Record-setting day for Peoples leads App State to victory over North Texas in inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl

Record-setting day for Peoples leads App State to victory over North Texas in inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl
App State RB Camerun Peoples (Source: Gabe McDonald)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl will be remembered as a record-setting day for Appalachian State sophomore running back Camerun Peoples.

The Lineville, Ala., native had 29 carries for 319 yards and five rushing touchdowns in the 56-28 win over North Texas at Brooks Stadium. Peoples set the all-time NCAA bowl record with 319 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. He scored on runs of 3, 64, 62, 4, and 11 yards for the Mountaineers.

Peoples broke the single-game bowl record for most rushing yards, previously held by Georgia Tech’s PJ Daniels, who had 307 rushing yards against Tulsa in the 2004 Humanitarian Bowl.

People also became the seventh player in NCAA history to score five rushing touchdowns in a bowl game. Toledo’s Kareem Hunt (2014 and Barry Sanders (1988 Holiday Bowl) are two of the notable names on the list.

”It was surreal,” ASU head coach Shawn Clark said. “When he started the season he wasn’t at the top of the depth chart. He worked hard and battled all season long. I’m very proud of him.”

Peoples missed the 2019 season with a torn ACL. He rebounded in 2020 with 1,126 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.

Appalachian State (9-3) became the fourth team in NCAA history to rush for 500 or more yards in a bowl game. The Mountaineers ran the ball 49 times for 502 yards and six rushing touchdowns in the win. ASU’s 502 rushing yards are the fourth-most by a team in NCAA bowl history.

Peoples wasn’t the only ASU player that found success on the ground against the Mean Green. Senior running back Marcus Williams, Jr., recorded 101 rushing yards and one touchdown on six carries. He scored on a 70-yard run to push ASU’s lead to 28-7 with 2:29 left in the first half.

Peoples and Williams combined for 420 rushing yards, the second-highest rushing total by a pair of teammates in NCAA bowl history. Baylor’s Johnny Jefferson (299) and Devin Chafin (161) combined for 460 rushing yards against North Carolina in the 2015 Russell Athletic Bowl.

“That’s our bread and butter on offense to set up the play-action pass,” Clark said. “That was a good defense. The offensive line blocked well. Our receivers blocked well. We got a lot of key blocks that produced some long runs.”

North Texas (4-6) had success on the ground as well. The Mean Green ran the ball 59 times for 242 yards. Tre Siggers had 17 carries for 120 yards, while teammate Oscar Adaway added 26 carries for 97 yards and one touchdown.

“On offense, we had some success,” North Texas head coach Seth Littrell said. “Our backs ran really, really hard. We did a good job upfront.”

ASU (502) and North Texas (242) combined for 742 rushing yards, the fourth-most combined rushing yards in NCAA bowl history.

North Texas played the game without six offensive weapons, including receiver Jaelen Darden, who opted out for the NFL Draft. Darden led the FBS with 19 touchdown receptions this season.

Appalachian State scored on five touchdowns of seven first-half possessions to take a 35-14 halftime lead.

Peoples and receiver Henry Pearson accounted for four of the five touchdowns in the first half.

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