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Takeaways – Another loss at home

Yes, we're being pretty harsh but come on .....

For the third straight game – and 5th in its last 8 – App State lost at home.

/pauses for emphasis

Whoever came up with the “New Era” motto was a clairvoyant.

sighThis time an undefeated Charleston Southern team left The Rock victorious, 27-24. The winning score came with 5:27 left. App had one last drive die on a failed 4th and 1 from the CSU 35. There was still 2:28 left, but the crowd began hitting the exits confident in the outcome.

The game was a contrast in offensive styles. App State’s was a quick strike, big play O. It held the ball for just 17:56, but covered 424 yards in 51 snaps. That’s 8.3 yards a play.

Charleston Southern was much more methodical. It ran 30 more plays and gained only four more yards, but was rarely stymied. It cranked out gain after gain during its 42:04 of possession time.

Aesop would be proud. Slow and steady won the race.

App State is now 1-3 for the first time in 10 seasons. It’s lost back-to-back homes games in the same season for the first time since 1996. And, with Georgia looming, is almost assured of going winless in non-SoCon games for the first time since 1993.

Anybody wanna take a guess at the immediate future? /deep sigh

Next up is a trip to The Citadel, a another triple-option offense which whooped the Mountaineers last year 52-28 in … /deeper sigh … Boone. And the SoCon schedule doesn’t get any easier afterwards.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

CSU could not be denied
Stat of the game – 10 of 18.

That’s Charleston Southern’s third-down conversion rate. Of the five times they failed, three times they went for it again on fourth. And converted every one.

The salt in the wound? App State penalties helped (7 for 68 yards in the game).

Here’s a breakdown of the conversions.

3-6 at Csu21 – Pass incomplete. Penalty App face mask, 15 yards
3-2 at Csu44 – Rush for 3 yards
3-7 at Csu50 – Pass complete for 9 yards
3-12 at App43 – Pass complete for 14 yards
3-G at App16 – Pass complete for 16 yards. Touchdown
3-7 at Csu24 – Pass complete for 9 yards
3-3 at App39 – Pass complete for 10 yards. Penalty App face mask 15 yards
3-2 at Csu27 – Rush for 7 yards
4-11 t App15 – FG from 32 good
4-1 at App40 – Rush for 3 yards
4-G at App04 – FG from 21 good
4-2 at App40 – Rush for 6 yards
3-3 at App27 – Rush for 10 yards
4-2 at App09 – Rush for 3 yards
3-G at App15 – Pass complete for 15 yards, Touchdown
3-3 at Csu42 – Penalty App Encroachment 5 yards
3-8 at Csu49 – Rush for 17 yards

CSU ended up with 428 yards of offense; 298 rushing and 130 passing (13 of 19 with 1 INT, 2 TDs). It held the ball for more than 9:30 in each quarter, including almost the entire fourth (11:49).

Slow. Steady. And basically unstoppable. The game film will serve as porn for Wofford, Citadel and Georgia Southern.

Cox continues to coast
Last Saturday Marcus Cox became the first Mountaineer to break 100 yards in both rushing and receiving. He almost did it again.

The true freshman finished with 89 yards rushing on 17 attempts, and 91 yards receiving on 4 catches. He also scored 3 TDs – again. He had a 14-yard scoring run to put App up 7-0 early. He scored early in the second quarter on a 2-yard run, and again late in the third on a 65-yard reception.

That latter score looked to be just a short gain on a second and five, but Cox dodged a tackle and broke free for a sprint to endzone. He just made it in, diving the last couple of yards just over the pylon to escape potential tacklers.

App State only ran 51 offensive plays. Of those, almost half – 21 – ended in the hands of Cox. No other Mountaineer was as active on offense.

Quick strike
App State didn’t have the ball much, simply because it did what it needed to do quickly. Its three TD drives lasted just shy of four minutes.

The Mountaineers’ scored the first points of the game in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it 5-play, 58-yard drive which consumed 1:28. The second TD drive covered 76 yards in 7 plays in 1:50. It was highlighted by three big Jamal Londy-Jackson passes, to Sean Price (13 and 25 yards) and Tony Washington (37 yards).

The final TD was the quickest – 3 plays, 81 yards, 45 seconds. Kameron Bryant hit Cox for that small-gain-goes-endzone reception.

Six Mountaineers caught a pass; four caught at least three. Price led all receivers with a game-high 98 yards on 5 catches. Washington caught 4 for 86, Peacock 3 for 8.

JL-J ended with 122 yards on 8-of 11-passing. Bryant threw for 180 on 10-of-15 attempts, with a TD.

All great numbers. Yet the speed wasn’t matched with efficiency.

App State converted just 3 of 8 third downs. They failed on third and 8, 5, 9, 5 and 1. They were 0-2 on fourth down.

Of its nine drives, two ended with punts and two were turned over on downs. The longest lasted 4:07, the Mountaineers needing 11 plays to cover 54 yards. It ended with a 28-yard Drew Stewart FG to go up 17-14.

EXTRA POINTS
The announced crowd was 29,145, though the grass wasn’t as packed as the numbers suggest … In 1993 App State lost its three non-conference games to NC A&T, Liberty and Wake Forest … The three teams which have beaten App State this season – Montana, NC A&T and Charleston Southern – are a combined 11-1 … John Law finished with 9 tackles. Karl Anderson led the team with 16 … Two Buccaneers broke 100 yards rushing; Christian Reyes went for 168 on 34 attempts, Malcolm Dixon 101 yards on 12 attempts … Tony Washington finished with 138 all purpose yards, 86 receiving and 52 on 2 kickoff returns … After four games, Kameron Bryant has completed 68.6 percent of his passes (48 of 70). The school record for completion percentage in a season is 68 percent, held by Armanti Edwards (2009).

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