BOONE — Appalachian State avoided an upset bid by Troy on Saturday afternoon, hanging on for a 44-41 win in triple overtime.
The Trojans faked a field goal attempt in the third overtime, but the Mountaineer defense was not fooled in the least and made the critical stop.
“I wanted to practice what I preach. I told the team that we were going to attack. We came out and attacked in the second half and it worked. We just didn’t execute the fake field goal very well,” said Troy head coach Neal Brown. “But if I had to do it over again, I’d do it the same way.”
ASU kicker Zach Matics followed that up with the 24-yard game-winner on the Mountaineers’ next possession, a clutch kick that continues and already-successful season for the kicker.
“He (Zach) has had a great year. I didn’t expect anything different out of him,” said Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield. “He worked his tail off in the off-season and all summer, he got his confidence back. We’ve played eight games and he’s been right in the middle of all of them.”
Junior running back Marcus Cox had another stellar performance for the black and gold with 140 yards on 30 carries, averaging almost five yards per attempt. Terrence Upshaw pitched in with 57 yards on 10 carries for one of his better games of the season.
Through the air, Taylor Lamb completed 16-of-26 passes for 184 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Troy scored a touchdown on its first drive of overtime, but the Mountaineers were able to answer back. After exchanging field goals in the second OT, it was App’s game for the taking in the third OT after the fake field goal failed.
“We told our guys, watch any kind of fake that they do. We prepped our guys for that,” said Coach Satterfield. “We haven’t been in a game where it has been tight. This game was good for our football team and we will certainly build off of it.”
The Mountaineers will have just five days in between games as they have a huge one coming up with Arkansas State, the only other unbeaten team in the Sun Belt.
“We needed this to recharge back up for a big Thursday night game against Arkansas State. A win is a win,” said Mountaineer quarterback Taylor Lamb.
The Mountaineers will host Arkansas State this Thursday at Kidd-Brewer Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN U.
Sun Belt Conference standings
1. Appalachian State: 7-1, 4-0 SBC
2. Arkansas State: 5-3, 4-0 SBC
3. Georgia Southern: 6-2, 4-1 SBC
4. Louisiana-Lafayette: 3-4, 2-1 SBC
5. Idaho: 3-5, 2-3 SBC
6. South Alabama: 3-4, 1-2 SBC
7. Texas State: 2-5, 1-2 SBC
8. Georgia State: 2-5, 1-2 SBC
9. Troy: 2-6, 1-3 SBC
10. New Mexico State: 1-7, 1-3 SBC
11. Louisiana-Monroe: 1-7, 0-4 SBC
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87