The Citadel blasts Mountaineers 52-28
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Appalachian State's hangover from its win over Montana was worse than anybody at Kidd Brewer Stadium could have anticipated.
The Citadel, showing the swagger that a team picks up from beating the No. 3 team in the FCS a week ago, ran roughshod over No. 8 Appalachian State in a 52-28 victory in front of 24,137 stunned fans at The Rock. The game marked the 50th anniversary of Kidd Brewer Stadium, but the result was far from what's usually been seen at the place that opened as Conrad Stadium in 1962,
It was the first time since 1997 that Appalachian State gave up over 50 points at home in a single game when East Tennessee State beat the Mountaineers 52-28. ASU also lost 52-34 to Furman in 1978, 56-6 to Lenoir-Rhyne in 1967 and 50-6 to Rutherford in 1928.
The last time the Mountaineers gave up over 50 points was a 59-56 loss at Chattanooga in 2004. Earlier that season, the Mountaineers lost 54-7 to Georgia Southern.
“The first thing I’d say is that it was a long afternoon,” Mountaineers coach Jerry Moore said. “It got to the point that it didn’t seem like it would ever be over. We had a really good week practicing and it was a physical week for us. In my mind, I thought that was good and that it would help prepare us for playing a wishbone team.”
No. 21 Citadel, which upset then-No. 3 Georgia Southern 23-21 a week earlier, did not seem impressed with Appalachian State's tradition, history or the fact the Mountaineers beat Montana 35-27 a week earlier. The Bulldogs scored on their first four possessions in the first half, and then added another touchdown when Domonic Jones blocked a Sam Martin punt and Carson Smith returned it eight yards for a touchdown.
The Citadel built a 31-0 lead before Appalachian State's Steven Miller reached the end zone with 3:50 left in the second quarter on a 2-yard run. That didn't last long since Bulldogs quarterback Ben Dupree sliced through the Mountaineers' defense for a 46-yard touchdown run – on a third-and-eight, with 43 seconds left to send The Citadel into halftime with a 38-7 lead.
“They just made plays at the right time and we weren’t able to prevent it,” ASU linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough said. “We’re going to have to swallow the pill and get back to it next week and make sure we don’t give up big plays.”
Miller was the lone bright spot for the Mountaineers. He gained 168 yards and scored three touchdowns, including two in the second half.
That was little consolation to Miller.
“I’m really not too worried about the statistics right now,” he said. “We’ve got to come back and get back in sync with each other. The best feeling is a ‘W’ and I really don’t care about the stats right now.”
The Citadel devastated the Mountaineers on third down. The Bulldogs converted two third down by combining to gain 50 yards on their first dive, and on their second touchdown, a 57-yard run by Ben Dupree, was scored on a third-and-9.
On eight third-down plays in the first half, the Bulldogs gained 160 yards. They also converted 7-of-8 third downs in the first half, and did not punt until the 3:17 mark of the third quarter after stalling at the 50-yard line.
“They had a lot of third-and-twos and third-and-threes and with an option team, it’s easy for them to get two or three yards,” Kimbrough said. “We had to do a better job of forcing them into a longer third-down situations and when we do, we have to make sure we have to make plays to get them off the field.”
Dupree was one-man wrecking crew for The Citadel. The junior quarterback gained 88 yards by the end of the first quarter and 144 by halftime.
The Bulldogs had 400 yards in total offense — 291 on the ground — by halftime to just 153 for the Mountaineers. The Citadel added an exclamation point with a VanDyke Jones 5-yard touchdown run that capped a 77-yard, seven-play drive at the start of the second half. That score put the Bulldogs in front 45-7 and effectively eliminated any realistic chance or otherwise, from mounting a comeback.
“The defense played beautifully through the first three quarters and had an incredible first half,” Citadel coach Kevin Higgins said. “The blocked punt was a momentum changer.”
Appalachian State's offense was nearly as ineffective as its defense. The Mountaineers were outgained 248-16 in the first half, which ended when quarterback Jamal Jackson's arm was hit while throwing deep. The pass was intercepted and returned to the Mountaineers' 34-yard line, but the Bulldogs missed a 51-yard field goal as the half expired.
The Mountaineers got a 22-yard touchdown run from Tony Washington in the third quarter, but Dupree answered that with a 45-yard TD run that put the Bulldogs in front 52-14.
“We were ready. The offense couldn’t get into a rhythm,” Jackson said. “We didn’t convert our third downs in the first half. For the most part they did a good job of keeping away from us.”
The Citadel 52, Appalachian State 28
The Citadel 14 24 14 0 — 52
Appalachian State 0 7 7 14 — 28
Cit—Anderson 4 run (Warren kick)
Cit—Dupree 57 run (Warren kick)
Cit—Miller 1 run (Warren kick)
Cit—Warren FG 24
Cit—Smith 8 blocked punt return (Warren kick)
ASU—Miller 2 run (Stewart kick)
Cit—Dupree 46 run (Warren kick)
Cit—Jones 5 run (Warren kick)
ASU—Washington 22 run (Stewart kick)
Cit—Robinson 45 run (Warren kick)
ASU—Miller 2 run (Stewart kick)
ASU—Miller 4 run (Stewart kick)
The Citadel ASU
First down 24 21
By rushing 20 13
By passing 4 8
By penalty 0 0
Rushes-yards 63-463 32-253
Avg. rush 7.3 7.9
Yds gained 485 258
Yds lost 22 5
Passnig yards 155 164
Passes 4-6-0 23-32-1
Avg per att. 25.8 5.1
Avg. per comp. 38.8 7.1
Total plays-yards 69-618 64-417
Avg. per play 9.0 6.5
Punts-avg. 2-38.0 5-39.6
Net avg. 38.0 24.0
Inside 20 2 1
Touchbacks 0 2
Penalties-yards 2-10 3-24
Fumbles-lost 2-0 1-1
Third-down conv. 11-14 1-7
Fourth-down conv. 0-0 0-1
Time of poss. 38:11 21:49
The Citadel individuals:
Rushing: Dupree 20-180, Robinson 13-113, Anderson 9-102, A. Miller 9-24, Martin 3-14, T. Miller 1-12, Jones 3-10, Dallas 4-5, Adams 1-3.
Passing: Dupree 2-4 56, Miller 2-2 99.
Receiving: Thompson 3-123, Jones 1-32.
Appalachian State individuals:
Rushing: Miller 21-167, Jackson 8-53, Washington 1-22, Frazier 2-11.
Passing: Jackson 23-32-1 164.
Jones 6-41, Peacock 5-43, Miller 5-21, Sumler 3-31, Washington 2-12, McElfresh 1-10, Bailey 1-6.