Panthers, Mountaineers clash on snowy Saturday


The Mountaineers battling the elements to claim a 44-0 win against Georgia State University at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday. Photo by Cara Croom | The Appalachian

Joshua Farmer

App State hosts the Georgia State Panthers today in hopes of securing a second-consecutive Sun Belt Conference victory. The Mountaineers were impressive in a 53-14 rout of Troy on the road two weeks ago, before the team had its final bye week.

Georgia State comes into this game at the bottom of the Sun Belt, still searching for its first conference victory of the season. The Panthers are riding a seven-game losing streak and have lost 29 of their last 31 games.

Despite the Panthers’ struggles, the App State coaching staff is not taking the team lightly.

“I’ll tell you what, everyone looks at their record and says ‘Well, they’ve only won one game,’” running backs coach Chris Foster said. “But you look at their defense and they just don’t play that way. They have some great speed on defense and they do some things that’s just a little different. We’re in for a challenge with them, because they are going to come ready to play,”

After struggling to hold onto the football, preseason Doak Walker Award candidate Marcus Cox was put second on the depth chart prior to the team’s game at Troy two weeks ago. Despite that, Cox responded in a big way with 123 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns to lead the App State rushing attack. Overall, the team ran for 441 yards as junior Ricky Fergerson added 107 yards and redshirt freshman Terrence Upshaw added 82 of his own.

“When you make mistakes, you’ve got to just let it go and move onto the next play,” Cox said in regard to his fumbling issue. “You can’t dwell on it, that’s where it will really mess you up. I was having trouble letting it go, so I’ve moved on from it, and concentrating on doing what I can to help my team.”

App State’s other challenge will be responding to a near two-week break from facing another team. The off-week can be a bit of a challenge, but App State will look to pick up right where it left off at Troy 13 days ago.

Sophomore defensive lineman Tyson Fernandez said he doesn’t think the downtime will slow the team.

“I think it is an advantage, we get an extra week just to prepare for Georgia State, get our focus right and our bodies back, that’s the biggest thing,” Fernandez said. “It’s a long season, so we’re trying to rested up as much as we can. But at the same time we still have to get work done.  Georgia State, they pass the ball a lot, we’re not expecting them to come in here and run the ball on us.”

Head coach Scott Satterfield has put an emphasis on finishing the season strong.

Despite the sluggish start, the Mountaineers have a chance to right the ship and notch its first two-game winning streak all year.

“We’ve been talking last week and this week about how we need to finish the season,” Satterfield said. “Of our last five games, three of them are at home and we need to finish it off pretty well in order to finish with a good year for us.”

The Panthers and Mountaineers kickoff at 3:30 p.m. at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Precipitation is expected as a winter storm warning has been issued by the National Weather Service effective until 8 p.m.

Story: Nick Joyner, Senior Sports Reporter