Rapid Reaction: App State vs. Tennessee

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Photo by Dallas Linger

Junior quarterback Taylor Lamb hands the ball to senior running back Marcus Cox. Photo credit: Dallas Linger, Photo Editor

Adam Hothersall

Hoping to repeat from their performance nine years ago to the day against Michigan, the Mountaineers fell to the Tennessee Volunteers 20-13 in overtime.

Even as 100,074 fans filled Neyland Stadium Thursday night, the Mountaineers gave the Volunteers all they could handle.

The No. 9 ranked team  came in heavy favorites against the Mountaineers who are coming off a 11-2 season and a Camelia Bowl win.

The Good

-Defense was outstanding flying all over the field and doing a really good job gang tackling the whole game.

-App ran the ball exceptionally well against one of the top defensive lines in the country. Marcus Cox ran for 115 yards

-App won the turnover battle 2-1 with an interception by Mondo Williams and a fumble recovery by Alex Gray will recovering a muffed punt from the Vols.

-After losing defensive end Ronald Blair to the NFL, the young defensive line had a great showing stuffing the run and getting pressure on the quarterback with two sacks (pressured QB Dobbs a lot).

-Receiver Deltron Hopkins was very active on toss sweeps and short passes, speed threat that App will be able to utilize a lot this season.

– Linebacker John Law missed a lot of second half due to cramps, but the defense still played great through his absence.

The Bad

– Not being able to recover fumbles from Tennessee when they repeatedly put the ball on the ground.

-Missing the extra point after App State’s second touchdown.  Score would have been 14-3 rather than 13-3.  Gave Tennessee chance to tie game.

-Bad time management. Ran out of time at end of regulation and didn’t have time on the clock to attempt a game winning field goal in the final second of the game when game was tied.

Other Observations: 

After App State jumped off to an early 13-3 lead going into halftime, big plays including a 67 yard touchdown pass from Vols quarterback Joshua Dobbs to wide receiver Josh Malone tied the game up at 13.

In the closing minutes of the game a 45-yard punt return from Jaquil Capel occurred with the score tied at 13, and redshirt freshman kicker Michael Rubino missed a 42 yard field goal that would have given the Mountaineers the lead.

In overtime Tennessee received the ball first and scored on a two yard run fumbled at the goal line by Dobbs and recovered by running back Jalen Hurd to ultimately win the game for the Vols.

The offense fought for a total of 292 yards highlighted by a 33 yard touchdown reception by running back Marcus Cox on a wheel route from quarterback Taylor Lamb in the second quarter.

Cox ended the contest with 115 yards on 24 carries while junior Lamb threw for 108 yards with a touchdown.

Led by an impressive performance from the defense Thursday night linebackers Eric Boggs (12 tackles) and Kennan Gilchrist (nine tackles) helped hold All-American candidate running back Jalen Hurd to 3.9 yards per carry.

True freshman cornerback Clifton Duck also had seven tackles and two breakups in his first collegiate game.

Tennessee had a total of 319 yards of total offense while both teams averaged 4.4 yards per play.

Up Next: 

App State hosts Old Dominion in their first home game of the season at The Rock next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Story By: Adam Hothersall, Sports Reporter