An ugly win is still a win. And an ugly win with a dramatic score in the closing seconds is ….. something special.
App State had a second half 21-10 lead flipped to a 25-21 deficit when it got the ball on the 20 with 1:41 left to play and no timeouts. The offense went 58 yards on five plays before facing 1st and 10 from the 22 with 39 seconds remaining.
Then came the something special.
Jamal Jackson’s 39th pass of the game was caught by the Phenom Sean Price, who nabbed his 5th reception in the endzone just prior to going out of bounds.
Touchdown Black and Gold! 28-25. Ballgame.
It wasn’t pretty. Apps were 2 for 14 on third downs. Committed nine penalties for 79 yards. Gained just 4.0 yards a carry. And late just couldn’t seem to contain the dogs.
But a win’s a win. And a loss is a loss. Wofford fell to the Stink, 17-9, forcing one of two possible championship games in the next three weeks.
First, Wofford at App State next Saturday. A win could set up a mighty, mighty, m-i-g-h-t-y big game at the Stink Nov. 3.
Gonna be a fun three weeks.
WORRY STAT, OFFENSE – Jackson’s backpedaling
No. 12 put up some great stats – 22 of 39 passing, 288 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 7 yards rushing – but did so under a lot of pressure late. Uh-lot. Several times he was not just running backwards, but running backwards while throwing. Jackson showed sparks of agility, but he’s a pass first QB with a habitual stutter step to look for receivers. It scares us when he does that. He was sacked four times, one fewer than his sacked total going into the game.
BE HAPPY, OFFENSE – No huddle, no time
Eighty yards in 101 seconds with no timesouts? No problem. App State had gone more than a full quarter without a score when the game was on the line. To seal the deal it went Jackson to Price for 20, incompletion, Jackson run for 17, incompletion, Jackson to Peacock for 21 yards, Jackson to Price for TD. When the O clicks, it sticks.
DON’T WORRY, DEFENSE – Adam Scott
The 6-2, 240 junior made his first career start in the D-line. It ain’t gonna be his last. He finished with three sacks, erasing 24 yards(!) of Sammy gains (He had seven tackles total). Four other Apps worked together to put a beating on Sammy QB Andy Summerlin, who was dropped six times for total loss of 55 yards. That represented 15 percent of the yardage the dogs ended up with (352).
BE HAPPY, DEFENSE – Rushless
Sammy came into the game averaging 166 rushing yards. It got just 82 today. The dogs ran 38 times and – wow – 8 times they were dropped behind scrimmage, and 7(!) other times were dropped right at the line. No gain. That included the last two rushing attempts they tried. Those two decisive stops came on a 2nd and 1, then a 3rd and 1, and forced the punt which App eventually needed to win the game. As a team, Sammy got just 2.2 rushing yards a carry.
HERE’S A FEW MORE NOTES WE WROTE.
- App State ran for just 125 yards, its second lowest ground output of the season (119 at ECU). Steven Miller went for 88 yards on 17 carries (54 percent of the teams runs). Rod Chisholm had 26 yards on 4 carries.
- Third downs were awful in the second half. Among the situations the Apps found themselves was 3rd and 15, 3rd and 19, 3rd and 7, 3rd and 9, and 3rd and 3. They only converted one in the last two quarters, a 3rd and 1 midway through the fourth.
- Speaking of third downs, probably the oddest play of the game – for us – was App facing 4th and 9 on the Sammy 15 with under eight minutes to go and the score 25-21 bad guys. The offense went for it … and failed on an incompletion. This seemed out of character, but maybe it was the Mojo. A field goal would have made it a one-point game with – as later evidenced – plenty of time left to play.
- Goasu trivia – App State won a game on its final offensive play for the first time since Armanti Edwards found Matt Cline for a four-yard TD pass with 10 seconds left in the 35-31 win over Richmond in the NCAA Division I Football Championship quarterfinals in 2009.
- Sammy announced a homecoming crowd of 9,712. Back in 2008 the game drew 10,670.
* Photographic evidence of an inbounds touchdown by App State FB Video.