Homecoming presents a chance for Mountaineers to rally

Wide receiver Andrew Peacock sprints down the field to during the 2011 homecoming game versus Samford. The Mountaineers defeated the Bulldogs 35-17 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Photo by Olivia Wilkes | The Appalachian

Andrew Clausen

Wide receiver Andrew Peacock sprints down the field to during the 2011 homecoming game versus Samford. The Mountaineers defeated the Bulldogs 35-17 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Photo by Olivia Wilkes  |  The Appalachian
At this point, it’s difficult to sugarcoat the stats for App State football.

The Mountaineers fell to 1-4 on the season after The Citadel edged them last week.

The program hasn’t been 1-4 after the first five games of the season since 1993. However, there is reason to believe things can turn around as the team prepares to head down the home stretch.

 

 

The time is near. It all starts with the homecoming game Saturday.

The Mountaineers will draw the energy of a packed house and returning alumni and will face a Samford team who they have fared well against historically. App State has a 5-1 all-time record against Samford and have never lost to the Bulldogs since they joined the SoCon in 2008.

It goes without saying that a win against the Bulldogs at home would help the Mountaineer’s confidence immensely.

After the homecoming matchup against Samford, the Mountaineers hit the road to take on a 2-3 Furman team.

If the Mountaineers can string together two wins over that stretch, they will take a win streak into back-to-back home games against Georgia Southern and Chattanooga.

The last three weeks of the season feature tough matchups with Georgia and Wofford on the road. The two teams are a combined 7-3, with Georgia gathering their wins in the hard-hitting SEC.

Should the Mountaineers find a way to deliver on the road, they return to the friendly confines of Kidd Brewer Stadium to tangle with Western Carolina, renewing the highly anticipated annual rivalry between the two schools.

Home games could be exactly what the doctor ordered for the reeling Mountaineers, and it starts with building confidence on homecoming weekend to carry onto the road.

The remaining seven opponents on the schedule for the Mountaineers are a combined 20-17, so things don’t get any easier.

However, it holds true that the time to turn things around is now.

The home field advantage will be absolutely crucial this weekend as the Bulldogs bring confidence after two straight wins in which they have outscored their opponents 106-57.

Building confidence of their own at home should help the Mountaineers in close games.

If there’s a silver lining to be found within the four losses on the season, it’s that three of them have come by three points. The only other time the Mountaineers have lost three straight games by three points or less in the program’s 84-season history was in 1952.

It seems that the Mountaineers simply need a boost because the season is far from over.

Playoffs may be a non-factor this year, but don’t forget about pride.

If a packed Kidd Brewer Stadium can boost the Mountaineers over the Bulldogs this Saturday, there should be renewed confidence for the team going into the final six games of the season, five of which feature SoCon opponents.

It’s a chance to build on a 1-1 conference record as the Mountaineers push to finish over .500 on the season.

Don’t count out the black and gold just yet, not until the Catamounts and Mountaineers finish their late-November duel at The Rock. A lot could change between now and then.

Story: CORY SPIERS, Opinion Editor
Photo: OLIVIA WILKES, Staff Photographer