App State Defense takes control against South Alabama
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
Chase Brice completed 14 of 26 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns, Trey Cobb had a 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown, and App State took down the South Alabama Jaguars 31-7 on Saturday. The Mountaineers win their fourth straight game improving to 8-2 on the season, 5-1 in Sun Belt Conference play, while the Jaguars drop to 5-5, 2-5 against Sun Belt Conference opponents. Saturday's win is also App State's sixth straight win at home keeping the Mountaineers undefeated at The Rock.
"We knew going in that it was gonna be a tough game," said head coach Shawn Clark in his post-game interview. "Can't say enough good things about our defense...it was bend but no break. That's what great teams do. When one side doesn't play well, the other side picks it up."
Cam Peoples led the Mountaineers in rushing yards with 90 off of 23 carries while Nate Noel, the Sun Belt's leading rusher, had seven carries for 22 yards. Noel was kept on the sidelines for the entire second half, which was a coaching decision according to Clark. Chase Brice was responsible for App State's only rushing touchdown, the first score of the afternoon.
Jalen Virgil led App State in receiving yards with 57 off of just two catches. Malik Williams had one catch for 50 yards and Thomas Hennigan had 37 receiving yards off of 5 catches and a touchdown. Corey Sutton also had a touchdown catch, two plays after Trey Cobb's first interception, which increased App State's lead to 14-0. The touchdown catch was Sutton's team-leading sixth of the season.
South Alabama would score their first touchdown of the game late in the second quarter and go into halftime trailing App State 14-7.
The Mountaineers would remain out front for the rest of the game thanks to a 25-yard field goal from Chandler Staton in the third quarter and Hennigan's touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter, which would extend their lead to 24-7.
South Alabama would not go down without a fight however as they marched 82 yards down the field on seven plays giving themselves a chance to score. But on the next play, App State's defense would put the final nail in the coffin.
Trey Cobb would return his second interception 100 yards for a touchdown, putting App State up 31-7 and sealing the win. Cobb and the rest of the Mountaineer defense would tally two sacks, allow 52 total rushing yards, and stop South Alabama from converting on fourth down three times. App State has held the opposing team scoreless in the second half for two straight games.
South Alabama takes on the Tennessee Volunteers next Saturday while App State travels to Veterans Memorial Stadium next Saturday to face off against the 5-5 Troy Trojans. Kickoff for next Saturday's game starts at 3:30 pm and will be streamed on ESPN+.