Rapid reaction: South Alabama 47, App State 21

Rapid reaction: South Alabama 47, App State 21

Cory Spiers

Rapid reactions to App State’s (1-4, 0-2 Sun Belt) conference home opener against South Alabama (3-2, 2-1 Sun Belt) at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

The good

The Mountaineers fell behind early and were unable to make up for it, but redshirt freshman Taylor Lamb had a decent day in his first career start in Boone.

Lamb completed 16 of 30 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns and was very active running the ball. Lamb carried 13 times for 86 yards, averaging six yards per carry.

Lamb also threw no interceptions.

Junior wide receiver Malachi Jones had a nice day, grabbing a touchdown pass and catching four passes for 64 yards.

Freshman wide receiver Isaiah Lewis snagged his first career touchdown from junior quarterback Kameron Bryant in the fourth quarter.

The bad

The Mountaineers started slow and were unable to capitalize on a chance to grab momentum before the end of the first half.

App State was outscored 10-0 in the first quarter, a deficit they would not overcome. In the opening quarter, the Mountaineers failed to gain a first down, while the Jaguars moved the chains 11 times.

The Mountaineers trailed South Alabama 20-0 when senior Jaguars linebacker Maleki Harris was ejected for targeting junior wide receiver Simms McElfresh after a play.

The late hit fired up the Mountaineers, but they were able to muster only one touchdown on the wave of momentum.

App State came out flat in the third quarter, watching the Jaguars march down the field for a score that seemed to deflate the Mountaineers.

The team disappeared when the game was up for grabs, which eventually sealed the Mountaineers’ fate.

Bridge over troubled waters

Senior quarterback Brandon Bridge was a big part of why the Jaguars ran away with this one.

Bridge put South Alabama up 20-0 in the first half, completing 11 of 19 passes for 210 yards and a touchdown in the first 30 minutes of the game.

The App State defense looked to have no answer for Bridge, and consistently had trouble generating pressure on him.

Bridge was sacked only once and threw for 339 yards and three touchdowns before being pulled once the Jaguars had the game well in hand.

Slow day on the ground, and overall

Head coach Scott Satterfield stressed the importance of getting sophomore running back Marcus Cox and freshman running back Terrence Upshaw going to help the pace of the game, but that never really happened.

Lamb led the way rushing for the Mountaineers while Cox ran for 16 yards on eight carries while Upshaw amassed 48 yards on eight carries.

If the Mountaineers are to get back on the winning track, their two-pronged rushing attack has to be more effective from the opening snap.

What’s next?

App State hosts Liberty on homecoming weekend Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

Story: Cory Spiers, Sports Editor