When the Savannah State football team left home on Friday to travel to Appalachian State, the Tigers departed with their town under a mandatory evacuation order because of Hurricane Irma.
SSU didn’t find much sanctuary in the Appalachian Mountains on Saturday afternoon before 20,109 fans at Kidd Brewer Stadium as ASU quarterback Taylor Lamb tossed a single-game, school-record-tying five touchdown passes in the Mountaineers’ 54-7 rout of their Football Championship Subdivision opponent.
Lamb exited after App State built a 45-0 halftime lead, having thrown two TD strikes to Collin Reed and one each to Levi Dufield, Zy Letman and Jalen Virgil. Jalin Moore smashed in from 2 yards out for the Mountaineers’ first touchdown less than three and a half minutes into the game and Michael Rubino added a 38-yard, second-quarter field goal to the first-half carnage.
“Our guys came out and executed almost flawlessly in the first half,” ASU coach Scott Satterfield said. “We wanted to push the ball down the field today.”
The Mountaineers piled up 624 yards of total offense, 431 of those in the first half. On defense, Appalachian limited the Tigers to only 114 yards and six first downs. SSU has been hammered 848-64 in its 13 games against Football Bowl Subdivision teams since 2012.
“They were giving it to us today,” Lamb said of the passing game success, “so we took what they gave us. We had a great first half.”
It was a significant statement for the Mountaineers after last week’s season-opening 31-10 loss at Georgia.
“No matter who we are playing, it’s about what we do,” said senior linebacker Devan Stringer. “We played really well today, but there is always room to get better.”
KEY PLAYER: Senior Lamb had a near-perfect first half, completing 12-of-15 passes for 327 yards.
WORTH MENTIONING: Lamb was particularly efficient in finding his tight ends, Dufield and Reed, who combined for four catches, 163 yards and three scores. Dufield had a TD catch and run of 57 yards, while Reed scored on 68- and 56-yard pass plays.
RECORDS: Appalachian State 1-1, Savannah State 0-1.
WHAT’S NEXT: Appalachian State opens Sun Belt Conference play at Texas State, where former UNC interim head coach Everett Withers took over last season, Saturday at 7 p.m. Withers is an ASU and West Charlotte alum. ... Savannah State plays at Montana Saturday at 3 p.m.