The Wyoming Cowboys (0-5, 0-1 Mountain West) traveled to Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday to try and capture their first win of the season. Despite a strong performance by Cowboys running back Brain Hill (208 yards), the expected Marcus Cox and unexpected kicker Zach Matics helped steer the Mountaineers (3-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) to a 31-13 victory.
After a very healthy return on the opening kickoff return, Cox was the first to touch the ball and never stopped running until he reached the end zone.
“After I broke the first tackle, I just told myself, ‘Don’t get caught,’” Cox said after the game.
He wasn’t the only one to make an impact early.
Cornerback Latrell Gibbs was the second player in black and gold to put points on the board. Playing man coverage in the red zone, Gibbs capitalized on a miscommunication between Wyoming quarterback Cameron Coffman and his receiver and made them pay, taking an interception 91 yards for a touchdown, putting App State up 14-0. It was his fourth interception in four games, and the fifth longest pick-six in App State history.
The rest of the game followed the same theme with the running game of both teams carrying their respective offenses, as the rain continued to pour throughout the game.
“We’d like to have been able to put the ball in the air and throw it down the field, but we just weren’t able to do that on a day like today,” head coach Scott Satterfield said.
However, when opportunities knocked the Mountaineers answered. In many cases early on, they answered with their defense.
“They got backed up a few times early on and did a great job holding them out of the end zone, which was a huge part of the game,” linebacker John Law said. Law led both teams with 13 total tackles.
Kicker Zach Matics came in clutch for the Mountaineers right before halftime, but not the way one would expect. After a Wyoming timeout, Satterfield, originally planning a routine field goal attempt, decided to spice things up with a fake field goal. Matics, after faking the kick, got the pitch from punter/holder Bentlee Critcher and didn’t stop running until he reached a Cowboy at the first down marker.
Quarterback Taylor Lamb used the new set of downs to throw a beautiful 18-yard pass to wide receiver Simms McElfresh to go up 21-7 with 12 seconds left in the half.
After finally containing Cowboys running back Brian Hill to some extent, the Mountaineers went on to secure a 31-13 victory.
App State now begins Sun Belt play with their first game against Georgia State in Atlanta, Georgia on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
Story by: Noah Gerringer, Intern Sports Reporter
Photo by: Chris Deverell, Staff Photographer