The Mountaineers had everything going for them.
They battled a ranked team into OT in week one. They crushed a middling C-USA team in week two. They had RB Marcus Cox who ran for over 100 yards against Tennessee, and QB Taylor Lamb who showed no fear in any game so far this season.
And on top of all that, the Mountaineers were playing at home.
In yet more evidence that pre-season rankings mean nothing and during-the-season rankings mean everything, Miami proved itself worthy of a top 25 ranking and then some, jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the 1st quarter and never looking back.
The Sun Belt hasn’t had it easy these last fifteen seasons, but despite some top plays from App State since their addition, this was all Hurricanes all day. Lamb went only 10/21 for 115 yards and a 3rd-quarter touchdown, and Jalin Moore was held to only 89 yards over 23 carries. Marcus Cox was stifled to only 30 yards on the day, and the Mountaineers never really got anything going. A 2nd-quarter field goal from Michael Rubino (1 of 2 on the day) was the only other scoring from the scrappy underdog that was only 3.5 point dogs coming into the game.
We at least predicted a close game, but Miami QB Brad Kaaya threw for 368 yards with a 97.4 QB rating and RB Mark Walton contributed another 130 yards and 2 touch downs. This was an ugly day for the Mountaineers and one they won’t soon forget.
As Miami picks up shop and heads home, the Mountaineers will prepare to play at Akron next week, taking on a MAC team that just disassembled Marshall, 65-38. We hope Appy State will at least score more points next week, but the spread won’t be nearly as kind.