Nov. 18, 2013. Andrew Peacock became Appalachian State University’s all-time leader in receptions and Appalachian State put together a dominant second-half performance in a 33-21 win over No. 24 Wofford on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium.
With the victory, Appalachian State (3-8, 3-4 SoCon) snapped a two-game skid and picked up its second win over a nationally ranked opponent this season. The loss eliminated Wofford (5-5, 4-3 SoCon) from Southern Conference championship contention and consideration for a fourth-straight berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championship.
Appalachian trailed 14-10 at the half but outgained Wofford by a 258-117 margin in the second half to cruise to its first win over the Terriers in three years.
The second-half romp was sparked by Appalachian State’s defense. After getting gashed for 228 yards before halftime, the Mountaineers surrendered a total of just 14 yards on Wofford’s first four series of the second half. That allowed the offense to put points on the board on each of Appalachian’s first four possessions after the break (three touchdowns and a field goal) and take a commanding 33-14 lead.
Despite taking the lead during a 10-point third quarter, the turning point of the game for Appalachian came on the first play of the final period. With the Mountaineers holding a slim 20-14 advantage after they settled for a 30-yard field goal by Drew Stewart on their second possession of the second half, Kennan Gilchrist and Thomas Bronson converged on Wofford quarterback Michael Weimer, who was left with the ball on what appeared to be a broken play. Gilchrist jarred the ball free with a big hit and Adam Scott recovered the fumble at the Wofford 17-yard line.
Three plays and 1:01 after the only turnover of the day, Marcus Cox ran it in from three yards out to stretch the lead to 26-14.
Appalachian’s defense forced a three-and-out on Wofford’s ensuing possession and the offense marched 85 yards in 15 plays, converting a third down and two fourth downs along the way, and milked 6:57 off the clock before Cox scored his career-high-tying third touchdown of the afternoon from two yards out to make it 33-14 with 5:43 to go in the ballgame.
Aided by 49-yard pass on fourth down and 34 to go, Wofford scored on its last possession but it was too little, too late, as the Mountaineers ran out the final 2:55 of the game to seal the victory.
Peacock’s record-breaking 203rd reception of his career came on a seven-yard pass from Kameron Bryant on the first play of Appalachian’s second drive of the third quarter. He broke the previous record of 202 set by current St. Louis Ram Brian Quick from 2007-11. Peacock finished the day with seven catches for 54 yards, giving him 206 receptions for 2,053 yards in his career. His 12-yard catch on the first play of the game made him only the fifth 2,000-yard receiver in school history.
While Peacock had a record-breaking day, fellow senior wideout Tony Washington and freshman tight endBarrett Burns turned in career-best performances. Washington led all receivers with nine catches for a career-high 138 yards and a touchdown and Burns added eight receptions for 63 yards (both career bests).
Bryant finished 33-for-43 passes without an interception for 305 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 21 yards and was not sacked behind a makeshift offensive line that featured three new starters due to injuries.
Cox added a 119 yards on a career-high 35 carries to go along with his three scores. His fourth 100-yard effort in the last five games pushed him to 1,035 yards for the season, making him only the third freshman in school history to top the 1,000-yard rushing plateau (joining Armanti Edwards, who rushed for 1,153 yards in 2006, and Chip Hooks, who ran for 1,062 yards in 1991).
Appalachian State closes out its final Southern Conference and NCAA Division I FCS campaign next Saturday when it hosts longtime Western Carolina. The Battle for the Old Mountain Jug — the last one for the foreseeable future — is set for 3:30 p.m. at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
NOTES: Appalachian State snapped a two-game losing streak to Wofford, defeating the Terriers for the first time since 2010 and the first time in Spartanburg since 2009 … against a Wofford team that traditionally dominates in time of possession, Appalachian possessed the ball for a season-high 37 minutes … two of the Mountaineers’ three wins this season have come against nationally ranked teams (Appalachian also beat No. 24 Georgia Southern, 38-14, on Oct. 26) … the game was Appalachian State’s 148th and final SoCon road game … Appalachian finished with an 89-57-2 (.608) all-time record in SoCon road games … first-year defensive coordinator Nate Woody left his old stomping grounds with a win … Woody spent 26 seasons at Wofford (four as a player, 22 as a coach) before taking over Appalachian’s defense in the offseason.