TROY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama-transfer Layne Hatcher passed for 440 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in his debut as a starter and Arkansas State held off Troy 50-43 in the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams on Saturday night.
Hatcher's pass was intercepted by Carlton Martial, setting the Trojans up with a chance to tie or go ahead with just less than three minutes to go. Kaleb Barker led Troy to the Arkansas State 8, but on fourth and 4, an offensive player was injured with the clock still running, causing the last nine seconds of the game to be lost to an automatic 10-second runoff.
Omar Bayless had 10 catches for 213 yards and a score for the Red Wolves (3-2). Jonathan Adams Jr. added 105 yards receiving with a TD and Kirk Merritt had 104 yards receiving and two TDs.
Barker finished 34 of 57 for 367 yards, four touchdowns and one interception for the Trojans (2-2).
Hatcher, a redshirt freshman, replaced Logan Bonner who suffered a season-ending thumb injury. Bonner had surgery on his right hand Wednesday. He led the Sun Belt Conference with 1,052 yards passing in four games and had 10 touchdowns and one interception. Hatcher is the career leader in yards passing and touchdowns passes in Arkansas high school football and transferred from Alabama to Arkansas State after the conclusion of spring practice with the Crimson Tide.