Zac Thomas threw for three touchdowns and Malik Williams threw for two others as Appalachian State won its fourth straight bowl game Saturday night, routing Middle Tennessee 45-13 in the New Orleans Bowl at the Superdome.
Thomas completed 15 of 24 passes for 177 yards with two interceptions. He found Henry Pearson for a 1-yard scoring strike with 45 seconds left in the first half that gave the Mountaineers (11-2) a 24-3 lead, then hit Corey Sutton for touchdowns of 17 and 11 yards in the second half as Appalachian State made it a blowout.
Thomas also caught a pass for a score, hauling in an 8-yard toss from Williams during a 24-point second quarter. Williams’ other pass was a 30-yard touchdown to Thomas Hennigan that put the Mountaineers ahead for good.
Darrynton Evans ran for 108 yards on 14 carries for Appalachian State, while Camerun Peoples tacked on a 63-yard scoring jaunt in the third quarter. The Mountaineers displayed a balanced offense, running for 233 yards and throwing for 215.
Appalachian State, which in October became only the second Sun Belt Conference champion to earn a Top 25 ranking, gave interim coach Mark Ivey a ride off the field on the players’ shoulders. Ivey coached the game in place of Scott Satterfield, who took the vacant job at Louisville.
Blue Raiders quarterback Brent Stockstill completed 25 of 37 passes for 330 yards, with a 43-yard touchdown to Isiah Upton in the third quarter. But Stockstill also tossed two interceptions in his final college game and absorbed six sacks from the Mountaineers’ relentless rush.
Crews Holt gave Middle Tennessee (8-6) a 3-0 lead with a 24-yard field goal at the 5:15 mark of the first quarter. But the Blue Raiders didn’t score again until Holt hit from 33 yards to end the first half.
By that time, they trailed 24-6, and Appalachian State scored two touchdowns in the first seven minutes of the third quarter to end the game’s competitive phase.
—Field Level Media