BOONE Appalachian State was to LSU last week what Jacksonville was to Appalachian State this week.
Only more so.
The Mountaineers, beaten by 28 points in Baton Rouge, La., battered the undermanned Dolphins out of Kidd Brewer Stadium Saturday afternoon, 56-7, before a school-record crowd of 30,718.
“This was a tough game to get ready for,” said Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore. “I kept wondering about a letdown. You come back from Baton Rouge and on a larger scale, that was the same environment that it was here today.”
To avoid that, Moore said he practiced his players hard. Appalachian State wasn't overly sharp, but it didn't fall flat, either.
The Mountaineers rolled behind a first-team offense that scored early, often and in a hurry. ASU had a 28-0 lead with 11 minutes, 16 seconds left in the second quarter. And none of the four scoring drives took longer than 1:16 to complete.
Then starting quarterback Armanti Edwards was given the rest of the half off in favor of freshman DeAndre Presley. The offense ground to a halt, and Appalachian State didn't score again before the half.
Edwards was back to start the third quarter, and ASU took off again. Two more touchdowns and Edwards' day was done.
ASU's next touchdown came on an interception return by Travis Dowda.
Presley took over again and late in the final period directed ASU to its final score. But the playing time he and his fellow backups received was more important than any mop-up touchdown.
“Today's his first dance,” Moore said of Presley. “…You can't compare him to Armanti. This is the best thing that could happen to that kid. He'll get to watch and study those tapes and see the things that (quarterbacks coach Scott Satterfield) has been telling him about. He'll get those things corrected.”
As will many other reserves, Moore said.
“We got to play our twos (second team) at least over half the ballgame, and they needed that,” he said.
Another of those second-teamers was running back Robert Welton, who gained 161 yards on 10 carries, scoring three touchdowns. He was part of a running game that gouged out 448 rushing yards, punching through the middle of the Dolphins.
Asked about his effort, Welton laughed and said, “Every time I got the ball it was wide open. I didn't have to make a move until I got to the safety, so I give all the credit to the offensive line.”
Moore was also pleased about being able to look at 10 or 12 receivers, he said.
Jacksonville is a developing program coached by former Florida quarterback Kerwin Bell. It's in the Football Championship Subdivision almost in name only
The Dolphins don't give football scholarships, although some players receive financial help from other sources. So this was a breather for Appalachian State, and next week provides an open date. A road game at James Madison is next up on Sept. 20.