Just two weeks into the 2020 college football season, it would appear that the Sun Belt is making a push to be considered a Power Five conference. Just as Louisiana was pulling the upset over No. 23 Iowa State 34-14 on Saturday, Arkansas State stunned Kansas State 35-31 in a barn burner that featured lots of offense and even a couple of surprises. All the while, Arkansas State was down nine starters.
The main takeaway from Arkansas State's win was the banner day of Red Wolves wide receiver Jonathan Adams Jr., who had eight catches for 97 yards and three touchdowns. The biggest was his final one -- a 17-yard score on second-and-15 with under a minute to go to give Arkansas State the go-ahead score.
Adams had been working Kansas State's defense all day. In fact, you could argue that his best catch of the day didn't even count. By the time he caught the eventual game winner, it's a bit surprising Kansas State wasn't triple covering him.
But beyond Adams' day, Arkansas State played this game like it had nothing to lose, which is the right approach when you're a double-digit underdog. A quiet storyline for this game was that the line jumped from Kansas State -10.5 to -13 as kickoff approached. There could be a couple of reasons for that -- from missing starters to late money coming in -- but Arkansas State clearly was able to go blow-for-blow before taking a late lead.
Part of the Red Wolves attack was that it unveiled crafty plays that went for touchdowns. One was a 48-yard halfback pass that pulled Arkansas State to within a touchdown. The other was a Tim Tebow-esque jump pass to tie the game at 21-21.
Arkansas State did a great job of being aggressive and keeping Kansas State on its toes. That's how you go on the road as an underdog and pull out a win against a Big 12 team with some question marks heading into its first game.