Wofford upsets App State
By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Eric Breitenstein ran for 173 yards and Wofford’s offense proved more efficient than Appalachian State’s in a 28-14 Terriers’ win on Saturday.
SPARTANBURG, S.C. — No. 3 Appalachian State University squandered a pair of red-zone opportunities and allowed Wofford to convert 11-of-18 third downs and 4-of-4 fourth downs in a 28-14 loss to the eighth-ranked Terriers on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium.
Appalachian's second loss in its last 30 Southern Conference games snapped a three-game winning streak and dropped the Mountaineers to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in SoCon play.
With Wofford (3-1, 2-0 SoCon) controlling the ball for 38:30, ASU had only eight offensive possessions and was in position to score on five of them. However, the Mountaineers, who came into the game tied for fourth nationally with an 85.7-percent red-zone touchdown rate, came away empty-handed twice after driving the ball inside Wofford's 20 yard line. ASU left at least nine points on the field by missing all three of its field-goal attempts from 33, 52 and 33 yards.
Despite the ineffectiveness in the red zone, Appalachian, which trailed 14-0 in the first quarter and 21-7 after three periods, pulled within a touchdown at 21-14 on Andrew Peacock's (Durham, N.C./Northern Durham) nine-yard touchdown catch less than a minute into the fourth quarter. Momentum appeared to be shifting to the Mountaineers when on the ensuing kickoff, Wofford's Stephon Shelton picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for firing the ball at an ASU tackler after the play, leaving the Terriers backed up to their own 17 yard line.
However, Wofford put the game away by driving 83 yards on 12 plays, capped by a 19-yard touchdown run that gave the Terriers a 28-14 lead with under eight minutes to play. Like they did throughout the ballgame, the Terriers did their biggest damage on third and fourth downs during the game-clinching series, converting a third down and a fourth down during the 12-play drive.
In all, 157 of Wofford's 407 total yards came on 22 third and fourth down plays. The proficiency allowed the Terriers to punt only once in the entire ballgame and run 17 more plays than the Mountaineers, which led to a 407-247 advantage in total yardage.
Boone native Eric Breitenstein led all rushers with 173 yards on 33 carries but it was Donovan Johnson, who carried 10 times for 75 yards (7.5 avg.) and two touchdowns, and Derek Boyce, who amassed 49 yards on just four rushes (12.2 avg.) that were the Mountaineers' biggest nemeses throughout the afternoon.