College Football

Arizona Bowl pits Arkansas State against Nevada

By JOHN MARSHALL

AP Sports Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) Nevada is back in Tucson, where it won the inaugural Arizona Bowl in 2015.

Wolf Pack coach Jay Norvell also is returning to the desert, where his last visit ended in a blowout loss to Arizona.

"We're hoping for a better result," said Norvell, an assistant at Arizona State in 2016.

Norvell and the Wolf Pack face Arkansas State in the Arizona Bowl on Saturday in one of the bowl season's most evenly-matched games.

Nevada (7-5) has a prolific quarterback in Ty Gangi, averages 32 points per game and has a defensive front adept at getting to the quarterback.

Arkansas State (8-4) has its own senior star in Justice Hansen, puts up 32 points per game and its defensive line spent the season wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks.

The Red Wolves won their final four games, the Wolf Pack took four of five to close the season.

Both teams played UNLV, though with differing results: Arkansas State beat the Rebels 27-20, Nevada lost 32-29.

"Something's got to give in a game like this and I hope it's not us," Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson said.

A few more things to watch in Saturday's Arizona Bowl.

THE QUARTERBACKS: Hansen had a prolific, under-the-radar senior season. He was named the Sun Belt Conference player of the year after throwing for 3,172 yards and 27 touchdowns while completing 67 percent of his passes.

Gangi threw for 3,131 yards and 23 TDs, completing 61 percent of his passes.

The big difference? Interceptions. Gangi had 11, while Hansen had just six.

MISSING MANNIX: Nevada will be missing its leading receiver in yards after sophomore McLane Mannix announced he's transferring. Mannix, who is headed to Texas Tech, had 50 catches for 875 yards and seven TDs.

Expect more balls to go to Kaleb Fossum, who caught 69 passes for 725 yards and a touchdown.

SACK MASTERS: Both teams have done well getting to the quarterback, each entering Saturday's game with 32 sacks.

Senior defensive end Ronheen Bingham led the Red Wolves' quarterback charge, finishing the regular season with nine sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. He had 65 tackles overall.

Senior defensive end Malik Reed was the Wolf Pack's main sack man with eight. He has 72 overall tackles, including 15.5 for loss

PUNT COVERAGE RECORD: Arkansas State has a chance to break an NCAA record for punt coverage this season.

The Red Wolves enter the Arizona Bowl with minus-15 yards on punt returns, putting it within reach of the record of minus-nine set by TCU in 2014.

A big reason for Arkansas State's punt coverage success has been punter Cody Grace.

The Aussie punter has one touchback in 107 attempts over the past two seasons and opponents have returned his punts 12 times. The Ray Guy Award finalist for the nation's best punter has dropped punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line 23 times.

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More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Updated December 28, 2018

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Teams Score Time
NCAA MBB
Florida State   4:00pm
North Carolina State  
North Carolina   4:00pm
Louisville  
Virginia Tech   8:00pm
Duke  
NHL
Rangers 5 F
Hurricanes 2
Hurricanes   7:00pm
Maple Leafs  
Teams Score Time
Kansas   12:00pm
Baylor  
Marquette   12:00pm
Providence  
Tennessee   12:00pm
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Houston   2:00pm
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West Virginia   2:00pm
TCU  
Villanova   2:30pm
Xavier  
Florida State   4:00pm
North Carolina State  
Georgia Tech   4:00pm
Syracuse  
North Carolina   4:00pm
Louisville  
UCLA   4:00pm
Colorado  
Clemson   6:00pm
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Kentucky  
UNLV   7:30pm
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Virginia Tech   8:00pm
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Oregon   9:00pm
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Gonzaga   10:00pm
BYU  
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Interleague
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Rangers  
Mariners   3:10pm
Padres  
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American League
Rangers 5 F
Royals 4
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Teams Score Time
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Nuggets 101 F
Thunder 113
Spurs 113 F
Jazz 104
Grizzlies 105 F
Lakers 117
Pelicans 128 F
Trail Blazers 115
Kings   3:30pm
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Nets   7:00pm
Hornets  
Mavericks   7:30pm
Hawks  
Cavaliers   8:00pm
Heat  
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76ers   8:30pm
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Jazz  
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Rangers 5 F
Hurricanes 2
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Predators 1 F/OT
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Bruins 4 F
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Pos Name Score Thru
1 Emiliano Grillo -10 1:40pm
1 Viktor Hovland -10 1:40pm
1 Kyle Stanley -10 1:50pm
1 Josh Teater -10 1:50pm
5 Sam Ryder -9 1:30pm
6 Rhein Gibson -8 1:20pm
6 Martin Laird -8 1:10pm
6 David Lingmerth -8 1:30pm
6 Ben Martin -8 1:20pm
DAYTONA 500
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 47 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 1
2 22 Joey Logano 3
3 10 Aric Almirola 5
4 6 Ryan Newman 7
5 4 Kevin Harvick 10
6 2 Brad Keselowski 9
7 24 William Byron 4
8 48 Jimmie Johnson 6
9 13 Ty Dillon 24
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT DAYTONA
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 9 Noah Gragson 12
2 20 Harrison Burton 8
3 66 Timmy Hill 26
4 19 Brandon Jones 6
5 98 Chase Briscoe 10
6 11 Justin Haley 3
7 68 Brandon Brown 11
8 07 Ray Black Jr 16
9 39 Ryan Sieg 9
NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT LAS VEGAS
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 51 Kyle Busch 3
2 13 Johnny Sauter 1
3 16 Austin Hill 6
4 88 Matt Crafton 13
5 99 Ben Rhodes 18
6 21 Zane Smith 15
7 38 Todd Gilliland 25
8 15 Tanner Gray 14
9 52 Stewart Friesen 17