Back Hot Read: App State Rallies, Wins

Hot Read: App State Rallies, Wins

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Appalachian State tops Ohio 31-29 in the Camellia Bowl.

1. What a finish for Appalachian State. In the program's first-ever FBS bowl game, the Mountaineers won in dramatic fashion -- a game-winning 23-yard field goal by Zach Matics as time expired. Getting the football, down one, with less than two minutes to play, the Mountaineers moved from just outside their own 20-yard line in a clutch final drive that featured a 32-yard run from quarterback Taylor Lamb. With the victory, Appalachian State finishes the season at a very impressive 11-2.

2. The Mountaineers' fourth quarter will long be one to remember. Appalachian State outscored Ohio 24-5 in the final period, turning a daunting 24-7 deficit into a dramatic win. The Mountaineers, despite three turnovers and nine penalties, made numerous big plays late and remained persistent and poised even as they trailed. Credit Appalachian State for a historic Camellia Bowl rally.

3. With 303 yards rushing, the Mountaineers made their mark on the ground. It was a team effort, with 162 rushing yards from Marcus Cox, 96 from Jalin Moore and 51 from Taylor Lamb. Cox surpassed 1,400 yards with his MVP performance on the afternoon.

4. Defensively, Appalachian State continued to limit big plays. The Mountaineers entered the postseason in the top ten nationally in fewest plays of ten yards or more allowed. Appalachian State limited the Bobcats to  just 5.7 yards per pass and three yards per rush. Ohio was only 3-of-14 on third down conversions and the Mountaineers forced three key turnovers. Appalachian State held the Bobcat offense scoreless in the second half.

5. Kicker Zach Matics responded from two early misses with his now-famed final boot. Matics' last-second kick obviously goes down as one of the great moments in program history.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports