Despite being 24-point favorites, the Appalachian State Mountaineers found themselves in a fight for their lives Halloween night against Troy. After regulation ended 31-31, the teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime and field goals in the second overtime.
Then in the third overtime, Troy was faced with a 4th and 2 at the App 5. The field goal attempt was faked and shoveled forward to the receiver, but was stuffed for no gain.
On their third overtime possession, App State drove down before Zach Matics drilled a 24-yard field goal to take the 44-41 win.
The Trojans carried over the momentum from last week's drubbing of New Mexico State while the Mountaineers suffered a post Georgia Southern hangover. The Trojans used their size on the lines to move the ball and ended up with a 450-439 yardage edge.
It looked bleak early as Ronald Blair took an interception to the house less than a minute in for App State. But then the Trojans responded with a Brandon Burke 6-yard touchdown run halfway through the first. Taylor Lamb found Simms McElfresh from 7 yards out right before the end of the first before the teams traded second-quarter field goals to make it 17-10 Mountaineers at half.
The Trojans made a bold move on the second half kickoff by kicking it short where no Mountaineers were and recovered. After a double-pass on the next play, Brandon Silvers punched it in from one yard out to tie the game.
The Apps didn't capitalize initially but a Tae Hayes intercepted gave App State another chance. The drive was capped off with a touchdown pass from Lamb to Barrett Burns from 2 yards out to retake the lead 24-17. But Troy answered right back with a Silvers 5-yard run to re-tie the game. The Mountaineers finished a long drive with a Lamb 1-yard touchdown run to make it 31-24 near the end of the third.
After trading two punts each, the Trojans were able to tie the game with under four minutes left on a Silvers touchdown pass to Teddy Ruben. Neither team was able to mount a game-winning drive and to overtime it went.
Andre Flakes' 3-yard touchdown by Troy was answered by Lamb's 2-yard run to force a second overtime at 38-38. Matics' field goal for the Mountaineers was answered by Jed Solomon's field goal in the second overtime to make it 41-41.
The third overtime had the Trojans' fake field goal attempt that was stuffed before App State drove to the Troy 7 before Matics gave the Apps the walk-off win.
Troy threw several new wrinkles at App State including a hurry-up offense. The Trojans got three sacks on the night while letting up none, showing how good they can be in the trenches.
App State will say the win was good for the team to show they can win a close game, but they showed a number of lapses on defense and seemed uncomfortable on offense. Some of those lapses Troy didn't take advantage of including a sure touchdown that was dropped late in the game.
The Mountaineers move to 7-1 on the season and 4-0 in the Sun Belt. The valiant effort from the Trojans still ends up with a 2-6 mark and 1-3 in league play. App State now gears up for another quick turnaround as they take on Arkansas State this Thursday night on ESPNU in a first-place match-up. Troy returns home for a battle with fellow Week 9 near-upset team ULM next Saturday.