Troy downs App State in battle of Sun Belt unbeatens

Mountaineers lose first conference game of the season in Alabama

Randy Sartin—USA TODAY Sports
Coach Scott Satterfield and Appalachian State will win a share of the Sun Belt Conference title if they beat Louisiana-Lafayette this weekend. (Randy Sartin— / USA TODAY Sports)

On a day where upsets were plentiful, Appalachian State was hoping to provide yet another one in Troy, Ala. Instead, the Mountaineers’ hopes of a Sun Belt title were seemingly crushed by the Trojans in a 28-24 loss.App State was once again paced by its rushing attack, with Jalin Moore tallying 91 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. That includes a late touchdown run to give the Mountaineers their final lead before it was nullified by a rushing score from Troy’s Jordan Chunn.”We knew we were going to have a great college football game tonight,” App State coach Scott Satterfield said. “We didn’t disappoint. I think both teams played their hearts out and made great plays. It came down to guys making plays. … I felt like we just ran out of time there at the end.”Troy came in as the favorite in the matchup, and it was clear right away its offense was the reason why. The Trojans marched out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter behind a Chunn run and passing TD from quarterback Brandon Silvers.That same offense made a huge mistake to start the scoring in the second quarter as App State safety A.J. Howard recovered a fumble for a 71-yard touchdown. Moore followed that up on the next offensive drive with a 32-yard rushing score to tie the score up at 14 heading into the half.”When A.J. made that play, it kinda gave us life,” Satterfield said. “It really gave us life the remainder of the game, honestly.”A 57-yard rushing touchdown from Silvers gave Troy the lead back after an App State field goal, but the trading off of scores didn’t end there. Moore’s second TD came on a five-yard scamper before Chunn put the nail in the coffin.After his defense did everything possible to stop Troy all game long after the rough first quarter, Satterfield didn’t make excuses for the final touchdown allowed.”All the credit to them,” Satterfield said. “They made the plays. They drove all the way down the field when they needed to and scored a touchdown to win the game. That’s what championship teams do and we weren’t able to do it.”The loss at Troy means App State now needs help from other Sun Belt teams to claim the conference title. Troy has three games remaining in Fun Belt play while the Mountaineers have just two. If App can win out and Troy drops two of the final three games, there’s still a chance.Then again, Arkansas State (5-4), Texas State (2-7) and Georgia Southern (4-6) don’t exactly strike fear in Troy the rest of the way. The Mountaineers may have lost their chance at a Sun Belt title, but nine wins and a respectable bowl game are still possible for the boys in Boone.