The Mountaineers’ are known for their tremendous ground attack, but it was the passing game that set the tone early in Wednesday’s 24-0 win at struggling Louisiana Lafayette.
The victory, which was ASU’s 8th straight in the Sun Belt away from Kidd Brewer Stadium, saw junior quarterback Taylor Lamb take advantage of the Ragin’ Cajuns poor pass defense that came into the contest ranked last in the league.
After ASU (4-2, 2-0) stopped ULL on its initial possession, Lamb—who went 8-for-8 for 127 yards to open the game—lofted a perfectly placed deep ball to wideout Shaedon Meadors that went for 57 yards to the Cajuns’ two.
Jalin Moore proceeded to reached pay dirt and gave the Apps a 7-0 lead with 12:34 left in the first quarter.
The Mountaineers’ next drive—which consumed nearly six minutes—was much more methodical, as they went 92 yards in 11 plays before being forced to settle for a 21-yard field goal from Michael Rubino.
Leading 10-0 early in the second, Lamb connected again with Meadors—this time for 12 yards—to convert a 3rd and 9.
Two plays later, Moore stepped out of a tackle just past the line of scrimmage and went 41 yards to the house down the left sideline to extend the advantage to 17-0.
The Cajuns needed to respond and it looked as though they would. However, after reaching the Appalachian 22, the drive stalled.
Following a sack of Anthony Jennings on third down, Stevie Artigue’s 49-yard field goal—which had plenty of leg—hit the left upright.
The Mountaineers went right to work on their fourth scoring drive of the evening, as Lamb hooked up again with Shaedon Meadows on a corner route for 19 yards.
With his team facing a third down and five later in the drive, the veteran signal-caller picked up a fumbled snap and went around left end for 19 yards to the Cajuns’ 8.
The next play saw Lamb find freshman tight end Collin Reed all alone over the middle for a touchdown that made it 24-0 with just under six minutes left in the half.
Louisiana proceeded to put together another solid drive where Anthony Jennings spread the ball to a number of receivers and moved his club into the red zone.
However, the ASU defense would once again stand tall and Toronto Thomas’ third down sack of Jennings forced another Artigue field goal.
The Cajuns’ kicker hooked this one well left and another opportunity to chip away at the lead was squandered.
Their defense provided them another possession right away, as Taylor Lamb’s throw on an out and up deflected off his receiver and was intercepted by a diving Howard right in front of the Appalachian bench at the ULL 35.
Hudspeth’s team moved it across midfield, but back-to-back sacks by Reed and Sims forced the Cajuns into a 3rd and 24 before they would eventually turn the ball over on downs.
The Mountaineers took the 24-0 lead into the break and Mark Hudspeth’s club would not pose a threat in the second half.
Taylor Lamb topped the 200-yard mark passing for the second time this season, as he finished 15 of 26 for 201 yards with a touchdown and a interception.
Sophomore Jalin Moore had his third consecutive 100-yard game on the ground. The Shelby native finished with 106 yards and two touchdowns on 14 attempts. He continues to do an excellent job of being the feature back since senior Marcus Cox—who had consecutive 100-yard games to start the season versus Tennessee and ODU—suffered a quad injury early in the Miami game.
Shaedon Meadors had a career-high 128 yards receiving on six catches.
Defensively, the Mountaineers did a good job of preventing big plays and sacked LSU graduate transfer quarterback Anthony Jennings five times.
Jennings finished 19 of 32 for 121 yards.
Elijah McGuire led the Ragin' Cajuns with 43 yards on ten carries.
Michael Jacquet had a team-high 5 receptions for 40 yards.
ULL had just 267 yards in the game.
Appalachian, which has now won 21 of its last 25 games overall, has quickly established itself as one of the premier teams in the Sun Belt. They have big road trips at Troy and Georgia Southern looming down the road, but host Idaho on October 22.
Meanwhile, ULL will travel to Texas State to do battle with the Bobcats next Saturday. The match-up will be televised on ESPN3.