No. 21/23 The Citadel jumped out to a 31-0 lead midway through the second quarter and No. 8/7 Appalachian State University football suffered its worst Southern Conference loss in eight years, a 52-28 setback on Saturday afternoon
at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The loss snapped a number of long winning streaks for Appalachian State (1-2, 0-1 SoCon) — an 18-game regular-season home winning streak (dating back to 2009), an 18-game SoCon home winning streak (dating back to 2007), an 18-game winning streak in SoCon openers played at home (dating back to 1982), an eight-game winning streak over The Citadel (dating back to 2003) and a nine-game home winning streak over the Bulldogs (dating back to 1992).
"First thing I'd say, is it's a long afternoon, didn't seem like it was ever going to be over," said ASU coach Jerry Moore. "I told everyone we needed to get back in the game clockwise. (The Citadel) are a good football team, and they played really, really hard. One of the things that hurt early in the game wasn't long passes, they were key passes. Today we didn't measure up at the right times. They executed really well, particularly the first half. Forget the score; I think we are a good football team."
The Citadel (3-0, 2-0 SoCon) controlled the ballgame from the outset, amassing 325 yards en route to three touchdowns and a field goal on its first four possessions that gave the Bulldogs a 24-0 lead with 7:36 still to play in the second quarter. Things got even better for The Citadel when it blocked an Appalachian punt 80 seconds later and scooped up the loose ball for a touchdown that made it 31-0.
The Mountaineers showed signs of life on the ensuing series when they marched 72 yards in just 2:21 and got on the board on Steven Miller’s (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway) two-yard touchdown run to make it 31-7 with 3:50 to go before the half. But, with Appalachian needing a stop to take a bit of momentum into the locker room, The Citadel answered with its fourth touchdown — and fifth score — in its first five offensive possessions to take a commanding 38-7 halftime lead.
"I mean we were ready, but offensively we couldn't get in the rhythm," said ASU quarterback Jamal Jackson . "We got in the hole early and it's hard to climb out of holes like that."
The Bulldogs picked up where they left off in the first half by finding paydirt again on their first drive of the second half which extended their lead to 45-7 less than five minutes into the third quarter. The Mountaineers found a bit of an offensive rhythm in the second half, amassing 264 yards and scoring on three of their five possessions after the break, but it was not enough to keep The Citadel from handing Appalachian its most lopsided loss to an NCAA Division I FCS opponent since a 54-7 setback at Georgia Southern in 2004.
"I just made the play that's all I can say," said Bulldogs quarterback Ben Dupree. "I needed my blocks and I used my speed to my advantage. "The sky is the limit for this team. Our first goal is to win the SoCon and we haven't done that, so we have to keep working for that one game at a time."
Miller was a bright spot for the Mountaineers, rushing for a career-high 167 yards and three touchdowns on just 21 carriers (8.0 yards per rush). Jamal Jackson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) completed 23-of-32 passes for 164 yards and ran eight times for 53 yards (6.6 ypr) but failed to reach 200 passing yards and 250 yards of total offense for the first time in 10 games as Appalachian State’s starting quarterback.
Defensively, Appalachian tallied nine tackles for loss — its second-highest total in its last 54 games. However, most of those stops behind the line of scrimmage came on first and second down, as The Citadel converted 11-of-14 third-down opportunities. The Bulldogs averaged 15.7 yards per play on the 11 third-down conversions and scored four of their six offensive touchdowns on third downs. All told, the Mountaineers allowed 618 yards, the most it has surrendered since it gave up 695 in a 59-56 loss at Chattanooga in 2004.
Jeremy Kimbrough (Decatur, Ga./Cedar Grove) led the Apps’ defensive effort with 14 tackles, marking his fifth-straight game with at least a dozen stops. Dupree led The Citadel’s offensive onslaught with 180 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and 56 more yards on 2-of-4 passing.
"All we did was show up today," Moore said. "This is a tough (Southern Conference) league, and you've got to be ready to play. It's very disappointing, especially after we play so well last week against one of the best teams (Montana) in the country. We made too many mistakes, especially on offense, and it disrupted our rhythm."
Appalachian State looks to regroup when it goes on the road to face Chattanooga (1-2, 0-0 SoCon) next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. at UTC’s Finley Stadium.
NOTES: Appalachian State is 1-2 overall for the third time in five seasons ... following its previous two 1-2 starts (2008 and 2009), Appalachian went on to win the Southern Conference championship, advancing to the NCAA Division I Football Championship quartefinals in 2008 and the national semifinals in ‘09 ... the Mountaineers’ last regular-season home loss was on Sept. 12, 2009 (40-35 vs. McNeese State), last SoCon home loss was on Oct. 20, 2007 (38-35 vs. Georgia Southern), last loss in a SoCon opener played at home was on Sept. 18, 1982 (27-21 vs. Furman), last loss to The Citadel was on Sept. 27, 2003 (24-21 in Charleston, S.C.) and last home loss to The Citadel was on Oct. 3, 1992 (25-0) ... the 52 points were the most Appalachian allowed at home since a 52-34 loss to Furman on Sept. 30, 1978 ... MIller’s 167 rushing yards were the most by a Mountaineer since DeAndre Presley ran for 264 yards versus Western Illinois in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Division I Football Championship ... Appalachian played without defensive back Jamill Lott (Kannapolis, N.C./A.L. Brown) and wide receiver Sean Price (Reston, Va./South Lakes), who were serving the second game of two-game suspensions for violations of team rules ... despite returning to practice this week, running back Rod Chisholm (hand) and defensive back Rodger Walker (illness) were not available to play on Saturday.
Scoring Summary (Final)
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
The Citadel 14 24 14 0 - 52
Appalachian State 0 7 7 14 - 28
Qtr Time Scoring Play
1st 10:38 CIT - Rickey Anderson 4 yd run (Thomas Warren kick), 9-75 4:22 7 - 0
04:31 CIT - Ben Dupree 57 yd run (Thomas Warren kick), 7-97 4:00 14 - 0
2nd 14:17 CIT - Aaron Miller 1 yd run (Thomas Warren kick), 6-80 2:31 21 - 0
07:36 CIT - Thomas Warren 24 yd field goal, 10-73 5:03 24 - 0
06:16 CIT - Carson Smith 8 yd blocked punt return (Thomas Warren kick) 31 - 0
03:50 APP - Steven Miller 2 yd run (Drew Stewart kick), 8-72 2:21 31 - 7
00:43 CIT - Ben Dupree 46 yd run (Thomas Warren kick), 7-75 3:07 38 - 7
3rd 10:27 CIT - VanDyke Jones 5 yd run (Thomas Warren kick), 6-76 3:23 45 - 7
08:41 APP - Tony Washington 22 yd run (Drew Stewart kick), 6-58 1:37 45 - 14
00:15 CIT - Darien Robinson 45 yd run (Thomas Warren kick), 2-47 0:50 52 - 14
4th 13:23 APP - Steven Miller 2 yd run (Drew Stewart kick), 7-68 1:44 52 - 21
05:45 APP - Steven Miller 4 yd run (Drew Stewart kick), 12-86 4:02 52 - 28
Team Statistics (Final)
FIRST DOWNS: THE CITADEL 24, ASU 21
RUSHING YARDS: THE CITADEL 463, ASU 253
PASSING YARDS: THE CITADEL 155, ASU 164
TOTAL YARDS: THE CITADEL 618, ASU 417
PENALTY YARDS: THE CITADEL 2-10, ASU 3-24
TIME OF POSSESSIONS: THE CITADEL 38:11, ASU 21:49
TURNOVERS: THE CITADEL 0, ASU 2
3RD DOWN CONVERSIONS: THE CITADEL 11-14, ASU 1-7
4TH DOWN CONVERSIONS: THE CITADEL 0-0, ASU 0-1
THE CITADEL: BEN DUPREE 20-180-2TD, DARIEN ROBINSON 13-113-TD
ASU: STEVEN MILLER 21-167-3TD, JACKSON 8-53
THE CITADEL: BEN DUPREE 2-4-56
ASU: JACKSON 23-32-164-1I
THE CITADEL: THOMPSON 3-123
ASU: JONES 6-41, PEACOCK 5-43, MILLER 5-21
Photo Couirtesy: Steven Miller, Steve Frank