Reed throws four TD passes, Western Kentucky rolls in opener

Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Austin Reed threw four touchdown passes in his Western Kentucky debut and the Hilltoppers defeated Austin Peay 38-27 in a season-opener on Saturday.

Reed’s first three TD throws went to Malachi Corley, a sophomore who caught 73 passes last season. Western Kentucky recovered a fumble near midfield after Corley’s third touchdown catch and Reed quickly found All-American candidate Daewood Davis deep over the middle for a 48-yard score and a 35-20 lead early in the fourth quarter.

After forcing a punt on the Governors’ next possession, Western Kentucky was driving again before Reed threw his only interception of the game, a pickoff by Shamari Simmons. Austin Peay then closed the gap to 35-27 when Mike DiLiello hit Drae McCray for 24 yards and a touchdown.

The Hilltoppers regained a two-score advantage, driving 70 yards in 11 plays for a 23-yard field goal by Brayden Narveson. Austin Peay fumbled on the ensuing kickoff, the Hilltoppers recovered and ran the final three minutes off the clock.

Upton Stout‘s 34-yard pick-6 in the second quarter put Western Kentucky ahead 21-10 and the Hilltoppers went on to lead 21-17 at halftime.

Reed, who transferred from West Florida, the team he led to the 2019 Division II national championship, completed 19 of 33 passes for 276 yards. Davis caught six passes for 124 yards and Corley had five receptions for 61 yards.

Diliello finished 15 of 21 for 156 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Both touchdowns went to McCray, who had six catches for 90 yards.

Zappe gets records, WKU rolls past Appalachian State 59-38 in Boca Bowl

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Bailey Zappe capped his record-setting season by passing for 422 yards and six touchdowns, and Western Kentucky handed Appalachian State its first-ever bowl loss by beating the Mountaineers 59-38 in the Boca Raton Bowl on Saturday.

Zappe finished the season with 5,977 yards and 62 touchdowns for the Hilltoppers (9-5). He topped the previous marks of 5,833 yards set by Texas Tech’s B.J. Symons in 2003 and 60 touchdowns set by LSU’s Joe Burrow in the Tigers’ run to the national championship in the 2019 season.

Jerreth Sterns caught 13 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns for Western Kentucky, finishing his season with 150 catches for 1,902 yards. Mitchell Tinsley had two TD catches for the Hilltoppers and Noah Whittington needed only seven carries to rush for 150 yards – 86 of those on a third-quarter scoring run.

Chase Brice passed for 317 yards and four touchdowns for Appalachian State (10-4) before leaving in the fourth quarter with a right leg injury. It was the first loss in seven all-time bowl games for the Mountaineers.

It was 24-24 late in the opening half, when Zappe – who completed 33 of 47 passes – put his name in the record book and put the Hilltoppers ahead for good.

He broke the yardage mark on a 43-yard pass to Sterns – who finished the season with the fifth-most receiving yards in FBS history – late in the half, then tied the touchdown mark on the same drive when he connected with Sterns for a 10-yard score. That started what became a 35-7 run by the Hilltoppers.

Zappe threw his record-setting touchdown pass on a 5-yard slant to Tinsley on the Hilltoppers’ second drive of the third quarter, pushing WKU’s lead to three touchdowns.

THE TAKEAWAY

The 97 combined points were a record for the Boca Raton Bowl, topping the 82 that Western Kentucky and Memphis combined for in the Hilltoppers’ 51-31 win in 2016. The 59 points by Western Kentucky were also a record, surpassing the previous mark of 52 set by Marshall in 2014 and matched by Florida Atlantic – on its home field – in 2019.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Appalachian State was receiving votes in the most recent AP Top 25 poll, though whatever slim chance the Mountaineers had of making the season-ending poll next month is now nonexistent.

UP NEXT

Appalachian State: The Mountaineers are scheduled to open their 2022 schedule on Sept. 3 at North Carolina.

Western Kentucky: The 2022 season is set to begin on Aug. 27 at home against Austin Peay.

New South Carolina coach Shane Beamer hires coordinators

Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s new football coach Shane Beamer has hired NFL assistant Marcus Satterfield as offensive coordinator and Western Kentucky’s Clayton White as defensive coordinator.

Beamer also named Luke Day of Marshall as the Gamecocks strength and conditioning coach. South Carolina’s first-year coach announced the hirings.

Satterfield, who will also serve as quarterbacks coach, has spent the past three seasons working under Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule. Satterfield was director of recruiting under Rhule at Baylor in 2018 before becoming the Bears’ tight ends coach the next season.

Satterfield spent this past season as the Panthers’ assistant offensive line coach after Rhule jumped to the NFL.

Satterfield steps in for South Carolina interim coach Mike Bobo, who Beamer has retained on staff after his hiring last month. But Bobo accepted an offer to join Auburn and new coach Bryan Harsin as its offensive coordinator.

White has spent the past four seasons as defensive coordinator and cornerbacks coach for the Hilltoppers. He was nominated for the Frank Broyles Award, given to the top assistant coach in college football, in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

Day spent last season as head strength coach at Marshall.