By Paul T. Choate
Sept. 29, 2012. History repeated itself on Saturday when the No. 17 Appalachian State Mountaineers defeated Coastal Carolina 55-14 to go 3-0 all-time against the Chanticleers and get above .500 for the first time this season.
“We had huge respect for Coastal. I can’t convince you how [much] we practiced this week preparing for those guys,” said Head Coach Jerry Moore. He added that the team had watched extensive film from CCU’s losses against Eastern Kentucky and Toledo earlier this season in order to prepare.
Of moving above .500 for the first time this season, Moore called it “huge,” but said what was more important than that was how well the Mountaineers played against an opponent he considered “a really good team.”
“We just had a hot head today,” said Moore.
ASU rushed for a whopping 399 yards against CCU, led by running back Steven Miller’s 202 yards.
“We knew we had to come out and run the ball. Our offensive line has been so successful these past few weeks that the holes were just wide open,” said Miller.
There must have been some magic in those retro jerseys ASU sported against CCU. The Mountaineers lit it up in the first quarter, scoring 21 points in 15 minutes.
The first score came at the 11:23 mark with a five-yard run from quarterback Jamal Jackson for a touchdown and kicker Drew Stewart drilling the point after touchdown kick (PAT) to give the Mountaineers a 7-0 lead. They struck again at the 4:50 mark on a huge 69-yard pass from Jackson to wide receiver Sean Price go up 14-0 after a Stewart PAT.
Asked after the game if it was the longest catch of his career, Price replied, “No, I had a 72-yard catch in high school but… that was high school,” to chuckles from his teammates.
With only 14 seconds remaining in the first quarter, ASU opened up a 21-0 lead on a 23-yard pass from Jackson to tight end Drew Bailey and a Stewart PAT. At that point, the rout was on.
ASU didn’t let up in the second quarter, making it 28-0 at the 12:32 mark with a three-yard touchdown run by Miller and a Stewart PAT. The score also put Miller over 100 yards rushing with over half the game still to be played.
CCU finally found the end zone at the 9:18 mark in the second quarter with a 20-yard pass from quarterback Aramis Hillary to wide receiver Tyrell Blanks to make the score 28-7 after the PAT by kicker Alex Catron.
The Mountaineers continued to build on their lead at the 3:39 mark with a 25-yard field goal from Stewart after failing to reach the end zone.
The Chanticleers struck again just before halftime at the 1:14 mark on a two-yard pass from Hillary to tight end David Durran to make the score 31-14 after a Catron PAT, but ASU responded with a 30-yard field goal by Stewart as time expired in the half to make it 34-14.
ASU started the second half with a bang on a 75-yard touchdown run by Miller at the 13:56 mark to make the score 41-14 after the Stewart PAT. It was Miller’s second score of the game and the longest rushing touchdown by a Mountaineer since an 89-yard run by DeAndre Presley on Dec. 4, 2010 against Western Illinois.
Also noteworthy, in the third quarter Price became the only freshman in ASU history with more than 100 receiving yards in three straight games.
At the 13:36 mark in the fourth quarter ASU made the game 48-14 on a nine-yard pass from Jackson to Price and a Stewart PAT. However, only a portion of the 27,619 that attended were around to see the touchdown, as many fans vacated Kidd Brewer early in the second half due to the lopsided score.
Miller’s 202 rushing yards were good for the most by a Mountaineer since DeAndre Presley’s 264 against Western Illinois on Dec. 4, 2010.
The Mountaineers put the finishing touches on the blowout with 2:28 left in the game on a 14-yard run by running back Michael Frazier to make the score 55-14 after the Stewart PAT.
This was the third matchup between ASU and CCU, with both of the previous two taking place at Kidd Brewer Stadium and resulting in ASU wins by large margins. ASU first played CCU on Sept. 17, 2005, and routed them 30-3. The second and most recent prior matchup between the two programs came in the first round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship playoffs on Nov. 25, 2006, where the Mountaineers again blew out the Chanticleers 45-28.
For the full box score of ASU’s big win in their last non-conference game of the regular season, visit goasu.com.
The Mountaineers will be back on the gridiron next Saturday, Oct. 6, to face Elon in the Homecoming Game.