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The Appalachian

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App State begins Sun Belt play at ULM

Redshirt+sophomore+safety+Jordan+Favors+and+redshirt+senior+defensive+back+Tyrek+Funderburk+%28right%29+celebrate+after+a+play+against+Gardner-Webb+Sept.2.
Ashton Woodruff
Redshirt sophomore safety Jordan Favors and redshirt senior defensive back Tyrek Funderburk (right) celebrate after a play against Gardner-Webb Sept.2.

From Laramie, Wyoming, last week to Monroe, Louisiana, this week, App State faces the UL-Monroe Warhawks Saturday at 8 p.m.

“We are going to start conference play this week and that’s where the season begins,” head coach Shawn Clark said.  

App State comes into the game off a loss, putting them at 2-2 on the season heading into Sun Belt Conference play. 

“We came back, met with our players, we had a brief walkthrough yesterday evening and put it behind us,” Clark said. “We can’t let one loss become two.” 

The Warhawks are 2-1, but also experienced a loss in their last outing. They are coming off a bye week, but two weeks ago they lost to Texas A&M, 47-3 at Kyle Field.

“We have our hands full, that’s a tough environment to play in, in Monroe, and we look forward to the challenge,” Clark said. 

The Mountaineers have won eight consecutive Sun Belt opening games, with their only loss coming in 2014. 

The two teams face off with similar play styles, emphasizing the run game. App State junior running back Nate Noel leads the nation in rushing attempts thus far, totalling the second highest amount of rushing yards at 542. 

ULM as a team has rushed the ball 103 times for a total of 619 yards and three touchdowns. Their passing game is limited; they’ve only attempted 70 passes, completing 33 for 285 yards. The game will be won and lost by either team in the trenches. 

“They do a great job of getting their playmakers the football and we have to make sure we do our job as a collective team to put our players in the best chance to win this week,” Clark said.  

In their last meeting, in 2021, the Mountaineers welcomed the Warhawks to Boone and won convincingly, 59-28. The last time the Black and Gold  played in Monroe, they won by a score of 31-13

The Mountaineer defense has been strong to start the season, allowing only 19.8 points per game in regulation. Three scores over the last two weeks have not resulted from bad defensive play. East Carolina scored 14 points off App State turnovers and Wyoming scored 15 including a blocked kick return for a game-winning touchdown. 

“Our goal is to win the Sun Belt Championship and that starts this weekend in Monroe, Louisiana,” Clark said.  

The Mountaineers went 3-5 in Sun Belt games last year, Saturday they hope to open conference play starting 1-0.

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About the Contributors
Kolby Shea
Kolby Shea, Reporter
Kolby Shea (he/him) is a senior journalism major, photography minor, from Statesville, NC. This is his second year writing for The Appalachian.
Ashton Woodruff
Ashton Woodruff, Photo Editor
Ashton Woodruff (she/her) is a junior IDS Criminal Justice/Photojournalism major, and a Social Work minor. This is her second year with The Appalachian.
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