Rapid Reaction: App State 48, Western Carolina 27

Michael Bragg

Freshman running back Marcus Cox breaks through two Western defenders for a touchdown in the Mountaineer's 48-27 win over Western Carolina.  Paul Heckert  |  The AppalachianRapid reactions to the App State’s (4-8, 4-4 SoCon) 48-27 win over Western Carolina (2-10, 1-7 SoCon) at Kidd Brewer Stadium. It is the first time this season that App State has won back-to-back games, and is their ninth straight win over the Catamounts.

The good

The Mountaineers gained 491 yards and forced three turnovers as they never trailed in the game. Everything seemed to be clicking from the start of the game.

Marcus Cox and Kameron Bryant led the Mountaineers to 48 points. It was the first time in 18 games that the App State offense scored 40 or more points.

The Mountaineer defense started things off strongly, holding the Catamounts to 7 first half.

The bad

While the defense was strong in the first half, the Catamounts moved the ball better in the second half and finished with 397 yards of total offense and put up 20 more points. The Mountaineer offense was strong throughout the game, but the defense allowed three second half touchdowns.

The Catamounts struggled to enter the red zone for most of the day, but when they did, they did not have much trouble converting. The Catamounts were 3 for 4 in red zone scoring chances on the day.

While the Mountaineers had many instances of quick strike offense, they did lose the time of possession battle as Western controlled the ball for 32:10 compared to 27:50 for App State. The Catamounts seemed to be able to grind out long drives to pad their possession numbers. At times, the Mountaineers had trouble getting Western off the field.

Strong first half set the tone

The Mountaineer defense did not allow a Catamount touchdown until late in the second quarter.

The strong Mountaineer defense shut down the Catamounts while allowing the offense to score four touchdowns.

A strong first half set up the Mountaineers in position to grind out the clock and pad the lead in the second half as the Catamounts attempted to rally from a 31-7 first half deficit.

Cox leads the way

Freshman running back Marcus Cox rushed 26 times for 219 yards, which set a single-game freshman record for yardage. He also added two receptions for 19 yards.

Cox also powered in four rushing touchdowns to give him 15 on the year, a new freshman single-season record. He also added a receiving touchdown to give him 21 total offensive touchdowns for the year, which is also a single-season freshman record.

Cox broke the single-season rushing record for yardage by raising his season total to 1,254. The previous record was 1,153 and was set by Armanti Edwards in 2006.

Big contributions from seniors

Tony Washington caught 4 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown and returned 3 kicks for 83 yards. Andrew Peacock caught two passes for 55 yards.

Karl Anderson had 7 tackles and an interception that he returned for a touchdown. It marked the first non-offensive touchdown of the season for the Mountaineers.

Defensive back Rodger Walker also had an interception in the endzone. Patrick Blalock had 8 total tackles, 1 tackle for a loss and half a sack.

Jamal Londry-Jackson checked into the game in the third quarter and down the stretch, completed all 5 of his pass attempts for 13 yards.

What’s next?

The FBS.

Story: CORY SPIERS, Opinion Editor
Photo: PAUL HECKERT, Senior Photographer