Moore, Appalachian State run over Toledo
MOBILE, Ala. — Jalin Moore has been making statements since his freshman season when he was named one of the top rookies in the Sun Belt Conference.
He embraced the opportunity to make another one Saturday night, dazzling the crowd of 28,706 in Appalachian State’s 34-0 win over Mid-American Conference champion Toledo on a mild December evening at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
The offensive player of the year in the conference as a sophomore and the Sun Belt rushing leader this year, Moore scored three touchdowns, the first such performance of his career, and rolled up more than 100 to push his season total past 1,000.
“I just tried to play a perfect game for myself and the (seniors),” said Moore, who rushed for 125 yards and was named the MVP. “These seniors were guys I looked up to. They showed me the ropes when I came in. It meant everything to send them out with a win.”
Moore has battled injuries all year and played hurt in this game, getting his shoulder slammed to the ground on the first play.
“It gets to the point where you just get used to it,” Moore said. “It’s a mental thing. You go out and take it play by play.”
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.
The interception summed up the kind of night it was for one of the greatest quarterbacks in MAC history. Woodside came in with more than 10,000 yards in his career but threw for just 124.
The MAC Player of the Year had only been picked off five times this season. He threw his third interception 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.
“It was just one of those nights,” Woodside said.
Indeed it was. The Rockets (11-3) were averaging 509 yards per game.
“I’m not going to allow myself, the coaching staff, these seniors, really anybody for that matter, define our season by what happened in the 60 minutes tonight,” Toledo head coach Jason Candle said. “That 60 minutes was a tough pill to swallow. But I’m proud of what we accomplished this season.”
The Mountaineers became the first team to win its first three bowl games after completing its transition to FBS, and defeated the Rockets in a bowl game for the second consecutive year. Appalachian State never trailed in a 31-28 Camellia Bowl win in 2016 and followed a similar script this year.
“You come into this program wanting to leave it better than you found it,” said Mountaineers senior quarterback Taylor Lamb. “We didn’t know what was ahead but we knew we could succeed. We came in and worked every day and completed it with three bowl wins and a couple of conference championships.”
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.
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.
ASU head coach Scott Satterfield spent one season as an offensive assistant at Toledo in 2009. So he respects the program. He’s proud of his team as well.
“I’m extremely proud of our players and our staff of what we were able to accomplish,” Satterfield said. “The guys have put in the work and they have reaped the benefits.”
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.