The Mountaineers return home to play Coastal Carolina after an impressive 34-17 win against Chattanooga. With the win Saturday, the Mountaineers avoided losing back-to-back games since 2003 and its first 0-2 start in conference play since its first season in the Southern Conference.After starting the season 2-0, Coastal Carolina has lost their last two games getting beat by Eastern Kentucky and Toledo. With 10 minutes left in the game against Toledo, the Chants recovered a fumble and drove down the field for a 17-yard touchdown pass, pulling them within three points. However the Chants was not able to stop Toledo as they went on for a touchdown to win 38-28.This is the third times these two teams have met. Appalachian State beat Coastal Carolina 30-3, in 2005 and 45-28 in the first round of the 2006 NCAA Division I Football Championship. Appalachian State has won 15-straight games over the Big South Conference.
How ASU can win
To avoid the upset, ASU will need to be consistent on all sides of the ball.The defensive line will need to have continued pressure on the Chants’ quarterback and force him to rush his throws. The linebackers and defensive backs will need to play good coverage to stop the passing threat of the Chants. The defense forced turnovers on three-consecutive Mocs possessions Saturday and turned them all into points. The defense will need to do the same this week.The offense led by Jamal Jackson will need to continue to strive. Last week, Jackson became the 13th 3,000-yard passer in school history and has found a new favorite target in Sean Price. Price has recorded at least 100 yards in the two games he has played in. The two of them will need to connect and connect offense.If the defense can have constant pressure on the Chants’ quarterback and the offense display an effective and efficient passing game, the Mountaineers will win.
How Coastal Carolina can win
Aramis Hillary, the brother of former Mountaineer wide receiver and return specialist CoCo Hillary (2007-10), leads the Chanticleers as quarterback. The Chants passing game is ranked 15th nationally with 28.8 passing yards per, according to the game notes and will need to keep it going. If Hillary can connect to his favorite target, junior Niccolo Mastromateo, early and frequently, the offense will be successful.To win this game, the Chants defense will need to play superbly. They allow 32.8 points per game and are ranked 85th nationally. App scores 27.5 points per game so the defense will need to keep App in their average or lower.If the offense plays well and fast and the defense plays disciplined and forced turnovers, the Chants will win.
The Bottom Line
Both offenses will be striving for excellence in this game.Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina both rank among the nation’s top 40 in total offense and are in the top 30 in passing.If one of the team’s defenses can control the pass, their team will win.The Mountaineers have won 20 of their last 21 regular-season non-conference games home so the Chants needs to play well if they want to win.
Story: JAMES ASHLEY, Sports Editor