MOBILE, Ala. — Jalin Moore helped Appalachian State bury Toledo 34-0 in the Dollar General Bowl on a mild Saturday night at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
The junior running back and the leading rusher in the Sun Belt Conference churned out 125 yards and recorded his first career three-touchdown game. The Mountaineers became the first team to win three consecutive bowl games after completing its transition to FBS.
Moore was certainly impressive but so was the defense, which held the Rockets’ high-scoring offense in check. Appalachian State (9-4) finished with 458 yards.
Averaging more than 500 yards and ranked 11th nationally in scoring offense, Toledo (11-3) never got going against a swarming and relentless Mountaineers defense that allowed 146 yards and eight first downs.
Ahead 20-0 at halftime, Moore scored his third touchdown with 8:14 to play in the third on a 31-yard sprint to the end zone.
Toledo’s third turnover set up the drive. Logan Woodside threw his second interception into the hands of Desmond Franklin, who caught the ball near the edge of the sideline and returned it 35 yards.
The interception summed up the kind of night it was for one of the greatest quarterbacks in Mid-American Conference history. Woodside came in with more than 10,000 yards in his career but managed to throw for just 124.
The MAC Player of the Year had only been picked off five times this season. He threw his third interceptions with a little over five minutes to go when Clifton Duck dove near the 30 and came up with the ball. Woodside was sacked four times.
Malik Williams scored off a double-reverse six seconds into the fourth, running around right side on a 3-yard run. Appalachian State led 34-0 at that point and recorded the most lopsided bowl win in Mobile since Tulsa hammered Bowling Green 63-7 in 2008.
Moore made it look easy in the first half, scoring twice and propelling the Mountaineers to a 20-0 lead.
The Mountaineers never trailed Toledo in the 2016 Camellia Bowl — they won 31-28 — and appeared to be on track to doing the same this time as well.
Woodside made a fatal mistake early, his throw down the middle of the field picked off by Anthony Flory at the Appalachian State 45. The Mountaineers’ second-leading tackler returned the first interception of his career 19 yards.
Five plays later, Moore zig-zagged through the defense for a 7-yard touchdown run, his 10th, giving Appalachian State a 7-0 lead with 4:06 remaining in the opening quarter.
The score stood until Moore struck again with 13:51 to go in the half, cutting to the left side of the field and running 7 yards untouched for a 14-0 lead.
Chandler Staton’s field goals of 29 and 23 yards stretched the advantage to 20-0.
The Mountaineers had nearly 200 more first-half yards than Toledo, punching the Rockets in the mouth with a punishing run game while their defense forced two turnovers, including a fumble at the Toledo 14 with 8:05 left.
The Rockets’ final drive of the half was their best, getting inside the 40, but they were forced to punt with 1:38 left after Woodside slipped and fell while dropping back.
NOTES: Toledo lost for the first time in in three bowl game appearances in Mobile. … Five different players have led the Mountaineers in rushing this season, with Jalin Moore doing it for the fifth time Saturday and going over 1,000 yards for the season. He entered the game 88 yards away. … Toledo ranked 11th in the nation in scoring offense (39.2) but suffered its first shutout loss since falling 38-0 to Ohio State in 2009. … ASU has allowed only 30 points in its last three games.