CLARK PRESS CONFERENCE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muWrEWW2qQw
ATLANTA, Ga. — Shaun Jolly coming up with a timely interception. Corey Sutton finding the end zone. App State going on a big run.
Just like in 2019, the Mountaineers put on quite a show in a road win at Georgia State.
Jolly’s tone-setting interception just two plays into the Sun Belt Conference opener was one of three picks for App State in a 45-16 victory, and Chase Brice threw three touchdown passes while completing 20 passes for a whopping 326 yards.
Sutton’s four catches for 106 yards included a 79-yard score for App State (4-1, 1-0) moments after the Panthers (1-4, 0-1) pulled within 14-9 midway through the third quarter, starting a run of 31 straight points in roughly 12 minutes to increase the margin to 45-9, with three field goals accounting for all of Georgia State’s scoring to that point.
“The first half we didn’t play really good, so we had to come out and regroup in the second half,” App State head coach Shawn Clark said. “A lot of credit goes to our kids. Our defense had ‘Havoc’ plays and got turnovers. Our offense capitalized on them.”
Two years ago, with App State going on a 49-0 run in a 56-27 win in Atlanta, Jolly scored a touchdown on one of his two interceptions and Sutton scored three times during an eight-catch, 173-yard performance.
Jacob Huesman’s 5-yard TD pass to Miller Gibbs, Christian Wells’ 80-yard touchdown following a short throw from Brice and Anderson Castle’s 22-yard touchdown run all came in an explosive four-minute stretch that broke Saturday’s game wide open.
Malik Williams also caught a touchdown pass from Brice, scoring from 33 yards out in the second quarter, and Nate Noel’s early 23-yard touchdown run capped the drive that followed Jolly’s interception.
Tim Frizzell added his first career interception with help from a Brendan Harrington pressure, and D’Marco Jackson intercepted a pass that was tipped by Steven Jones Jr. Demetrius Taylor accounted for two of App State’s four sacks, with Jackson and Nick Hampton recording one apiece, and Jackson led the Mountaineers with nine tackles.
App State’s defense also benefited from the return of safety Kaiden Smith, who started the Sun Belt opener in his home state despite suffering an Achilles tendon tear less than six months ago, and close friend Thomas Hennigan set a program record by making the 56th start of his career. The old record of 55 belonged to Jerome Touchstone, a title-winning cornerback from 2004-07, during App State’s FCS three-peat.
With Camerun Peoples sidelined, Noel led App State with 74 rushing yards on 12 carries, but the Mountaineers only used Castle, Jahmir Smith and Gabe Montgomery to carry the ball out of the backfield after halftime. Castle totaled 56 yards on 12 carries, and Smith had 30 yards on seven carries in his most action since arriving from Notre Dame.