Kaaya leads No. 25 Miami over Appalachian State 45-10
Brad Kaaya threw for 368 yards and three scores, Mark Walton ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns and No. 25 Miami rolled to a 45-10 win Saturday over Appalachian State in front of a record crowd of 34,658 at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Miami (3-0) came in having scored a school-record 108 points in its first two games in wins over Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic. The Hurricanes picked up where they left off, scoring on their first four possessions to build a 24-0 lead.
Walton set the tone, busting through the middle of the line on Miami's first play from scrimmage and racing 80 yards untouched to the end zone. Kaaya added first quarter TD passes to David Njoku and Stacy Coley.
"There is a lot of weight on his shoulders, but he handles it well," Miami coach Mark Richt said of Kaaya. "... It was nice to see him play a really solid game."
Coley finished with five catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
"We have been tackling really well, but we didn't tackle well today," Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield said. "They are big backs, but we have to bring them down."
Appalachian State's top running back Marcus Cox left the game in the first half with a lower body injury and did not return.
MIAMI: Some questioned why Miami scheduled a road game against Appalachian State, a team notorious for pulling big upsets (ask Michigan) and scaring the life out of others (ask Tennessee). Richt said Appalachian State's close loss to Tennessee got his team's attention.
"You better believe it," Richt said. "Everybody knew that it was not a fluke. It was physical play. It got our attention. I did not have to say something magical to get them fired up."
APPALACHIAN STATE: The Mountaineers came in brimming with confidence after taking then-No. 9 Tennessee to overtime in the season opener and winning 18 of its last 21 games. "Our mindset is we're one of the best teams in the country," linebacker Eric Boggs said last week. But Appalachian State was thoroughly outplayed in the first quarter by a more talented and physically superior Miami team.
MIAMI: The Hurricanes are off next weekend before opening ACC play Oct. 1 at Georgia Tech. Miami has won six of its last seven games against the Yellow Jackets.
APPALACHIAN STATE: The Mountaineers (1-2) visit Akron next Saturday, their final tuneup before beginning play in the Sun Belt Conference.