Four minutes in, Appalachian State was sitting pretty on an ugly day.
Playing through heavy rain, gusty winds and fog that enveloped Kidd Brewer Stadium, the Mountaineers jumped ahead early and did enough to beat Wyoming 31-13 in Appalachian State’s final non-conference game Saturday.
Running back Marcus Cox broke a 59-yard touchdown run on the Mountaineers’ first play from scrimmage, setting him on his way to another strong performance (15 carries, 178 yards and a touchdown).
It was the 18th 100-yard rushing game for Cox in 29 games.
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With 3,154 rushing yards, he became the sixth Appalachian State player to surpass the 3,000-yard mark as he remains on pace to challenge Kevin Richardson’s school-record 4,804 yards.
Wyoming was quick to respond with an effective offense, but Latrell Gibbs intercepted Cameron Coffman at the 9 and returned it for a touchdown to put the Mountaineers ahead 14-0 at the 10:55 mark of the first quarter.
Brian Hill single-handedly gave Wyoming a chance, rushing for 208 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries, but the Cowboys were undone by mistakes, losing two of their three fumbles.
Hill’s touchdown early in the second quarter cut the Appalachian State lead to 14-7, and just before halftime Wyoming had a chance to tie it before a fumbled snap gave the Mountaineers possession.
After quarterback Taylor Lamb’s 38-yard completion to receiver Shaedon Meadors, the Mountaineers’ offense stalled and it appeared Appalachian State would settle for a field goal.
Instead, kicker Zach Matics took a pitch from holder Bentlee Critcher to pick up a first down and set up Lamb’s 18-yard touchdown pass to Simms McElfresh for a 21-7 lead at the half.
Lamb scored on 9-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, then Matics extended the lead to 31-7 with a 51-yard field goal in the fourth.
The Winston-Salem Journal is a news partner of The Observer. For more Appalachian State coverage go to http://www.journalnow.com/sports/asu/