Mountaineers burned by Flames in overtime

Nick Joyner

App State redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Lamb had a night to remember, right before tossing a game-ending interception in overtime of the Mountaineers 55-48 loss to the Liberty Flames.

App State (1-5, 0-2 Sun Belt) missed a would-be game-winning kick as time expired in the fourth quarter from just 32-yards out.

After receiving the ball first in overtime, Liberty quarterback Josh Woodrum fired a nine-yard touchdown pass that forced App State to answer with a touchdown of their own, or the game would be over.

After a 16-yard rush by sophomore running back Marcus Cox, Lamb lofted a pass into the endzone that was picked off by a Liberty defender.

“We were going to take a shot with our tight end, when you see shots like that you have to take them,” App State head coach Scott Satterfield said. “However, the shot wasn’t there and Taylor knew he had to throw it away. Taylor played well tonight, it just comes down to experience and it was a learning curve.”

Lamb threw for 397 yards in the loss – more passing yards than any other freshman quarterback in school history. As a team, the Mountaineer offense generated 628 total yards, good for a season high.

Despite all of the production from App State, the offense struggled in the turnover department.

“The game came down to turnovers,” Satterfield said.“It’s hard to look at 628 yards of offense and 48 points and know you’re not going to win. Liberty’s offense was good, the second half I think they tried to control the clock and just ground and pound, to keep our offense off of the field.”

On defense, App State couldn’t get the stops they needed. The Flames converted on 10 of 17 third-down conversions and held the ball for more than 35 minutes.

True freshman safety A.J. Howard led the Mountaineers with 13 tackles.

“We have two true freshmen on our defense and we have a young secondary,” Satterfield said. “With so much youth it is learning on the job training. I told them they have to grow up to make plays. If they are going to be great players, we have to build a stronger defense.”

Another freshman made a strong impression for App State, as wideout Shaedon Meaders made his debut and  caught four passes for 90 yards and a touchdown.

“I was really nervous at first but the team believed in me and because they believed in me I believed in myself,” Meadors said. “The coaches told me that I might have to play and that they had faith in me and because I’m a competitor I had to do it.”

App State hits the road next week for a Sun Belt conference matchup at Troy (1-5, 1-1 Sun Belt).  A win would be App State’s first in the conference and first of the season over an FBS program.

Kickoff is slated for 3:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

Story: Nick Joyner, Senior Sports Reporter