Appalachian State will begin the 2017 season 0-1 for the second straight season after losing 31-10 to the Georgia Bulldogs. The 2017 season opener however, was nowhere near as tight and fun as the Tennessee game in 2016.
Appalachian State entered this game down two very key members in the receiving core in Shaedon Meadors and Darrynton Evans. Georgia looked like they were the right pick to be the winner out of the SEC Eastern Division. Both teams traded punts on each teams opening drive as neither team found things to go right early on.
With 6:30 to go in the 1st quarter things changed for the Dawgs as starting QB Jacob Easson went down with an injury as he was hit out of bounds by Myquon Stout. Georgia then turned to true freshman Jake Fromm and things started to click for the Dawgs. UGA running back Nick Chubb would then pound it in from a yard out and the Dawgs took a 7-0 lead. Fromm would connect with WR Javon Wims for a 34-yard touchdown on their next drive to push the lead to 14.
Penalties hurt App State, as every time they would look to have something positive going a flag would drop and push the Apps back. Sony Michel would add a 4-yard touchdown run to stretch the lead to 21-0 at the break.
UGA would come out in the 2nd half and add in a field goal and another Nick Chubb touchdown run to make it 31-0 after three quarters of play. App State would start to find a few positives in the fourth quarter. Georgia would call on third string QB Brice Ramsey in the fourth and App State would pick off both passes Ramsey threw and turn them into points. Taylor Lamb would scramble from 20 yards out to score the first touchdown of the 2017 season for the Apps. Late in the fourth Michael Rubino would nail a 42-yard FG to lay the game to its final score 31-10 in favor of Georgia.
Taylor Lamb finished 18-of-27 passing for 128 yard, and carry the ball 10 times for 66 yards and a score. Georgia’s Jake Fromm would go 10-of-15 for 143 yards and a touchdown. Jalin Moore was held in check all day as he carried the ball 13 times for just 38 yards. UGA running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel combined for 31 carries for 183 yards and three touchdowns.
Georgia would rack up 368 yards of offense against the App State defense while App would manage 284. As mentioned, penalties killed App State as they racked up 11 for 105 yards.
App State will travel back home for the 2017 home opener next week with a lot of things to clean up and work on as they will take on the Tigers of Savannah State from the FCS ranks.