Rapid reaction: App State 28, Louisiana Lafayette 7

Linebacker+Eric+Boggs+sacks+quarterback+Brooks+Haack+for+the+first+of+three+sacks+during+Saturdays+game+against+Louisiana+Lafayette.+The+Mountaineers+won+28-7%2C+putting+them+at+9-2+on+the+season.++Photo+courtesy+of+Appalachian+State+athletics%2FKeith+Cline+

KEITH CLINE

Linebacker Eric Boggs sacks quarterback Brooks Haack for the first of three sacks during Saturday’s game against Louisiana Lafayette. The Mountaineers won 28-7, putting them at 9-2 on the season. Photo courtesy of Appalachian State athletics/Keith Cline

Adam Hothersall

In front of 16,124 fans at The Rock on senior day, the special year for the Mountaineers (9-2, 6-1 Sun Belt) continued as they won their ninth game of the season, rolling over Louisiana Lafayette (4-7, 3-4 Sun Belt) 28-7.  

The Good:

Running back Marcus Cox became the first player in Appalachian State football history to rush for 1,000 yards in his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons after his 9-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.  Cox finished with two touchdowns and 78 yards in the win.

Linebacker Eric Boggs compiled eight tackles and a whopping three sacks in the game.  He was flying all over the field against the UL Lafayette offense and had two big sacks on third downs to end drives for the Ragin’ Cajuns.

Running back Jalin Moore has had increased work the past couple of weeks and ended the game with 104 yards after the big 54-yard run in the third quarter that extended the App State lead to 21-0.  After having a 244 yards last game against Idaho, we are starting to see the growth of the redshirt freshman as the season progresses.  

The Bad:

A couple of unnecessary personal foul penalties occurred in the game, giving the Ragin’ Cajuns some free yards to work with.  This is something the Mountaineers will need to clean up in their final regular season game and their bowl game next month if they want to continue their winning ways.

Big plays on offense are something the App State offense had little success with on Saturday, other than the 54-yard run by Moore.  A couple bigger plays by the offense would be helpful to the grinding running attack that the Mountaineers feature on a weekly basis.  The emergence of the two-headed running attack of Cox and Moore has given the offense consistency it needs on a weekly basis, but the presence of the big play would make the offense very difficult to stop.  

Defensive dominance:

Today as the Mountaineers had their last home game of the 2015 season the defense stood out in holding Louisiana Lafayette to 246 total yards and only allowing 42 of those yards on the ground.  This dominating display of defense led today by Ronald Blair, Eric Boggs, and John Law stifled the Ragin’ Cajun offense to nothing.  

With the defense stopping the run with ease, the defense was able to blitz more often than normal, allowing the linebackers and defensive linemen to pin their ears back and get after the quarterback.   The team had six sacks Saturday as a result of the increased aggressiveness.  If Appalachian State can continue to stop the run the way they did against the Ragin’ Cajuns, I expect to the defense excel the last two games of the season.  

What’s next?

The Mountaineers will head to South Alabama for a 7:30 p.m. showdown with the Jaguars (5-6, 3-4 Sun Belt) to close out their regular season.