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The Appalachian

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Good, bad and ugly from App State’s win over Marshall

Junior+quarterback+Joey+Aguilar+rushes+to+avoid+the+Thundering+Herd+defense+Nov.+4.+Aguilar+is+up+to+23+touchdowns+to+just+six+interceptions+on+the+season.
Max Sanborn
Junior quarterback Joey Aguilar rushes to avoid the Thundering Herd defense Nov. 4. Aguilar is up to 23 touchdowns to just six interceptions on the season.

The Black and Gold dominated the Thundering Herd for a 31-9 victory Saturday evening. Defensive execution and great quarterback play highlighted the Mountaineers second consecutive victory.  

The Good

The App State defense looked much improved compared to the team’s previous outing against Southern Miss.

The Mountaineers limited Marshall to 252 total yards of offense while holding a team under 10 points for the first time this season. The Thundering Herd went 4/11 on third down and failed on their only fourth down attempt. 

Redshirt sophomore safety Jordan Favors and sophomore outside linebacker Donovan Spellman combined for three interceptions. App State won the turnover battle 3-0 and is the formula for success moving forward.

Junior quarterback Joey Aguilar continued to spread the ball around the field. Nine different players caught a pass, and three different wide receivers caught a touchdown. Aguilar completed 20/27 passes for 229 yards as well as adding 44 rushing yards. The California native has 23 passing touchdowns on the season and only five FBS quarterbacks have thrown more this season.

Junior running back Nate Noel rushed for 20 yards on 12 carries and caught two passes for 18 yards. Against Southern Miss, Noel exited after three rushes due to an ongoing lower leg injury. Getting Noel back to his usual workload of 20 attempts will help the Mountaineers quest for a Sun Belt title and bowl game appearance.

The Bad

The Black and Gold continued their ongoing trend of starting games off slowly. In the first quarter, the App State offense punted on both of their possessions and struggled to get any traction. 

The second quarter saw the Mountaineers awake from their slumber, scoring 21 unanswered points. Both sides of the ball started reacting much quicker and the App State defense did not allow any points in the quarter.

Despite the second quarter dominance, getting off to slow starts can come back to haunt the Black and Gold. Relying on the team to dig out of a hole week after week will not continue working, especially against better competition.

The Ugly

App State’s remaining three opponents on the season have a combined record of 21-6, including undefeated No. 21 James Madison Nov. 18. The Mountaineers’ only remaining home game is Nov. 25 against Georgia Southern, the same day as Black and Gold legend Armanti Edwards’ jersey retirement ceremony.

If the team is to get through arguably their toughest stretch of the season unscathed, they will need to be at their best in all three phases of the game and play consistently for all four quarters. Any deviation from this can result in another year without a bowl game appearance or a chance at the Sun Belt title.

App State returns to action Saturday in Atlanta against Georgia State. Kick-off is at 2 p.m. and the game will be streamed on ESPN+.

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About the Contributors
Ethan Smith, Sports Editor
Ethan Smith (he/him) is a senior journalism major, media studies minor. This is his third year writing for The Appalachian.
Max Sanborn, Photographer
Max Sanborn (he/him) is a sophomore Commercial Photography Major, from Indian trail, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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