Fredi Knighten broke it open late in the third quarter with a 23-yard pass to Dario Griswold to make it 23-10, then Hollingsworth and White each scored on short runs. Knighten was 19 for 29 for 219 yards passing and ran for 104 yards on 15 carries.
The Red Wolves' defense stepped up after Anthony Knight tied it at 7 and held the Bobcats to three-and-outs for the remainder. Arkansas State gained 558 total yards to 228 for MSU.
Leading Montana State rusher Shawn Johnson was sidelined after being speared on the second-half kickoff by Frankie Jackson, who was disqualified for an illegal hit.
Luke Ferguson kicked field goals of 29, 23 and 41 yards for Arkansas State.