By David Coulson
Sept. 7, 2014. Appalachian State concocted the the perfect home remedy for what was ailing its football team with a 66-0 victory over Campbell before 25,861 fans Saturday night at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Coming off a 52-14 loss last weekend at Michigan, the Mountaineers (1-1) got well in a hurry with a 45-point, first-half explosion on the way to the home-opening win.
It was the most first-half points for App State in a game since the Mountaineers scored 45 points on the way to a 79-35 victory over Western Carolina on Nov. 10, 2007, the largest margin of victory since a 67-0 win against Arkansas-Monticello in 1941 and the most points scored in a game since the 70-24 Halloween night win over Wofford in 2008.
“We have been working on getting our confidence back this week,” said second-year App State coach Scott Satterfield. “We knew our guys are in a fragile state right now, because you need success to feel good.”
Marcus Cox rushed 20 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns, while Kameron Bryant and Taylor Lamb combined for 243 yards through the air as the Mountaineers rolled for 538 yards of total offense and won their first game as a Football Bowl Subdivision team.
“We stuck to the game plan,” said Cox. “We wanted to run the ball, because it was a strong point for us last week versus Michigan, who has a very good defense. We felt against Campbell we could run the ball well.”
The App State defense was even more sharp, limiting the non-scholarship, Football Championship Subdivision Camels (0-2) to six first downs and 95 yards, while forcing three interceptions.
“It was a tough one and we knew that coming into the game,” said Campbell’s second-year coach Mike Minter. “When you can’t run the ball and you can’t throw, then you can’t play football.”
A 39-yard punt return by Bobo Beathard after the App State defense stopped the Camels on a three and out set up Zach Matics for a 31-yard field goal less than four minutes into the game.
The lead grew to 10-0 on a 10-play, 79-yard drive before the first quarter ended as Bryant connected with Simms McElfresh for 12 yards and the Mountaineers’ first touchdown.
But it was in the second quarter when ASU really turned on the jets.
On the first play of the second period, Bryant hit tight end Barrett Burns on a skinny post for 21 yards and another score and the rout was on.
Backup quarterback Lamb relieved Bryant and immediately led the Mountaineers on two consecutive scoring drives, with Terrence Upshaw skittering 13 yards for one touchdown and Lamb finding McElfresh on a 39-yard scoring strike.
In between, App State cornerback Doug Middleton intercepted a pass and turned it into a 52-yard, pick-six.
Those three touchdowns pushed the lead to 38-0, but the Mountaineers had one more scoring drive in them before the first half ended. Cox smashed into the end zone from two yards out to finish off the 30 minutes of carnage.
After a 62-minute delay for lightning and a thunderstorm, App State continued to dominate in the second half, adding three more touchdowns on another two-yard run by Cox and a pair of Ricky Ferguson scoring blasts to finish off the fourth biggest margin of victory in school history and the seventh highest-scoring game ever for the Mountaineers.
“This week, we had to focus on correcting last week,” Satterfield said. “All week, we knew today’s game was not about our opponent, it was about us and correcting last week’s performance. This past week, we put in a lot of effort and we’ve been pouring it on.”