App State looks for first road win against Southern Mississippi


Junior defensive back Doug Middleton playing in the football game against Campbell University on Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Middleton has fourteen tackles and an interception return for a touchdown in the first two games of the season. Photo by Rachel Krauza The Appalachian

Laney Ruckstuhl

App State (1-1) is set to visit Hattiesburg, to take on Southern Mississippi (1-2) under the lights Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium.

The Mountaineers look to keep the momentum going after rolling over Campbell 66-0 in its last game before enjoying a bye week this past week.

“The bye week has been good,” junior quarterback Kameron Bryant said. “We had time to sit back and really work on the fundamentals. Got a little extra film work, so it was good for us.”

After being dismantled by Michigan in the opening week and then flipping the script on Campbell, App State is ready to move past the bye week and play a historically tough Southern Miss football team. Before combining for just three wins over the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the Golden Eagles notched 18-consecutive winning seasons, including eight postseason bowl victories.

“They are a little bit like us in the fact that they struggled a little bit last year, and [they are] trying to play a lot of young players,” head coach Scott Satterfield said. “Southern MIss has played two SEC opponents. That in itself is certainly a challenging thing to do. I think they’re getting better and better, offensively they are capable of moving the football and making plays.”

The Golden Eagles opened the season against in-state foe Mississippi State, losing 49-0. The following week, Southern Miss took on FCS opponent Alcorn State and won 26-20.

Last week, the team squared off against powerhouse Alabama, falling 52-12.

App State offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford said when he looks at the defense opposing him this week, he sees talent.

“They are very, very good,” Ledford said. “They have a lot of good players on the Southern MIss defense — quite a few players that I think will be playing on Sundays.”

App State ran the ball well against Campbell totalling 293 yards on the ground while the top three running backs on the depth chart all recorded rushing touchdowns.

Sophomore running back Marcus Cox garnered the bulk of the carries last season, but redshirt freshman Terrence Upshaw and junior Ricky Fergerson have both seen early season success.

“You can’t have enough running backs,” Ledford said. “Those guys get hit and they get little nagging injuries and stuff like that. So the more guys you can roll in there and be fresh and not to have a dropoff with any of them that’s in there, the better off you are going to be.”

This is the final game before the Sun Belt season kicks off for App State on Thursday against long-time rival Georgia Southern. Kickoff for Saturday’s game is set for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on American Sports Network.

Story: Nick Joyner, Senior Sports Reporter