Matchup: N.C. A&T vs. App State

Andrew Clausen

How App State can win:

This game will pit App State’s explosive offense against North Carolina A&T’s number one defense. The key is if the Mountaineers can get anything going on the ground, outside of Jamal Londry-Jackson. N.C. A&T had arguably the best defense in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference last year, only allowing a conference best 92.3 rushing yards per game.

The Mountaineer receivers will also have to step up again in another week without Sean Price. Last week against Montana, Tony Washington and Simms McElfresh did well, but will need to continue to play hard if App State is to get one in the win column.

How N.C. A&T can win:

The Aggies’ biggest strength is their defense. Ranked first in the MEAC in scoring defense (14 points/game), total defense (252.9 yards allowed/game) and rushing defense (92.3 yards allowed/game), N.C. A&T will need to bring their best if they hope to win. That being said, the Aggies haven’t faced an offense like App State’s in a long time and will be a change of pace from their usual schedule.

N.C. A&T also finished third in their conference in scoring at 25.7 points a game. Their main attack will come on the ground and, while they are no Montana, App State had some trouble late in last week’s game handling the run. They will need to block well up front to create holes and hope for big gains.

The bottom line:

This is going to be a drag-out game, but it should see App State come away with the victory. N.C. A&T is a well developed team and a powerhouse in the MEAC, but this is the High Country and they will have problems dealing with the Mountaineers’ well-rounded team that can attack and defend on multiple angles. Expect to see a close first half, and then a breakout second half for the Mountaineers.

Final Score: 28-7 App State

Story: Andrew Clausen, Sports Editor