Week 2 wasn’t filled with many games that people had highlighted on their calendars, but before nightfall arrived on the East Coast a pair of top 10 teams that entered the day favored by three touchdowns found themselves handed a loss by Sun Belt opponents.
After No. 8 Notre Dame got stunned by Marshall at home, it was No. 6 Texas A&M’s turn as they learned the hard way why you don’t invite Appalachian State to your home stadium, as the Mountaineers took them down in a 17-14 win that featured a lot of defense, a lot of mediocre play from the Aggies offense, and impressive physicality from a Mountaineers team that came a two-point conversion shy of taking UNC to overtime (in a much different looking game) a week ago.
The Mountaineers defense was sensational a week after giving up over 60 to UNC, holding the Aggies to just 186 total yards and forcing two turnovers, including this strip sack that led to their first score of the game.
What an amazing play(s) by Jalen McLeod to set up App State’s first touchdown of the day.
— App State Football (@AppState_FB) September 10, 2022
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 10, 2022
Texas A&M would tie things up at 7-7 going into halftime and the two teams would trade third quarter touchdowns before the Mountaineers would take the lead on a field goal (after dropping a wide open touchdown) to go up 17-14. Texas A&M would be the beneficiary of a roughing the passer call on the ensuing drive, and marched into App State territory for only the third time all day, but once again stalled out. A 47-yard field goal attempt was what stood between the Aggies and a tie game, and the result was a non-competitive kick that left the Mountaineers just a couple minutes shy of another monstrous upset.
Down 3 with four minutes left, Texas A&M’s field goal attempt is….nope. pic.twitter.com/1QUXd4LmTR
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) September 10, 2022
App State would pick up a first down and then iced the game on a long run down to the Texas A&M 12, as the College Station crowd was left stunned and the folks from Boone were going crazy. It was a dominant performance from the Mountaineers statistically, even if it didn’t show up as much on the scoreboard, and was far from a fluky outcome. They outgained the Aggies 314-186, had 22 first downs to just 9 from Texas A&M, and had the ball for 41:30 of the game.
The Sun Belt is looking like the best G5 conference in the country after Week 2 and teams are going to be checking their future schedules to make sure they haven’t invited the ‘eers to their place in the near future.