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Despite close score, Appalachian State was dominant in defeat of #6 Texas A&M

The Mountaineers were the Sun Belt East’s second win over a top-ten team of the day on Saturday.

Appalachian State v Texas A&M Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The final score was 17-14 as Appalachian State added another huge upset victory to their program’s illustrious history in that department.

At Kyle Field in College Station in front of a crowd of nearly 93,000, the Mountaineers took down a Texas A&M team ranked #6 in the AP Poll and the AFCA coaches poll. The Aggies were favored by 16.5 points heading into what some thought would be an easy win for Jimbo Fisher’s team. Instead, the Aggies were outplayed in every phase by a hungry Mountaineer team.

On the offensive side of the ball, Appalachian State picked up 22 first downs compared to nine by the Aggies’ offense. Chase Brice and company more than doubled TAMU’s time of possession with 41 minutes and thirty seconds compared to the Aggies’ 18 minutes and thirty seconds. They also doubled the Aggies in terms of rushing production, 180 to 89.

What likely kept this game close in terms of score for so long was Appalachian State’s third down difficulties, converting just nine of their 20 opportunities in those situations. The Mountaineers also converted three out of five fourth downs on the day.

Appalachian State ran 82 offensive plays while Texas A&M ran just 38. A huge defensive effort by the Mountaineers helped keep those numbers so low for the Aggie offense. Appalachian State forced and recovered two fumbles in this game. Texas A&M never entered the red zone.

The Mountaineers’ had six tackles for loss in this game, including two sacks by linebacker Jalen McLeod. Defensive back Nick ross led the team with seven total tackles, including one for a loss.

Special teams was something of an issue for Appalachian State, but it was an even bigger issue for Texas A&M. The Mountaineers missed a 42-yard field goal attempt in the opening quarter, but took the lead with a 29-yarder with eight minutes remaining in the game.

After that make by Michael Hughes, A&M attempted to tie it up on the ensuing possession. Junior Caden Davis missed a 47-yarder. App State would run the clock out following that miss.

After the game, an emotional Shawn Clark called the win “unbelievable.” Despite a loss to North Carolina last week, the Mountaineers scored 40 points in the fourth quarter of that game. It was only a matter of time before Clark’s program played giant killer once again.

The Mountaineers continue their season at home against Troy on September 17.