47-21. That’s more like it. A thrashing of a SoCon opponent and Armanti racking up yardage. Don’t let the name of the opponent and its history against us fool you. The Citadel is an improved team (don’t forget that they were ranked No. 12 in the nation coming into Saturday’s game). With several new pieces to our offense and Armanti’s early-season struggles, the App offense has lacked the explosiveness and consistency we’ve seen in the last three years. The Mountaineer offense erased any doubts about their abilities on Saturday, jumping out to a 41-7 lead by halftime. The Apps racked up 363 yards of offense in just the first half and scored a touchdown on their last six possessions of the first half.
Armanti set another personal milestone on Saturday, becoming just the 12th Division I player (FCS or FBS) in history to have 3,000 rushing yards and 3,000 passing yards in his career. (A reminder to all: He’s only a junior.) The Citadel will certainly be one team that will be glad when Edwards finally finishes his career. A year after gashing the Bulldogs for 291 rushing, Armanti picked them apart with his arm, going 14-for-18 for 225 yards and four touchdowns. He added 80 yards on the ground on 15 carries. In his three career games against the Bulldogs, Armanti has accounted for 953 yards (547 passing, 406 rushing) and 12 touchdowns (seven passing and five rushing).
Devin Radford’s talents were also on display as he rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Radford also took a screen pass with 15 seconds left in the first half 68 yards for a back-breaking touchdown.
The defense was also solid, holding The Citadel to 170 yards below their season average. The Bulldogs entered the game ranked as the SoCon’s second-highest scoring offense, averaging 35.5 points per game.
However, despite all the positive performances, the team appeared to let up in the second half again. The Citadel cut the lead to 41-21 on a 50-yard punt return TD and a TD pass from Bulldog QB Bart Blanchard.
Coach Moore: “The intensity level was considerably higher than it’s been in a while. We really played solid football, especially in the first half. … We did a lot of things we wanted to do, on offense and defense. (But) we never really took control of the second half of the game. We lost a little bit of our edge, and that gave them a little momentum.”
The Mountaineers need to remember that no matter the score, the intensity level needs to remain high. Blowing a 21-0 lead at James Madison proves that no lead is safe. I hope the coaching staff is reminding the team of that second half and our players keep it in the back of their heads the rest of the season.
Up next for the Mountaineers – SoCon newcomer Samford. Preview coming up on Wednesday.
The Citadel can’t stop Appalachian State’s Edwards (Rocky Mount Telegram)
Mountaineers storm The Citadel (Watauga Democrat)
No. 2 Mountaineers roll over No. 12 The Citadel (GoASU.com)