Arkansas State tops Ball State 23-20 in GoDaddy

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 6, 2014 at 12:50 am •  Published: January 6, 2014
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MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Arkansas State's Allen Muse sprinted to the back corner of the end zone and then turned to look for the pass. There was Fredi Knighten's throw, hanging in the air for what seemed like forever.

"I had a vision it was going to happen like this," Muse said. "But the ball was just coming so slow."

The game-winning, 13-yard touchdown pass eventually arrived, right into Muse's hands with 32 seconds remaining to lift Arkansas State past Ball State for a 23-20 victory in the GoDaddy Bowl on Sunday night.

Ball State had a chance to tie it, but Scott Secor's 38-yard field goal attempt was blocked by fifth-year senior Ryan Carrethers as time expired.

"It was crazy," Carrethers said. "I've never experienced anything like that. To put everything on the line and then come through like that — it was an amazing feeling. I couldn't have written it any better."

Arkansas State (8-5) won the GoDaddy Bowl for a second straight season, despite losing starting quarterback Adam Kennedy to a knee injury in the second quarter. It was the Red Wolves' third straight trip to Mobile.

Knighten rescued Arkansas State's offense, finishing with 115 yards passing and 97 yards rushing. Muse, who considered quitting football following his father's suicide three years ago, wound up with the biggest catch of the night just five plays after Ball State scored what appeared to be the decisive touchdown.

"I'm extremely blessed," Muse said. "It's really hard to put into words what this means."

Ball State (10-3) went ahead 20-16 with 1:33 remaining on a 1-yard touchdown run by Jahwan Edwards, but couldn't hold the lead. Edwards finished with a game-high 146 yards rushing, but had to watch as Arkansas State rallied for the win.

"It's not over until the time's over," Edwards said. "It's hard to swallow."

Keith Wenning capped his Ball State career with 215 yards passing, one touchdown and one interception. He's the first Ball State quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season.

For a second straight season, Arkansas State shrugged off a coaching change to win the GoDaddy Bowl.

Arkansas State lost coach Bryan Harsin to Boise State in December. He's the latest in a string of three ASU coaches, including Hugh Freeze (Mississippi) and Gus Malzahn (Auburn), who have left the program for a more high-profile job.

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