TROY, Alabama – At the risk of facing a halftime deficit, App State used a driving bag of TD Roof batteries to trigger a blitz to win the title.
The Mountaineers won the Sun Belt East Division title and a berth in the Dec. 4 championship game against West Division champion Louisiana with a 45-7 victory in Troy on Saturday, November 20. .
App State fans can purchase Sun Belt Championship tickets by clicking appstatesports.com/SBC21. They will need to create an account and purchase tickets in Section O of Cajun Field.
App State (9-2, 6-1) was down 7-3 late in the first half when Troy had possession in his own territory with a chance to miss the remainder of the period. Roof’s sack sparked a series of events that produced 21 points in 3 minutes and 21 seconds, allowing the Mountaineers to head into the fourth quarter with a comfortable lead.
After the Trojans (5-6, 3-4) took the lead on a 37-yard touchdown pass with 6:15 left in the first quarter, they had a first down and 19 total yards over the 51 final minutes as App State turned a small deficit into a 38-point lead. He scored 42 unanswered points in the 30:21 final, finished with over 43 minutes of possession time and didn’t allow a sack against a defense that started the weekend with 36 in his First 10 games.
In addition to his sack, Roof had a key interception and two tackles for a loss as the Mountaineers limited Troy to 142 total yards. Chase Brice’s three touchdown passes came in that 21-point push, with his 21-yard connection to Corey Sutton giving App State the lead in earnest with 21 seconds remaining before halftime.
The touchdown passed to Thomas Hennigan and Eli Wilson just 14 seconds apart, sandwiched around Roof’s interception deep in Troy’s territory, pushed App State’s lead to 24-7 with 12 minutes to play in the third quarter.
Nate Noel, Daetrich Harrington and Jahmir Smith added touchdown points in the final 21 minutes.
Noel’s 102 yards pushed him over 1,000 yards for the season, giving App State a 1,000 yard loss for the 10th consecutive year. At the start of this season, the second longest streak among current FBS schedules was three each from Buffalo and Minnesota.
After missing the second half of last season with a knee injury, Harrington scored his first App State touchdown in 13 months, and Smith reached the end zone for the first time as a mountaineer.
App State’s only points in the first quarter came on a field goal from Chandler Staton, who improved to 16 for 16 this season and took his back-to-back scoring streak to a school record of 18 with that kick. The streak ended later, but the Mountaineers turned the red zone chances and fourth down calls into six touchdowns.