After missing two field goals earlier in the game, Appalachian State's Zach Matics drilled a 23-yard kick as time expired to give the Mountaineers a 31-29 win over Ohio in Saturday’s Raycom Media Camellia Bowl.
That kick capped a wild, 29-point fourth quarter that featured multiple lead changes. Here's how things went down in Montgomery, Alabama:
What the win means for Appalachian State: After its turnovers helped Ohio claim a 24-7 lead in the third quarter, Appalachian State used takeaways of its own to mount a furious late rally. Interceptions on two consecutive Ohio possessions following a 97-yard touchdown drive by the Mountaineers helped Appalachian State turn that 24-7 deficit into a 28-24 lead in a matter of minutes. However, it still took a game-ending, 73-yard scoring drive for the Mountaineers to claim a thrilling win. By winning the first FBS bowl appearance in school history, the Mountaineers (11-2) became the first Sun Belt team to win 11 games in a season.
What the loss means for Ohio: The Bobcats (8-5) seemed to have a win all but locked away after scoring 21 points off turnovers -- including a 20-yard pick-six by Quentin Poling and a 45-yard fumble return for a score by Jovon Johnson. But Ohio quarterback JD Sprague opened the door for a Mountaineers comeback by tossing a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, first to Latrell Gibbs, which he returned to the Ohio 26, and then to a diving Mondo Williams at the Ohio 47. The late implosion caused the Bobcats to fall to 2-5 in bowl games under Frank Solich.
Player of the game: His team trailed 29-28 with 1:47 to play when Appalachian State’s Taylor Lamb started the final drive at his own 21. However, the dual-threat quarterback quickly marched his team down the field, completing a 14-yard pass to Simms McElfresh and pushing the Mountaineers into field-goal range by scrambling 32 yards to the Ohio 27. Appalachian State eventually scored the winning points on Matics' kick, but only after its quarterback tossed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes and ran for another score in the first period.
Stat of the game: The defenses either directly scored or generated turnovers that produced 37 of the game’s 60 total points. Ohio scored 21 points off turnovers and recorded a safety when Johnson tackled Mountaineers running back Marcus Cox in the end zone for a fourth-quarter safety. Appalachian State scored 14 points off turnovers.