Football: Cox, Mountaineers Grind Out 28-7 Win Over Ragin’ Cajuns
Cajuns to host Troy next Saturday (12/5) for Senior Day | Matt Sullivan, Sports Information Director
BOONE, N.C. – Marcus Cox rushed for 78 yards on 22 carries and scored on a pair of first-half touchdowns as Appalachian State used a strong defensive effort and defeated the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, 28-7, in a Sun Belt Conference game on Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Taylor Lamb completed 14-of-21 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown as Appalachian State gained 402 yards of total offense while holding Louisiana (4-7, 3-4 SBC) to a season-low 246, including a season-low 42 on the ground. Jalin Moore, who gained a game-high 104 yards on the ground, added a 54-yard touchdown run in the third quarter for the Mountaineers while Eric Boggs registered three of the Mountaineers six sacks in the game.
"That’s one that you just don’t feel good about because you feel like your defense played well enough to win the game," head coach Mark Hudspeth said. "You’re talking about a team (App State) that is almost averaging 40 points a game, and for the most part it was a 21-point game midway through the fourth quarter.
"We kept coming up and getting them off the field, then offensively we’re not able to respond at all. The times we did drive a little bit, we’d get down in the red zone and could not find any points."
After being forced to punt on eight of its first nine drives, Louisiana scored on its final drive as redshirt freshman Jordan Davis engineered a 12-play, 75-yard drive. Davis, who completed all seven of his passes for 60 yards, capped the scoring drive when he took a quarterback draw and raced 20 yards for his first career touchdown.
Cox capped a six-play, 55-yard drive for the Mountaineers when he scored on a 9-yard run with 9:34 remaining in the first quarter. Cox added his second TD of the game when he scored on a 1-yard run off left tackle with 14:03 remaining in the second quarter and capping a 15-play, 80-yard drive.
The Ragin’ Cajuns defense recorded a pair of takeaways in the second quarter as Travis Crawford scooped up a pitch from Lamb in the second quarter for the Ragin’ Cajuns before Chris Prater knocked the ball loose from receiver Malachi Jones with Taboris Lee recovering at the UL 34.
Louisiana threatened to cut into the App State lead in the second quarter after driving to the Mountaineer 11, but Stevie Artigue‘s 36-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds of the half was blocked by Latrell Gibbs.
Moore gave the Mountaineers a 21-0 lead in the third quarter when his touchdown run capped a four-play, 68-yard drive and Lamb connected with Michael Moll on a 2-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter that capped a 12-play, 86-yard drive.
"I felt like special teams-wise and defensively, we played really well against an outstanding offense," Hudspeth said. "They’re (App State) No. 1 in the (Sun Belt) conference in just about every category and you hold them the way we held them … that’s pretty good."
Ronald Blair led App State with eight tackles and a sack with Boggs and John Law each recording six stops.
Brooks Haack finished 13-for-22 for 128 yards for the Ragin’ Cajuns with Jamal Robinson catching a game-high seven passes for 66 yards. Elijah McGuire led Louisiana with 43 yards rushing on 16 carries with Lee (9 tackles) and Dominique Tovell (8 tackles, 1 TFL) leading the Ragin’ Cajuns defensive effort.
Louisiana will wrap up the regular-season on Saturday, Dec. 5, when it plays host to Troy in a 4 p.m. contest at Cajun Field.