App State football looks to even record against Campbell

Wide+receiver+Simms+Mcelfresh+celebrates+a+well+executed+play+during+a+football+game+last+Fall+at+the+Kid+Brewer+Stadium.+File+Photo++%7C++The+Appalachian

Wide receiver Simms Mcelfresh celebrates a well executed play during a football game last Fall at the Kid Brewer Stadium. File Photo | The Appalachian

Nick Joyner

Appalachian State will host Campbell at Kidd Brewer Stadium Saturday in what will be the first home game of the Sun Belt era.

Coming off a 52-14 defeat at Michigan last week, the thought of rebounding with a home win against the Fighting Camels has the team motivated.

“Any time you go out and lose like that, you want to come out and have a strong showing,” sophomore linebacker John Law said. “Last week, we had a lot of times where we weren’t in the right gap or somebody would miss an assignment and that cost us big.”

Like App State, Campbell is coming off a week one defeat after falling at home to UNC Charlotte by a final score of 33-9.

Campbell is led by former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter, who is entering his second season as head coach at the university. A veteran team that includes 46 returning upperclassmen, the Camels also bring back 20 starters from last year’s team, including 10 of last year’s 11 defensive starters.

“They play very hard and scrappy,” App State running backs coach Chris Foster said. “They are very fundamentally sound, their coaching staff does a great job there. We’re going to have our hands full, so we’ve got to be ready to play.”

In last week’s loss, the Mountaineers running game was a bright spot, as the team rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries.

Redshirt freshman running back Terrence Upshaw led the way with 18 carries for 109 yards, averaging more than six yards per attempt. Upshaw became the first Mountaineer in 40 years to rush for more than 100 yards in his collegiate debut.

Despite his strong showing, Upshaw said he is focused on the team’s next game, rather than dwelling on his strong performance a week ago.

“It’s a confidence booster, but I’m really looking forward and getting ready for Campbell,” Upshaw said. “I’m just trying to keep the Michigan game in the past because that game’s over and done with.”

Upshaw started against the Wolverines in place of Marcus Cox, who missed some practices leading up to the game due to a lower-body issue. Despite the injury, Cox spelled Upshaw and tallied 47 rushing yards and a one-yard touchdown run.

“[Cox] and I are going to be good together,” Upshaw said. “We have different running styles so that kind of helps each of us. Marcus is more of the elusive type, and I’m more of the downhill, power kind of guy.”

Foster said Cox will start in the team’s home opener, but both backs are expected to play frequently.

“They’re both going to be our one-two punch,” Foster said. “It’s going to take more than one back, and I’m glad we’ve finally got some depth at that position.”

Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Watch ESPN with radio coverage courtesy of The Appalachian IMG Sports Network.

Story: Nick Joyner, Senior Sports Reporter