Ladies and gentleman, let me start by saying what an amazing game between App State and Penn State to kick off the 2018 season! Appalachian surged with a 28=point fourth quarter to take the No. 10 Nittany Lions to overtime. Appalachian entered this game with a lot of youth and questions but I think it’s safe to say those questions have beee answered.
First off, Zac Thomas is a leader who (along with Jalin Moore) will lead this App State team in 2018. Thomas threw some beautiful passes and showed great poise from the get go. Thomas, who was starting his first career game for the black and gold, finished 25/38 passing for 270 yards and 2 touchdowns. His one interception came on the final play of the game in OT on a pass in the end zone to Corey Sutton.
Jalin Moore showed why he may very well be playing on Sundays after this year as he turned in 18 hard carries for 88 yards and a score. Zac Thomas also made an impact with his feet with 15 carries for 43 yards and a score. Malik Williams turned in a game receiving as he had 2 scores on 4 grabs and 66 yards. Corey Sutton made some big plays as he led the way receiving with 6 catches and 87 yards.
Penn State QB Trace McSorley turned in a great performance, 21/36 passing and 3 total touchdowns. Running back Miles Sanders set a career high 91 yards on the ground and 2 scores. KJ Hamler led the way receiving for PSU as he had 4 receptions 68 yards and a score. Juwan Johnson also had 6 catches for 67 yards for the Nittany Lions.
App State out gained Penn State 451-434 on the total offense stat sheet but the big stat that will stick out is an “ugly” 9 penalties for 100 yards, compared to PSU only having 2 for 10 yards. After battling to a 10-10 tie at halftime the 3rd quarter appeared to be where Penn State flexed its muscle and pulled away but App had other plans.
Appalachian went on a 28 point tear in the 4th quarter. The decision to allow sophomore kicker Chandler Staton to attempt a 56 yard field goal versus going for it on 4th and 3 will be a talking point for App fans for years to come.
Nonetheless, Appalachian with all their youth, went into Happy Valley on the 11 year anniversary of the greatest upset in college football history and showed they should be one of the better G5 teams in 2018.
Up next the Mountaineers will stay in state and travel to Charlotte to battle the 49ers next Saturday at 6PM.