Country-strong ESPN sideline reporter Marty Smith concluded his pregame report with “Expect a slobber-KNOCKER tonight!”
The second quarter was classic Red Wolves self-implosion, with a double pass trick play into triple coverage that resulted in a pick and touchback and followed soon thereafter by the worst fake punt attempt in the history of football.
Extending the chaos, the Red Wolves defense managed to force consecutive turnovers, and the Arkansas State offense rewarded the effort with a missed field goal and a three and out.
By the end of the second quarter, it appeared that the team had more or less given up. On an opportunity to pick up a first down on four, Hatcher slid three yards short. The next App possession, Zac Thomas dropped his shoulder on a defender to move the chains for the defender. The ESPN crew used the opportunity to elevate Thomas to Madden Deity Level 5.
Red Wolves rush game, first half: -4 yards.
Second half opened with the completely unexpected – capable defense from Arkansas State forced a tidy three-and-out. The offense responded with a drive and a field goal, and Blake Anderson followed THAT with an onside kick that actually worked.
Red Wolves rewarded the effort with a crisp, efficient three-and-out.
But that wasn’t the dumbest thing. Thee dumbest happened early in the fourth. With the Red Wolves thundering into the red zone, somebody on the Arkansas State sideline decided to call a goal line end-around. The result was an insurmountable loss that eventually resulted in an end zone pick. The play call wasn’t just befuddling or puzzling or confounding. It was criminal. There was absolutely to reason to call it – except to silence critics of the previous failed plays. Mission not accomplished.
Sure, the Red Wolves fans weren’t thrilled, but man the Appalachian State faithful appreciated it.
Anyway, Appalachian State won.