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College football: A short stop in top 25 for Appalachian State

College football: A short stop in top 25 for Appalachian State
Appalachian State defensive lineman Josh Houser reacts after his team could not convert a first down during the fourth quarter of a game against Georgia Southern on Oct. 25. (John Amis / Associated Press)

Shai Werts rushed for 129 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown run, and Georgia Southern upset No. 25 Appalachian State 34-14 on Thursday night at Statesboro, Ga., to spoil the Mountaineers’ first week in the top 25.

Werts threw a 57-yard scoring pass to Darion Anderson early in the second quarter. It was Werts’ only completion in three attempts for Georgia Southern (7-1, 4-0 Sun Belt). Wesley Fields had scoring runs of 10 and 18 yards in the Eagles’ fifth straight win.

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Georgia Southern fans stormed the field following the school’s first home game against a top-25 team.

Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas was knocked out of the game on the opening series for the Mountaineers (5-2, 3-1). The back of Thomas’ helmet hit the ground as he was tackled following a five-yard run. He didn’t return to the game.

Backup quarterbacks Peyton Derrick and Jacob Huesman combined to throw four interceptions, and the Mountaineers also lost a fumble on a punt return.

Derrick completed only three of 12 passes for 73 yards with two interceptions. Huesman took over in the fourth quarter and was intercepted twice by Kindle Vindor before throwing a four-yard scoring pass to Malik Williams with only 10 seconds remaining.

Appalachian State linebacker Jordan Fehr was ejected late in the first quarter after he was called for targeting on a late hit on Werts.

at No. 13 West Virginia 58, Baylor 14: Will Grier threw three touchdown passes and the Mountaineers (6-1, 4-1 Big 12) bounced back from a blowout loss at Iowa State with arguably their best performances of the season on both sides of the ball.

During a 31-point second quarter, Grier had touchdown passes of 25 and 65 yards to David Sills, and Grier ran for a one-yard score for a 41-0 halftime lead. It marked the most points in a quarter for the Mountaineers since they scored 35 against Clemson in the Orange Bowl following the 2011 season.

Baylor (4-4, 2-3) was limited to 287 total yards.

Georgia Tech 49, at Virginia Tech 28: Backup quarterback Tobias Oliver ran for 215 yards and three touchdowns and the Yellow Jackets ran all over the Hokies.

The Yellow Jackets (4-4, 2-3 ACC), playing without starter TaQuon Marshall, finished with 465 yards — all on the ground. Jordan Mason also scored three times as Georgia Tech won its third straight against the Hokies (4-3, 3-1) and third straight in Lane Stadium — without completing a pass.

Maryland culture “not toxic”

An external investigation of the Maryland football program under coach DJ Durkin has determined that the team “did not have a toxic culture,” but was problematic enough to where players feared speaking out.

The 198-page report, which was obtained by the Associated Press, was compiled by an independent commission of eight people and said the culture of the program was not the reason behind the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair. The report did not in-clude any recommendations about Durkin’s status — he has been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 11.

In a statement, the school said: “The University is committed to a fair and accountable process. We will continue that commitment as we work to ensure the safety and well-being of our student-athletes. The University received the report and we are carefully reviewing it.”

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McNair died June 13, two weeks after collapsing on the field during a preseason workout. The cause of death was heatstroke, and an external review found that the athletic staff made several mistakes in his treatment at the scene.

Etc.

Tennessee offensive tackle Trey Smith is out indefinitely after doctors discovered blood clots in his lungs, a recurrence of an issue that also caused him to miss spring practice. Smith originally was diagnosed in February with blood clots in his lungs. He received a six-month course of anticoagulants, a form of blood thinners, and was cleared to play this season. Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt said that Smith is expected to make a full recovery. ... Navy and Notre Dame will play their annual rivalry game in Dublin, Ireland, to open the 2020 season.

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