The running back duo of sophomore Marcus Cox and redshirt freshman Terrence Upshaw has proven to be a force to be reckoned with through two games for App State.
Cox and Upshaw have combined for 311 yards and four touchdowns against Michigan and Campbell.
In those games, the two have split carries with each shouldering the load in different games. Upshaw led the Mountaineers with 18 attempts at Michigan while Cox led the team with 20 against Campbell.
App State running backs coach Chris Foster said having two running backs capable of handling so many carries gives the Mountaineers an advantage.
“I told them ‘You’re both starters, so you’re both going to play’,” Foster said. “I utilize them both to the best of their ability to help the team win.”
Cox said he and Upshaw are never concerned with who starts or who amasses the most carries, allowing the Mountaineers to never be vulnerable at the running back position.
“We’re a one-two punch, it doesn’t matter who starts the game because we’re both capable of running this offense,” Cox said. “We feel like we’re the heartbeat of the offense and we go as the team goes.”
Foster said the most exciting part about Cox and Upshaw is that their styles of play complement each other well, giving App State two types of running backs to use in games.
“They are a total two different type of people,” Foster said. “Upshaw is more of a power downhill runner and [Cox] is more of a slasher.”
Upshaw echoed Foster’s words and described his play style as “running over people,” while Cox likes running around them.
To further strengthen the connection Upshaw and Cox have is the fact that the two are just as close off the field as they are on.
“We were roommates last year, and we’re roommates this year, so I help him out when he needs help and he pushes me everyday in practice to do the best I can,” Cox said. “We complement each other really well, and we’re always going to help each other out.”
Coming into the season as a redshirt freshman, Upshaw said having a veteran like Cox as a close friend has helped his transition this season.
“That helped a lot because if I didn’t know the plays, I‘d be like a deer in the headlights,” Upshaw said.
Cox said he and Upshaw have confidence early in the season, especially after starting on the road in Michigan.
“After starting the season against Michigan there’s nothing that’s really going to shock us because it’s Michigan,” Cox said.
The Mountaineers have a stretch of five straight games until they enjoy another bye week. App State opens up Sun Belt play Sept. 25 against Georgia Southern.
Saturday, the Mountaineers are back in action when they travel to take on the University of Southern Mississippi. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Story: Daniel Statum, Intern Sports Reporter
Jason Huber, Intern Sports Reporter
Photo: Justin Perry, Web Director