Ryan Aplin passed for 322 yards and three touchdowns Saturday as Arkansas State defeated North Texas 37-14, giving bowl-eligible Arkansas State its best record through eight games since 1986.
Aplin threw touchdown passes of 12 yards each to Allen Muse and Taylor Stockemer in the second quarter as the Red Wolves (6-2, 4-0 Sun Belt) raced to a 31-0 halftime lead.
"I was really pleased with the way our kids and coaches came out," said ASU coach Hugh Freeze. I thought the game plan our coaches had was really well put together and the first half was phenomenal in all three phases. I thought our cover teams were excellent, I thought our defense was really, really good and I thought our offense was good too. It was probably our best first half of football."
ASU took the lead on a 4-yard run by Frankie Jackson and added to it on a 48-yard field goal by Bobby Zalud in the first quarter. The Red Wolves also scored when holder Neely Sullivant ran in a fake field goal attempt from 14 yards out.
"That was about a poor of a half as we have played in the first half, and it was just great execution by Arkansas State," said North Texas coach Dan McCarney. "They have been doing it all year, and they have been doing it well and doing with efficency and speed, as I was used to seeing that in the SEC."
North Texas (3-6, 2-3) scored on a 1-yard run by Lance Dunbar in the third quarter and a 27-yard pass from Andrew McNulty to Brelan Chancellor in the fourth.
Aplin, who also ran for 69 yards, passed to Dwayne Frampton for a 10-yard score in the fourth quarter. He finished 28 for 42 passing.
The Red Wolves, who punted just once, finished with 29 first downs and 540 yards of total offense, 218 of them rushing. They did have two turnovers -- a fumble and an interception -- that ended drives in North Texas territory.
Dunbar led the Mean Green offense with 90 yards rushing on 21 carries. With 129 more yards on the ground, Dunbar will become just the sixth player in NCAA history with 4,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards.
Arkansas State has yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season.
McNulty, who replaced injured starter Derek Thompson, completed 14 of 26 passes for 136 yards and one interception.