Caging the Jaguars

Cory Spiers

Leaning on Law

Sophomore inside linebacker John Law led the way against Georgia Southern in App State’s last game as he amassed a career-high 16 tackles.

Law leads all App State defensive players with 34 tackles on the season and will have to continue to be a force if the Mountaineers are to notch its first Sun Belt win.

Law has three tackles for a loss and one sack on the season.

Home cooking

App State has not played at Kidd Brewer Stadium in almost a month.

The Mountaineers will finally get support from the home crowd Saturday against South Alabama – a factor that should not be overlooked when considering App State’s chances in this game.

Since throttling Campbell 66-0 in Boone, App State has dropped two straight decisions on the road.

During that stretch, the Mountaineers played two games in a six-day span and traveled 2,294 miles.

The crowd should be ready to cheer for the Mountaineers with the matchup being the first home Sun Belt game of the year. A home game might be just what the team needs at this point in the season.

Stout Jaguars defense 

The South Alabama defense is one of the toughest in the Sun Belt which presents an intriguing challenge for redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Lamb and the rest of the App State offense.

The Jaguars rank second in the conference in points allowed (21.5) and yards allowed per game (370) and also have the second-highest scoring defense in the conference (21.5 ppg).

The App State offense has moved the ball well with Lamb at quarterback, but this could very well be the team’s toughest test since Michigan in week one.

Stopping a veteran squad 

The Jaguars have 13 underclassmen on its roster.

The other 44 are juniors and seniors, making South Alabama one of the nation’s most veteran teams.

The Mountaineers have their share of veteran leaders like Simms McElfresh and Deuce Robinson, but facing an older South Alabama team should be an interesting test.

The majority of the players on the South Alabama roster know what it takes to play at this level and have had their share of games in hostile environments.

That means they’ll be ready to play at The Rock.

Jaguars’ struggling offense

As good as the South Alabama defense has been, the same cannot be said for the offense.

The Jaguars rank in the bottom four of the Sun Belt in scoring (16.5 ppg), rushing (155.8 ypg), passing (198.5 ypg) and total offense (354.2 ypg).

South Alabama has been held under 10 points twice in its first four games, and have scored more than 10 only once – in its opening week victory over Kent State.

The Jaguars were held to 10 points against Idaho last week, and scored a combined nine points in two games against Mississippi State and Georgia Southern in September.

QB Taylor Lamb

Lamb has had his share of success since taking over the starting job over junior Kameron Bryant in App State’s third game, but is 0-2 since earning the position.

In his debut, Lamb completed 28 of 40 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. He followed up that performance by completing 23 of 42 passes for 256 yards.

While Lamb has looked relatively comfortable in two road starts, he has also thrown four interceptions in the two games.

Lamb should be able to settle down more this week with his first home start.

Story: Cory Spiers, Sports Editor