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Appalachian State handled by Louisiana in Sun Belt showdown on Tuesday night
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Appalachian State handled by Louisiana in Sun Belt showdown on Tuesday night

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A midweek matchup between Appalachian State and Louisiana on Tuesday turned into 41-13 loss for the Mountaineers.

The hole became too deep for App State (4-2, 1-1 Sun Belt Conference) immediately. Louisiana scored on its first three possessions while Appalachian only converted a field goal. 

A Mountaineers' turnover contributed to that brush fire. The Ragin' Cajuns sacked App State quarterback Chase Brice, who attempted a pitch that turned into a fumble.

Four plays later, Louisiana scored its third touchdown of the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Chris Smith. 

App State got gashed by big plays. The first Louisiana drive featured a 55-yard pass on the Ragin' Cajun's second snap. Their second drive featured back-to-back 36-yard plays — the first a run and the second a pass — in route to another score.

Louisiana had a total of 13 explosive plays, which are passes of 15 yards or more and runs of 10 yards or more. Six of those plays went for 25-plus yards, and two were touchdowns. 

Appalachian, meanwhile, couldn't find their footing in the first half. The Mountaineers' only scores came from two Chandler Staton field goals.

Appalachian finished 0 for 11 on third downs. 

Turnovers shined as a key problem throughout. Brice threw two interceptions, one of which tipped off the hands of wide receiver Malik Williams into the chest of a Louisiana defender. The second, coming in the third quarter, set up Louisiana's fourth touchdown.

App State twice looked at a 14-point deficit, and twice the Mountaineers saw Louisiana pull away. The Ragin' Cajuns scored three second-half touchdowns to keep applying pressure in a game out of reach. 

The Mountaineers registered their lowest offensive yardage output of the season with 216 total yards. It's the lowest since the 20-15 victory against South Carolina in 2019 (202 yards).

Louisiana also held App State to its lowest yardage during the 2020 season: the Mountaineers mustered 290 yards in the Ragin' Cajuns 24-21 victory. 

App State turns from this game to a showdown with No. 15 Coastal Carolina on Oct. 20 in Boone. CCU beat App State last season in another conference heartbreak, 34-23. 

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@ByEthanJoyce

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