What we saw in the third quarter really started late in the second. The third quarter was just a full eruption.
In a second half that looked familiar to this game last year, only the roles were reversed. The Red Wolves were delivering the beat-down this time. Arkansas State took the wheels off the Appalachian State wagon train then used them to roll over the Mountaineers repeatedly.
By the end it was 40-27 but App State added a fourth-quarter TD when the Red Wolves went prevent and were content to let the home team drive down the field and eat up the clock in their emptying stadium.
Starting with their next to last drive in the second quarter, the Red Wolves went FG, punt (limited by lack of time), TD, TD, FG, FG, and FG. The first field goal made it 21-17, which was the score at the half. App State had their shot and could not put the Red Wolves away.
In that quarter the Red Wolves ran 25 plays for 294 yards. Coming in, App State was allowing just 298 per game.
The Red Wolves finished with 32 minutes time of possession, not bad for a team that plays hurry up most of the time. But look at the numbers in the final 3 quarters: 7:15, 8:47 and 11:04. A-State had the ball more in the fourth quarter than App had in the second half.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Red Wolves are in great shape for winning their fourth Sun Belt title in five years. The remaining schedule has at Louisiana-Monroe, at New Mexico State and Texas State at home.
With the victory A-State is bowl eligible again, the fifth straight year.
Appalachian State saw its 10-game conference winning streak and now joins UL-Lafayette and Georgia Southern in hoping the Red Wolves stub their toes in their final three games.
SOME NUMBERS: The Red Wolves finished with 517 yards offense. Michael Gordon had 17 for 163, Johnston White 9 for 64, and Fredi Knighten 14 for 69. He was also 14 of 25 passing for 208 yards. Dijon Paschal caught 4 for 117, Tres Houston 4 for 33 and J.D. McKissic 3 for 29.
AND DON’T FORGET THESE: Red Wolves had Zero turnovers, 2 penalties for 5 yards and J.D. Houston hit 4 field goals in 4 attempts. App State was 5 of 10 on 3d down conversions in the first half. They finished with game 6 of 20.