JONESBORO — Arkansas State lost three turnovers, one that was returned for a touchdown, and allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown for the first time in seven seasons Saturday night.
Yet, somehow, ASU's offense kept swinging, and eventually emerged from a game that was tied four times to score the game's final three touchdowns in a 48-34 victory over Georgia State at Centennial Bank Stadium.
Senior quarterback Fredi Knighten threw two first-half interceptions, one deep in Georgia State's territory and another that was returned by Chandon Sullivan for a second-quarter touchdown, and lost a fumble inside the Georgia State 30.
The Panthers (2-5, 1-2), looking for their second Sun Belt Conference victory in three seasons, also got a 100-yard kick return from Marquan Green that put them up 34-27 with 11:17 left in the third quarter.
But ASU's defense slowed Georgia State quarterback Nick Arbuckle in the second half and ASU's Blaise Taylor sparked the Red Wolves (5-3, 4-0) with a 52-yard punt return on the final play of the third quarter. The return set up Knighten's 3-yard touchdown pass to Tres Houston to tie the game at 34-34 with 13:37 left, then Nehemiah Wagner?s interception set ASU up on its own 48 with 9:54 left. What amounted to the game-winning drive covered 52 yards, all of which was gained on the ground and Johnston White's 3-yard run put the Red Wolves up 41-34 with 7:44 left.
Freshman Warren Wand then set the exclamation point with a 60-yard sprint down the left sideline. Wand had a season-high 119 yards and ASU had 523 yards of offense, 299 on the ground. Knighten, despite the three turnovers, completed 21 of 29 passes for a season-high 224 yards and 3 touchdowns.
See Sunday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.