JONESBORO, Ark. — A rivalry is renewed thanks to COVID-19. On Saturday September 19 at 6:00 p.m. (1-1) Arkansas State hosts (1-1) University of Central Arkansas.
Originally, these teams didn’t have each other on their respective schedules. In an attempt to limit the distance of travel, the two schools opted to play each other being that they are only 130 miles apart.
The last time the Red Wolves met up with the Bears was in 2016, when UCA upset A-State 28-23.
Both teams have had their share of national attention in the first couple weeks college football has returned. The Bears played in the first college football game of the 2020 season beating Austin Peay 24-17.
After a loss to Memphis in week one, the Red Wolves bounced back by beating a Big 12 opponent, Kansas State, 35-31. The win helped A-State receive 13 votes to be in the USA Today Top 25 rankings.
A-State also has some weapons that were put on full display in their upset win over the Wildcats. Senior wide receiver Jonathan Adams Jr. was named Sun Belt Offensive player of the week after catching eight passes for 98 yards and three touchdowns. One of the scores being the game winner.
Former Pulaski Academy quarterback Layne Hatcher (who splits time with Logan Bonner) completed six of eight passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns. One of them being the game winner to Adams. He was named a Manning Award Star of the Week.
On Monday, A-State offensive coordinator Keith Heckendorf and defensive coordinator David Duggan spoke on what the rivalry means to the state.