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The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Match Up: ASU versus Elon

The Matchup

The Mountaineers host Elon Saturday. 

Elon comes into this game at with three losses that have come to tough opponents, including a five point loss to No. 10 Georgia Southern two weeks ago.

Last year App recorded their largest comeback since 1972 to beat Elon with a 28-24 win according to ESPN. The Phoenix jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, but could not stop quarterback Jamal Jackson who threw four touchdown passes.

How ASU can win

On defense, the Mountaineers will need to shut down the duo of Elon’s quarterback Thomas Wilson and Wide Receiver Aaron Mellette.

Mellette set a Southern Conference record with 1,639 yards, and torched App for 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns last year. App’s secondary will need to make sure he is covered and force Wilson to find his other receivers.

Offensively, the Mountaineers need to continue to run the ball. Elon’s defense is vulnerable to the rush, giving up 237 yards rushing per game.

App’s Steven Miller has emerged as one of the best backs in the conference recording a 200-yard game last week.

 A strong rushing performance will loosen up the Phoenix secondary and will allow Jackson to make some big plays passing the ball. If the offense can maintain the production from last week and continue the diverse play-calling App will be tough to beat.

How Elon can win

 Elon does not have much of a running game, averaging only 100 yards per game, so the brunt of the offense will be on Wilson and his all-American receiver Mellette.

Defensively, Elon will have their hands full with App’s diverse offensive attack. The Phoenix have allowed the fewest pass yards in the SoCon, but rank near the bottom in rush defense according to rivals.com

Elon’s front seven will need to step up and control the run to attempt to make App throw the ball more and allow their secondary to wait on pass and intercept the ball.

If the offense can be successful and move the ball frequently, as the previous meeting, and the defense can make some key stops, the Phoenix will have a good chance walking out of Boone with a win.

The Bottom Line

This game features the Southern Conference’s top two passers in Jamal Jackson and Elon’s Thomas Wilson, as well as defenses that give up close to 30 points per game. If these offenses are clicking this has the potential to be a shootout.

Both teams have already dropped conference games and will be looking to climb the standings. Both teams will be desperate for this win. This game will be exciting, but ultimately, App will come out with the win.

Story: JORDAN DAVIS, Sports Reporter 

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