JONESBORO, Ark.(AP) Corey Leonard threw three touchdown passes to lead Arkansas State to a 31-14 victory over Middle Tennessee on Saturday night.
Leonard turned in the best offensive night of his career with 366 total yards. He passed for 292 yards (17-of-31) and added 74 yards rushing.
He hit David Johnson for a pair of scores and added a third toss to Reggie Arnold as the Red Wolves (3-1, 1-0 Sun Belt) won their conference opener for the seventh time in eight years. The 3-1 mark is the best start for ASU since 1986. Middle Tennessee (1-3, 0-2) had won five straight against Arkansas State.
The Red Wolves built a 17-0 halftime lead, the last score coming on a 14-yard pass to Johnson with 36 seconds left.
Arkansas State had opened the scoring on a 17-yard screen pass from Leonard to Arnold with 3:26 left in the first quarter. Arkansas State made it 10-0 on Josh Arauco's 35-yard field goal with 8:30 left in the half.
The Red Wolves made it 24-0 after the opening drive of the second half. Leonard hit Johnson with a 2-yard scoring pass with 8:35 left in the third quarter.
Phillip Tanner scored on a 2-yard run for Middle Tennessee with 2:19 left in the third quarter for 24-7.
Arkansas State's Derek Lawson scored on a 14-yard run with 12:34 left to make it 31-7. Patrick Honeycutt grabbed a 3-yard touchdown pass from Dwight Dasher with 9:17 left.
Middle Tennessee had 315 yards offense, only 44 yards rushing. ASU produced 440 yards, 292 passing and 148 rushing. ASU had no turnovers while Middle Tennessee gave up two interceptions.