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Rapid Reaction: App State 31, Wyoming 13

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Rapid Reaction: App State 31, Wyoming 13

App State kicker Zach Matics receives a pitch on a fake field goal attempt in the second quarter. The Mountaineers defeated Wyoming 31-13.

App State kicker Zach Matics receives a pitch on a fake field goal attempt in the second quarter. The Mountaineers defeated Wyoming 31-13.

App State kicker Zach Matics receives a pitch on a fake field goal attempt in the second quarter. The Mountaineers defeated Wyoming 31-13.

App State kicker Zach Matics receives a pitch on a fake field goal attempt in the second quarter. The Mountaineers defeated Wyoming 31-13.

Chris Warner

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The Good

Running back Marcus Cox did what we’ve come to expect from him: dominate. He opened the game with a 59-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage and never looked back, compiling 178 yards on 15 carries, including another 50-yard carry in the third. He finished the game averaging 11.9 yard per carry.

Cornerback Latrell Gibbs continued his dominance as well, intercepting his fourth pass in four games this season. This time, however, Gibbs would find the end zone, intercepting Wyoming quarterback Cameron Coffman and returning it for 91 yards, giving the Mountaineers a commanding 14-0 lead only four minutes into the first quarter.

Linebacker John Law was all over the field, amassing 13 tackles, two-and-a-half tackles for loss, and a sack. He also almost had an interception on a pass breakup, but couldn’t hang on.

Kicker Zach Matics hit a 51-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, a new career-high, to put the Mountaineers up 31-7.

As a whole, the Mountaineer defense accumulated 4 sacks on the day.

The Bad

Marcus Cox wasn’t the only running back that found room to run, as Wyoming running back Brian Hill gashed the Mountaineers for a whopping 208 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries on a rainy, foggy day at Kidd Brewer. It was the second time this season Hill surpassed the 200-yard mark and the third time in his career.

Taylor Lamb could never get it going through the air, primarily a result of the weather. Lamb only completed three of 12 passes for 65 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.

Both wide receiver Simms McElfresh and guard Parker Collins left the game with lower body injuries.

Risky Business

Head coach Scott Satterfield showed once again that when the weather is unfavorable, App State will roll the dice.

Last year, it was a fake field goal heading in to halftime against Georgia State that resulted in a Simms McElfresh touchdown.

This year, on fourth-and-four with less than a minute left in the half, holder/punter Bentlee Critcher took the snap, rolled out right, and pitched the ball to kicker Zach Matics, who ran six yards for a first-down.

Quarterback Taylor Lamb would reward the risky call on the next play, finding McElfresh in the back of the end zone and extending the lead to 21-7 with 12 seconds left in the half.

When Opportunity Knocks

Fortune favored the Mountaineers at home, as Wyoming fumbled early and often in this game.

In the second quarter, Wyoming missed a 40-yard field goal with 4:06 left. On the first play of the Mountaineer drive, Lamb threw an ill-advised pass which was intercepted by Cowboys safety Marcus Epps.

On the ensuing drive, Wyoming fumbled the snap on the fourth play of the drive, which would be recovered by Mountaineers defensive lineman Osvaldo Sombo.

Wyoming finished the game with two fumbles lost, despite bobbling multiple snaps throughout the game. Combined with the 91-yard interception, the Cowboys finished the day with a turnover differential of negative-two, while Appalachian finished with a differential of plus-two.

What’s Next?

The Mountaineers (3-1, 0-0 Sun Belt) will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, to take on the Georgia State Panthers (1-3, 0-2 Sun Belt) in their first conference matchup of the season. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

 

Story by: Chris Warner, Sports Editor

Photo by: Malik Rahili, Editor-in-chief 

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Rapid Reaction: App State 31, Wyoming 13