Dousing the Flames


The Appalachian Online

Cory Spiers

App State rushing attack
Before last week’s loss against South Alabama, App State head coach Scott Satterfield said it would be important for the Mountaineers to get their running game going to take pressure off of redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Lamb.

That didn’t happen until the game was out of reach.

Lamb led the rushing attack for the Mountaineers, carrying 13 times for 78 yards.

App State’s two-headed monster at running back was stifled by the Jaguars, who held redshirt freshman Terrence Upshaw to 48 yards on eight carries and sophomore Marcus Cox to 16 yards on eight carries.

That rushing total for Cox matches the lowest of his 17-game career. Cox ran for 16 yards on three carries in his collegiate debut at Montana last season.

App State will need better production from Upshaw and Cox this week if homecoming is to be successful. Lamb should not be the focus of the running game.

Liberty air raid
The Liberty offense should not be taken lightly.

The Flames average 33 points and 417.3 yards per game.

Of note, however, is that nearly two-thirds of the Liberty offense comes from the passing game, which generates 257.3 yards per game.

That means the App State secondary will have to be ready.

After South Alabama senior quarterback Brandon Bridge torched the Mountaineers for more than 300 yards last week, the Mountaineers defense will have to regroup so a similar result doesn’t happen again.

Circle the passing game as a key to this one.

App State needs to bounce back
App State’s home loss against South Alabama did more than drop the team to 1-4 and 0-2 in the conference.

The 26-point loss also matched App State’s largest defeat at home since falling 34-7 to Western Carolina in 1984.

Furthermore, the Jaguars’ 582 yards were the most allowed by the Mountaineers since allowing a 618-yard outburst from The Citadel in 2012.

App State has historically good numbers in homecoming games.

For that to continue, App State has to put South Alabama in the rear view mirror.

Flames not pushovers
Yes, Liberty is in the FCS. No, they should not be taken lightly.

Liberty started the season 3-1 and was ranked as high as No. 22 in the FCS. The lone loss came to UNC-Chapel Hill on the road.

The Flames gave the Tarheels quite a fight. More than halfway through the third quarter, Liberty led UNC 22-21, but saw the Tarheels surge to win 56-29.

Liberty’s last two losses have come to Indiana State and Richmond who are ranked No. 22 and No. 20 in the FCS, respectively.

After a triple-overtime loss, expect the Flames to be motivated. Don’t forget, this is a team that has shown they can compete with everyone they’ve had scheduled.

Third and…
If the Flames have a glaring weakness, it’s third down situations on both sides of the ball.

Offensively, Liberty has converted 27 percent of its third down opportunities and is 1 of 21 in its past two games, both losses.

Defensively, the Flames allow a 48 percent conversion percentage on third down.

The Mountaineers will have to take advantage and get Liberty off of the field when the chance arises.

Conversely, focusing on extending drives with third down conversions should be a focus for the offense and one that could wear the Flames down on the road.

Story: Cory Spiers, Sports Editor