BOONE–College football season ended this past Monday night with Alabama’s overtime win against Georgia in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) national championship game.
Four months earlier, Georgia opened its season by facing Appalachian State, which went on to win a second straight Sun Belt Conference title, post a third straight bowl victory and record the only shutout of the 2017 bowl season.
With the 2017 season officially over, here’s a look at how the Mountaineers and some of their standout players fared statistically.
HOW APP STATE STACKED UP WITHIN THE FBS/SUN BELT
* Of the 40 games played during the bowl season, there were a combined 2,271 points scored, and App State’s 34-0 win against Toledo in the Dollar General Bowl doubled as the only shutout. Appalachian State, Alabama and Clemson are the only teams with bowl shutouts since 2010.
* With App State contributing a 2-0 record, the Sun Belt leads FBS conferences with a .727 winning percentage (8-3) in bowl games over the last two seasons. The Sun Belt was 4-1 in 2017.
* App State enters next season with a 36-9 record in its last 45 games. The only FBS programs with better records over the last 44 games are Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
* App State is one of five FBS programs with a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last six seasons, joining Auburn, Boise State, San Diego State and Ohio State.
* App State ranked second nationally in 2017 with only eight sacks allowed. Army, which attempted 65 passes in 13 games, allowed only one sack.
* For the fourth straight year, App State ranked in the top 25 nationally in both sacks allowed and rushing yards per game. The Mountaineers led the Sun Belt in both categories, as they averaged 223.6 rushing yards per game to rank 22nd nationally. With four games remaining, App State ranked third in the Sun Belt and 47th nationally at 182.7 rushing yards per game, but it averaged 315.8 rushing yards during the 4-0 finish, going over 300 yards in each of the last three games.
* App State ranked in the top 20 nationally in first downs allowed (No. 20, 222 total), passes picked off by opposing defenses (No. 8, six total), defensive interceptions (No. 12, 18 total), sacks allowed (No. 2, eight total), defensive sacks (No. 17, 38 total), turnover margin (No. 11, plus-12), turnovers forced (No. 16, 26 total) and turnovers lost (No. 19, 14 total). The Mountaineers were 21st in scoring defense (20.2 points per game).
* App State led the Sun Belt in rushing yards per game, first downs allowed, kick return defense (19.78 yards per return), passing yards allowed (205.1 per game), passes picked off by opposing defenses, defensive interceptions, sacks allowed, turnover margin, turnovers lost, passing efficiency (149.30) and passing efficiency defense (119.25).
* Taylor Lamb ranked 15th nationally in passing efficiency (152.2), 17th in passing touchdowns (27) and 20th in point responsibility (192).
* Clifton Duck ranked fourth nationally with six interceptions (two below national leader Josh Jackson of Iowa).
* Tee Sims ranked fifth nationally in sacks per game (9.5 sacks in 10 games) and 18th nationally in tackles for loss per game (13.5 in 10 games).
* Rashaad Townes ranked fifth nationally with four forced fumbles (four players had five).
* The only FBS quarterbacks in 2017 with career totals of at least 9,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards were App State’s Taylor Lamb, Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson. Among active players in 2017, Lamb led the country with 51 career games (one more than Barrett). Lamb went 36-13 as a starter.
* Lamb put himself in strong company as a quarterback who rushed for at least 2,000 career yards and passed for at least 9,000 career yards while throwing for at least 60 touchdowns and less than 35 interceptions. According to Sports Reference data, the only other FBS quarterbacks with those numbers since 2000 are Barrett, Jackson, Tim Tebow, Marcus Mariota, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick and Dak Prescott. That list includes four Heisman trophies, three national titles and five players who have started NFL playoff games.
* Since the start of the 2016 season, App State sophomore Clifton Duck is tied with Troy’s Blace Brown for first place nationally with 11 interceptions. According to Sports Reference data, Duck is one of only eight players since 2000 with at least five picks in both his freshman and sophomore seasons.
* Eric Boggs was the only FBS defender in 2017 with career totals of at least 325 tackles (he had 347), at least eight interceptions AND at least 10 sacks (he had 12.5). According to Sports Reference data, he’s one of five defenders since 2000 with at least 300 career tackles, eight interceptions and 10 sacks. Among active players in 2017, Boggs ranked 12th nationally with his 347 career tackles.
* After rushing for 1,402 yards in 2016 and 1,037 yards in 2017, App State junior Jalin Moore is set to be one of six FBS players, at most, entering next season with back-to-back seasons of 1,000 rushing yards. The list could continue to shrink if other non-seniors declare for the NFL draft. The list also includes Washington’s Myles Gaskin, Alabama’s Damien Harris, Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill, Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary and Kentucky’s Benny Snell.
IN THE RECORD BOOKS
* Taylor Lamb finished his career with 90 touchdown passes to set App State and Sun Belt career records.
* With 27 touchdown passes and six interceptions as a senior, Lamb had the second-best season for an App State quarterback in terms of touchdown-to-interception ratio. Richie Williams had 20 touchdown passes and four interceptions in 2005.
* App State’s Jalin Moore joined Marcus Cox, Armanti Edwards, Kevin Richardson, Damon Scott and John Settle as the only Mountaineers with back-to-back seasons of 1,000 rushing yards.
-Information courtesy of the Appalachian State Athletics Strategic Communications Department-