Once again for the fourth straight game Appalachian State made its fans draw ever so close to the oh so special “cabinet” in another tight Sun Belt game Saturday against Idaho. Appalachian fell into a 20 point hole to the Vandals inside the confines of the Kibbie Dome as the game hit halftime. It seemed obvious that Appalachian was going to fall to the same fate of Troy earlier this week, but Taylor Lamb had other plans in as the Mountaineers outscored Idaho 23-3 to remain on top of the Sun Belt .
Lamb had thrown a Interception in the first half but resembled the Taylor Lamb that all of App nation knows of the second half. Lamb finished the game 19/26 passing for 155 yards and three touchdown passes, all of which came in the second half. Ike Lewis stepped up on the receiver front for Appalachian as he had six catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns. The running game was not much of a factor as Jalin Moore was held to just 49 yards on 17 carries.
It looked as if Idaho was going to pull out their biggest win of the year because the Vandals dominated the Mountaineers in the first half. Idaho quarterback Matt Linehan was 15/28 passing for 200 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Aaron Duckworth carried the ball 21 times for 113 yards. Linehan and Duckworth had fumbles that helped App State’s comeback effort. Time of possession was pretty much even as Appalachian held the ball for 30:22 and Idaho held the ball 29:38.
Penalties were a big difference in this game as Appalachian committed zero penalties in this game while Idaho had seven for 60 yards. Appalachian State was also 3-3 on 4th down as the Apps were able to keep some very key drives alive. Michael Rubino had an extra point blocked but would kick the 31 yard field goal that would put App State on top and eventually grab the 23-20 win.
With the win over the Vandals Appalachian State has now won 23 of its last 25 Sun Belt games and they sit atop the Fun Belt standings at 3-0 in conference play. Taylor Lamb passed former Mountaineer DJ Campbell as Lamb collected his 31st win as a starting quarterback. Lamb now sits second on the all time wins list behind Armanti Edwards. Appalachian State also collected their 600th win in program history on Saturday as their overall program record is 600-333-28.
Appalachian State will return to “The Rock” next Saturday as they will welcome Sun Belt newcomer Coastal Carolina to Boone for the first time since 2012. The game is slated for a 3:30 kickoff.