Stingy defense and efficient offense carried Appalachian State, as the short-handed Mountaineers defeated Sun Belt conference rival Idaho 37-19 Saturday afternoon.
Without senior linebacker John Law, who has missed all but one snap the past two games with an injury, Appalachian State’s defense held the Vandals (4-4, 2-2) out of the end zone until a touchdown with four seconds left.
Idaho’s touchdown — an 8-yard pass from junior quarterback Matt Linehan to senior tight end Buck Cowan on the game’s final offensive play — was the first touchdown allowed by the Mountaineers (5-2, 3-0) in three league games this season.
Meantime, Appalachian State’s offense was again without senior running back Marcus Cox for the fourth consecutive game as he recovers from a leg injury suffered against Miami. But the Mountaineers racked up 375 yards and orchestrated six scoring drives.
Coach Scott Satterfield said Cox was available to play, if needed, but with a game Thursday against Georgia Southern and the Mountaineers in control throughout, Cox remained on the sideline.
Senior quarterback Taylor Lamb completed 18-of-23 passes for 220 yards, and sophomore running back Jalin Moore added 114 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown to lead Appalachian State’s offense.
Senior wide receiver Shaedon Meadors caught a career-high seven passes for 106 yards for Mountaineers. He was one of seven receivers with a catch against Idaho.
“At this point in the season, this is the grind of our season, we’re 3-0 in the Sun Belt and we want to win the rest of our games and the Sun Belt championship, so we have to get hot and we’ve been hot the past two games,” Lamb said.
Appalachian State started hot, scoring first for the sixth time in seven games this season, racing to a 10-0 lead with scoring drives on its first two possessions.
After freshman kicker Michael Rubino ended Appalachian State’s first drive with a 28-yard field goal, the Mountaineers put together a 10-play, 80-yard drive on the game’s second possession that was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run from Lamb.
After Rubino made a 24-yard field goal on Appalachian State’s first drive of the second half, the defense continued its strong play when freshman cornerback Clifton Duck, a former Butler High star, scored on a 44-yard interception return to extend the Mountaineers' lead to 20-6 early in the third quarter.
Duck added another interception later in the second half — his fourth of the season — on a jump ball.