University of North Texas

Peoples Sets Bowl Rushing Mark, App State Tops UNT

Camerun Peoples ran for a bowl-record 317 yards and tied a record with five rushing touchdowns as Appalachian State beat North Texas 56-28 in the Myrtle Beach Bowl. Peoples, a sophomore, surpassed the 307 yards rushing of Georgia Tech's PJ Daniels in the 2004 Humanitarian Bowl.

Peoples also became the seventh player to run for that many scores in a bowl game, a list that includes Oklahoma State's Barry Sanders and Toledo's Kareem Hunt. The Mountaineers remained perfect in bowls since joining the Sun Belt Conference in 2014. North Texas had no answer for Peoples or the App State rushing game, which finished with 500 yards.

Peoples wasn't aware he was close to those milestones.

"This is probably one of the most memorable football games I've ever played," Peoples said.

He was told on the sideline in the fourth quarter he was nearing 300 yards and the rushing marks for Appalachian State and a bowl game. Peoples looked at coach Shawn Clark.

"Coach Clark said, `Yeah, you're not coming out of the game,"' said Peoples, named the inaugural bowl's MVP.

North Texas (4-6) of Conference USA fell behind 28-7 and had no answer for Peoples or the App State rushing game, which finished with 500 yards.

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It was a powerful performance by App State and a somewhat normal start to a bowl schedule with few guarantees about how things will play out.

Most years, the Mean Green, who came in with a losing record, would've had their lockers cleaned out until spring practice. But this isn't most years.

The NCAA waived victory minimums for bowl eligibility -- how else could 2-8 South Carolina be playing this time of year? -- because of COVID-19. The Frisco Bowl, set to start bowl season last Saturday, was canceled when the virus struck SMU, one of that game's teams.

So instead, it was the Mountaineers returning to Coastal Carolina's teal-colored field for the second time this season after losing to the Chanticleers 34-23 in November.

The App State coach was grateful for the opportunity for some normalcy at the end of a fretful season in which games were canceled, postponed and rescheduled every week.

Clark said his team's two days at the Grand Strand resort area were "the most fun I've seen our players have in the last six months."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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