Appalachian State shut out Toledo 34-0 in the 2017 Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Nearly everything went the Mountaineers' way. Turnovers, bad field position, and a struggling rushing defense prevented Toledo from keeping this one competitive. Here's how the game went down:
On the very first play of the final quarter, Appalachian State ran a reverse to wide receiver Malik Williams, and the freshman dove into the end zone for a score. Appalachian State built a 34-0 lead, and Toledo's struggles continued.
The Rockets let the kickoff bounce around, and they recovered on their own 9, starting another possession with horrific field position. But Toledo managed to drive in garbage time, and Woodside found his favorite wide receiver Diontae Johnson for the first time since the first quarter on a 17-yard pass. But on 3rd-and-6 several plays later, Woodside took a bad 11-yard sack, and Toledo was forced to punt.
Running back Marcus Williams earned a carry on Appalachian State's next drive, and the freshman back ran it for 24 yards to the 50-yard line on third down. The Mountaineers continued to feed him and he made plenty of progress against Toledo's porous run defense.
Toledo forced a three-and-out, but the success was short lived. Woodside threw an interception to Mountaineers' corner Clifton Duck several plays later, and the sophomore defender made a juggling catch on the sideline to haul in the pigskin. It would be the senior quarterback's first career game with three interceptions.
Appalachian State reached the red zone once again, but Toledo stopped the Mountaineers on 4th-and-6 with 4:04 left. At this point, Appalachian State only scored three touchdowns in seven red zone appearances. The team also made two red zone field goals.
Toledo's offense would never come. Woodside started the next drive by taking a 10-yard sack — his fourth of the game — and the Rockets couldn't get out of the rabbit hole. Woodside's final throw of his college career was a 9-yard dump pass to running back Shakif Seymour on 3rd-and-20.
Appalachian State benched senior quarterback Taylor Lamb for the final possession, and the Mountaineers ran out the clock while Toledo left all three of its timeouts on the table. The Mountaineers ran away with a 34-0 victory, the first bowl shutout since the 2016 Fiesta Bowl.
Toledo received the ball at halftime. Terry Swanson had his best carry of the night with a 24-yard plunge up the middle. The Rockets moved the sticks a few plays later, but Logan Woodside threw a deep ball down the left sideline and threw another interception. Appalachian State free safety Desmond Franklin stood in deep zone coverage and caught the easy lob, returned it for 35 yards, and set up his team with great field position.
Appalachian State's offense went straight to work. The passing game opened up and the Mountaineers were able to collect several first downs before Jalin Moore finished with a 31-yard touchdown run. It was an up-the-middle run and Moore slightly veered off to the right, finishing Toledo off with a nasty stiff arm. The Mountaineers would lead 27-0 after their running back eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season on the touchdown run.
The middle of the quarter was characterized by a series of punts, and Toledo still couldn't get an offense going. Following the interception, the Rockets never crossed their own 30 in the third quarter.
Appalachian State's offense resumed its dominance once again after another Bailey Flint punt. On the series, the Mountaineers hurdled a minor roadblock of a 4th-and-4 around midfield because Toledo had an excess of players on the field. Then, Lamb hit Ike Lewis for a 26-yard bomb down the right sideline to get to the Toledo 4-yard line and the quarter ended.
Appalachian State shut out Toledo by a score of 27-0 three quarters in.
Taylor Lamb opened the second quarter with his first completion of the evening after an 0-3 start. Lamb's pass ended in the hands of a diving Ike Lewis for 23 yards. Two plays later, Jalin Moore took it in for his second 7-yard touchdown of the day to put Appalachian State up 14-0.
Toledo's offense couldn't get anything going early. Four possessions in, Toledo had 35 passing yards on 5-9 passing and nine rushing yards on six attempts. The Rockets punted in their own territory on three of their first four possessions, with the other one ending in the interception.
Appalachian State's offense wouldn't slow down. Scott Satterfield called run after run (24 runs on first 28 plays), and running back Daetrich Harrington pierced through the Toledo defense with a 35-yard run down the right sideline to put the Mountaineers back in the red zone. Freshman kicker Chandler Staton finished the drive with a 29-yard field goal. Toledo trailed its Sun Belt foe 17-0 with 8:09 left in the second quarter.
Somehow, disaster would strike again for Toledo. Diontae Johnson fumbled a kickoff return (which only would have been about a 15-yard return) and Appalachian State recovered on the Rockets' 14. The Mountaineers would be stopped by Toledo's defense. On 4th-and-2, Scott Satterfield decided to take the points instead of going for it, and Staton kicked a 23-yard field goal to make it 20-0 with 5:52 remaining.
Toledo's next possession would be its greatest of the half. The Rockets converted on third-and-long thanks to Logan Woodside finding a wide open Jordan Fisher for 20 yards. Later, the team faced a 4th-and-2 from its own 47, but Woodside threw an out route to running back Terry Swanson for a gain of 18. However, the Rockets' drive halted quickly, after Woodside threw two-straight incompletions and took a sack on third down. Bailey Flint booted a 21-yard punt from the Appalachian State 39 to hand the ball back to the Mountaineers.
Appalachian State looked like it was going to run out the clock, but a 19-yard run by Harrington boosted the Mountaineers' offense into attack mode. Several plays later, Lamb found his receiver Taylor Hennigan for a 29-yard pass. But the Mountaineers would not cash in the drive for points, as Staton's 25-yard field goal attempt would sail to the left of the uprights as time expired in the half.
Still, Appalachian State (touchdown underdogs) would enter the locker rooms ahead 20-0.
Appalachian State received the opening kickoff. The Mountaineers started the game with conservative play-calling, electing to run on each of their first eight plays. Although the up-the-middle runs didn't work on the team's opening drive, Taylor Lamb ran effective speed options to the edges of the field.
Toledo's offense started out strong, at least in the passing game. Logan Woodside completed each of his first three passes, but penalties stalled what started out as a promising possession. On Toledo's second drive, Woodside threw an interception in double coverage to the center of the field and Appalachian State's inside linebacker Anthony Flory returned it for 19 yards, breaking several tackles along the way.
Mountaineers' running back Jalin Moore did the rest of the work, and he earned 36 yards on four carries on a five-play drive, finishing in the end zone for a 7-yard score. Toledo could not respond with a quick three-and-out.
On the ensuing possession, Taylor Lamb looked stellar in option packages, throwing pitches at the perfect time. He destroyed Toledo's defense with his rushing ability in the 2016 Camellia Bowl, and Lamb rushed for 20 yards on three carries in the first quarter alone.
At the end of the first quarter, Appalachian State led Toledo 7-0.