BOONE, N.C. – Senior quarterback Taylor Lamb tied Appalachian State’s single-game record by throwing five touchdown passes in a 54-7 victory against Savannah State on Saturday.
Lamb played only two quarters of the 2017 home opener, completing 12 of his 15 passes for 327 yards as the Mountaineers (1-1) took a 45-0 lead into halftime of the “Gold Out” at Kidd Brewer Stadium. He matched the five-TD total accomplished previously by four App State quarterbacks: DeAndre Presley in 2010, Armanti Edwards in 2008, Richie Williams in 2004 and Pat Murphy in 1967 and 1968.
In surpassing his previous single-game high of four touchdown passes, Lamb connected twice with tight end Collin Reed and once apiece with tight end Levi Duffield, receiver Zy Letman and receiver Jalen Virgil. Scoring receptions by Duffield (57 yards), Reed (68 yards) and Virgil (56 yards) eclipsed 50 yards.
Junior running back Jalin Moore opened the scoring with a 2-yard touchdown run, part of a nine-carry appearance that ended with 57 rushing yards, and Michael Rubino’s 38-yard field goal came before App State’s sixth touchdown of the half against the FCS-level Tigers (0-1). Thanks to a 50-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, senior Terrence Upshaw led the Mountaineers with 86 yards on 10 carries.
Lamb, who had his biggest passing yardage game since he threw for a career-high 397 yards against Liberty as a freshman, increased his career total to 67 touchdown passes. Heading into next weekend’s Sun Belt Conference opener at Texas State, he’s only seven behind Edwards, the school record-holder with 74 touchdown throws from 2006-09.
Duffield’s 57-yard touchdown seven minutes into Saturday’s game was the longest catch by an App State tight end since Ben Jorden had a 58-yard reception against Presbyterian in 2008, but Reed topped both of those gains on his 68-yard touchdown with 12:30 left in the second quarter.
About nine minutes after Virgil caught a short pass, cut across the field and outran Savannah State’s defense to score his first career touchdown for the Mountaineers, Reed reached the end zone on a 16-yard reception that allowed him to finish with three catches for 106 yards.
App State’s 45-0 halftime lead matched the halftime score from a 66-0 victory against Campbell in the 2014 home opener. A safety enabled the Mountaineers to take a 47-0 advantage into the fourth quarter, and Savannah State ended the shutout bid when Stephen Dorsey scored on a 45-yard fumble return with 11:55 left.