The inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl was a one-sided affair, with Appalachian State cruising past North Texas for the 56-28 victory.
ASU scored first off of a trick play with 10:54 remaining in the first quarter, and led for the rest of the game. The Mean Green started a comeback in the second quarter, but the Mountaineers scored with 22 seconds left in the half to swing the momentum.
Camerun Peoples shut the door on North Texas with three runs of 60 yards or more. He had five rushing touchdowns to put the game out of reach for the Mean Green.
ASU extended their bowl game winning streak to six after the win in Conway, South Carolina. North Texas extended their bowl skid to four straight losses.
Myrtle Beach Bowl: Appalachian State Cruises Past North Texas
Turning Point in the Myrtle Beach Bowl
While ASU was in control the entire game, North Texas had an opportunity to get back in.
The Mean Green opened the scoring in the third quarter with a 34-yard pass from Jason Bean. They forced ASU into their second three-and-out in the quarter, but had to punt themselves. The punt hit a gunner and North Texas recovered the ball in the red zone.
The play was called back because of an illegal formation on North Texas, so they had to punt the ball a second time.
ASU handled the second punt cleanly, and Peoples broke off a 62-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage.
North Texas missed a chance to score a quick touchdown and trail only 35-28. Instead, ASU increased their lead to 42-21.
Appalachian State Rushing Dominance
The games’ Most Valuable Player award went to Peoples, who had 23 carries for 319 yards and five touchdowns. Peoples’ five rushing touchdowns tied the FBS record for most in a bowl game. He also broke his school record for rushing yards in a single game.
Marcus Williams spelled Peoples, carrying the ball six times for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Both were a significant part of their teams’ 500 yards on the ground with 12.8 yards per carry.
Even when the Mountaineers weren’t running the ball, they were still benefiting from the run off of play-action passes. Most of Zac Thomas‘ passes were in play-action plays.
But Thomas abandoned the run after it became clear they could dominate on the ground.
North Texas Absences
North Texas missed several players due to injury, opt outs, or COVID-19 protocol.
Their leading passer, Austin Aune was in COVID-19 protocol, so Bean started at quarterback. Bean played well (21 of 36, 251 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception), but he left at various points in the game for injury timeouts. This left the door open to Kason Martin, whose only passing attempt was a 16-yard touchdown.
Trey Siggers and Oscar Adaway combined for over 200 rushing yards in Torrey’s absence. The amazing story from this game was Loronzo Thompson, who was a converted defensive back enlisted to play wide receiver. In his first game on the offensive side of the ball, Thompson had five catches for 44 yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Main photo courtesy David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports