BOONE — Samford, looking like the team to beat in the Southern Conference, took it to the former team to beat Saturday, rolling to a 34-10 victory against Appalachian State at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
The Mountaineers saw their misery index tick up a notch. They fell to 1-5, their worst record since going 1-7 in 1993 in the program’s only losing season over the last 29 years. It was also their fourth straight loss at home, the first time that has happened since the 1970 and ’71 seasons.
The victory snapped Samford’s string of five straight losses to an Appalachian program that has won or shared seven SoCon titles over the past eight years.
“Appalachian State was the only team in the conference that we had never beaten (since joining the league in 2008),” said Coach Pat Sullivan, whose Bulldogs, ranked No. 23 in the FCS media poll, improved to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in conference play.
“It was a huge win.”
Scott Satterfield, the Mountaineers’ coach, said he was impressed with Samford’s skills-position players, size and sixth-year senior quarterback Andy Summerlin.
“I tip my hat to Samford and that coaching staff, I think they’ve done an outstanding job over the course of the last three to four years and what that program has been able to do,” Satterfield said. “They’ve done a great job of building that program.”
The Mountaineers totaled just 223 yards, their lowest total since a 133-yard performance against N.C. State in 2006.
“Offensively, we never got in a rhythm at all,” Satterfield said. “It was a bad day offensively.”
The Bulldogs took the lead for good with an opening six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that took just two minutes. Three of the plays gained more than 19 yards, including a 33-yard run by Fabian Truss.
The Mountaineers’ defense settled after that, but the offense failed to complete drives. The Mountaineers got to the Bulldogs’ 21-, 31- and 41-yard lines on separate first-half drives but managed only a field goal.
“We missed chances to put points on the board,” said quarterback Kam Bryant, who passed for just 156 yards. “I place that on my shoulders.”
“Early in the game, we had some big-play potential. We had (potential catches) in our hands, but for whatever reason didn’t come down with them, and a couple of those were in the end zone,” Satterfield said.
“We make a couple of those plays, and you get some rhythm going…. We didn’t have any big plays to speak of to get the offense going.”
Appalachian’s defense stopped Samford on four straight possessions, but the Bulldogs rolled in the final 10 minutes of the first half — marching 71 and 80 yards for touchdowns to take a 21-3 lead before halftime.
“Our defense played great,” Sullivan said. “The sacks were huge.”
Satterfield said: “I thought they did a good job scheme-wise blitzing us in the second half and getting (Shade) free.”
Bryant’s 15-yard pass to Andrew Peacock with 4:11 remaining gave the Mountaineers their only touchdown. Otherwise, the point total would have been ASU’s lowest since being shut out by LSU in 2005 and lowest against a SoCon opponent since managing just a field goal against Marshall in 1993.
The Winston-Salem Journal is a news partner of The News & Observer. For more Appalachian State coverage go to http://www.journalnow.com/sports/wfu/