Only a few days removed from the Mountaineers handing Georgia Southern a 31-13 loss, their first conference loss as a member of the Sun Belt, there’s a lot to be said about App State’s performance.
We “could” talk about how defeating Georgia Southern further reinforces App State as the favorite to win the Sun Belt.
Or we “could” talk about the fact that the only team that has topped App State this season is now ranked No. 3 in the country, and looks like a playoff team.
We “could” even talk about the fact that following the victory, App State received six votes for the AP Top 25, their first votes as members of the FBS.
There’s a lot we “could” talk about, however, I was told Thursday that Georgia Southern deals solely in certainties, so we’ll stick to those. And, well, the Mountaineers certainly crushed the Eagles.
App State held the nation’s No. 1 rushing attack, which entered the game averaging 399 yards per game, to 188 yards. Eighty-six of those yards came on the Eagle’s first drive.
Not only did they hold the Eagles to a yearly low, the Mountaineers also beat them at their own game.
They outrushed Georgia Southern to the tune of 231 yards, something head coach Scott Satterfield said was a team goal for the matchup. Overall, the Mountaineers’ offense outgained the Eagles’ offense 433 yards to 252.
The Eagle’s secondary forced zero interceptions, despite being ranked seventh in the nation entering the game, and instead served two to the App State secondary, tying the two teams at 11 interceptions apiece.
In his argument, The George-Anne’s sports editor certainly forgot about the presence of Ronald Blair, Nate Norwood, Devan Stringer, John Law, Kennan Gilchrist, Eric Boggs and a whole slew of other defensive players who were ready for Georgia Southern’s one-dimensional offensive approach.
He also certainly forgot that the Eagle’s offensive line only returned one starter from last season, which, while it does make the team’s nation-leading rushing totals all the more impressive, was a recipe for disaster against a veteran App State defensive line.
Maybe he didn’t know that App State’s defensive coordinator Nate Woody spent over a decade coaching defense at Wofford, who also employs an option offense.
Regardless, App State is now 6-1 overall and undefeated in the conference, having won nine of their last 10 conference games, while Georgia Southern now trails both App State and Arkansas State in the Sun Belt standings.
Georgia Southern fans are now left with two options as their team plays “catch-up” with App State: start playing or start praying (for Mountaineer losses, that is).
Story by: Chris Warner, Sports Editor