natural roles eight seconds into the fourth quarter, as Aplin hooked up with Frampton on a 33-yard TD strike, giving the Red Wolves the lead again. Arkansas State missed the extra point, making it 16-14.
ASU extended its lead to 19-14 thanks to a 43-yard field goal by Bobby Zalud with just over 11 minutes to play.
WKU retook the lead, 22-19, when Rainey completed a 42-yard TD pass from Jakes just one minute later. However, the Hilltoppers failed to stop the Red Wolves late, as Lawson's one-yard TD with 43 seconds remaining earned Arkansas State the victory.
10/01 21:33:30 ET