After a 27-24 loss, Appalachian State (1-3, 1-0 SoCon) has now lost consecutive home games in the same season for the first time since 1996.
Charleston Southern dominated many statistical categories, but converting 10 of 18 third downs may have been the straw that broke the Mountaineer defense.
“Obviously we have to do a better job on defense and getting off the field,” head coach Scott Satterfield said. “[CSU quarterback Malcolm Dixon] did a good job of finding the holes in our defense in order to get those first downs.”
Even when App State forced a stop on third down, the Bucs were able to find the first down marker on fourth down. Charleston Southern converted on all three of their fourth-down conversion attempts.
The Mountaineers were 0-2 on fourth down.
“They had three fourth-downs and they got them,” Satterfield said. “Probably the difference in the game was they got theirs and we didn’t get ours.”
App State has converted just one out of seven attempts on fourth down this season.
Another key statistic that helped the Buccaneers walk out of Kidd-Brewer stadium undefeated at 5-0 was the time of possession. CSU held the ball for 42:04, as opposed to App State’s far inferior 17:56.
“I’m not going to sit here and make a bunch of excuses,” Satterfield said. “Charleston Southern did a great job and had a great game plan coming in. They controlled the clock, that’s how they’ve been able to win football games.”
A bright spot Saturday was the continuing emergence of true freshman running back Marcus Cox. A week after 308 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns against Elon, he backed that performance up with three more touchdowns and 180 all-purpose yards Saturday.
Cox, however, remains humble and focused on the greater picture.
“Well, individual stats really don’t matter,” he said. “At the end of the day, all that matters is getting the W, and we fell short of that today. I give my hat off to Charleston Southern, they made stops when they needed to.”
In order to prevent a consecutive loss, App State will need to strengthen up their defense and get the offense rolling again before traveling to play The Citadel on Oct. 5.
The Bulldogs are 1-4 on the season, including 0-3 at home, where they will face off with the Mountaineers Saturday.
The Citadel defeated Appalachian State last season, but App State has won 17 of the last 19 in the series, according to appstatesports.com.Story: NICK JOYNER, Sports Reporter