In a back-and-forth battle, Appalachian State sophomore kicker Bentlee Critcher booted a 39-yard field goal with 32 seconds left to lead his Mountaineers to a 31-29 win over Louisiana-Monroe.
App State freshman QB Taylor Lamb went 25-for-35 with 279 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and was seemingly unfazed by the pressure of a potential game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter. He started at his own 25-yard line with 1:42 and all three timeouts, and drove 53 yards (with the help of two questionable pass interference penalties on ULM) in just under a minute.
This all came after Pete Thomas, who played maybe his best game of the season, led the Warhawks on a go-ahead drive culminating in an Ajalen Holley catch in the back of the end zone with 1:42 to play. Thomas finished 20-for-41 for 244 yards, two touchdowns, and another TD on the ground.
But the Warhawks settled for field goals on three different drives, which ended up being the difference in the game. Thomas was sacked six times, often because he simply held on to the ball for way too long, allowing a four-man rush to get to him (to be fair, the offensive line was not at all spectacular and not all of those sacks were on Thomas).
The player of the game, however, was clearly Lamb. He struggled a bit earlier in the season but looks to be in complete control of the offense. Most surprising was that he only rushed three times for 11 yards on the day. He won this game with his arm, something he really hasn't had to do prior to today.
Mountaineers sophomore RB Marcus Cox didn't have a spectacular game, but he wore down the ULM front throughout the course of the game and finished with 94 yards on 11 carries. He had 58 total yards and a TD on the App State drive to start the fourth quarter that put them up 28-23.
Appalachian State moves to 3-2 in the Sun Belt conference, and will probably move up in our Sun Belt Power Rankings, above the muddle of those bottom few teams. This Mountaineers team has grown up throughout this season, and it is paying dividends now with three straight wins. They take on Arkansas State on the road next weekend, which will be an even bigger test for this young Mountaineers team.