The Offense: At a Glance

The+Offense%3A+At+a+Glance

Adam Hothersall

[divider]The Quarterback[/divider]

#11 Taylor Lamb (So.) – After taking over as the starting quarterback two games into the season in 2014, Lamb won Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and was the first Appalachian freshman to play the majority of a season at quarterback since 2006 (Armanti Edwards). Lamb threw for 2,381 passing yards and 17 touchdowns in his freshman season, and led the Sun Belt Conference with a 142.1 passing efficiency rating.

[divider]The Tight End[/divider]

#85 Barrett Burns (Jr.) – Burns is known as one of the more reliable receiving targets on the team with a big 6-foot-4-inch frame and great hands. After appearing in 12 games (eight starts), Burns caught 14 passes for 129 yards last season. Nine of his 14 catches resulted in first downs, and two resulted in touchdowns.

[divider]The Running Backs[/divider]

#14 Marcus Cox (Jr.) – Cox is known as a “do-it-all” kind of running back.  After gaining national attention over the course of this offseason, he leads the charge for a strong group of Appalachian State tailbacks. Heading into his junior season he is already eighth all-time in rushing yards at Appalachian (2,665) and is well on pace to break many rushing records at the school. Last season Cox was 22nd in the nation in rushing yards (1,415) and led the Sun Belt in rushing touchdowns and scoring. His 1,415 rushing yards last season is the sixth highest rushing total in Appalachian State school history, having eight 100-yard games.

#20 Terrence Upshaw (So.) –  Known as the power running back with his 210-pound frame, the redshirt sophomore played in 11 games last season, accumulating an impressive 573 yards and averaging a solid 5.1 yards per carry, while being the second ranked rusher on the team. Coming off of surgery in the offseason, Upshaw missed spring practice, but is expected to be healthy and contribute this season.

[divider]The Wide Receivers[/divider]

#7 Malachi Jones (Sr.) – Known for his consistency and security, Jones leads the receiving corps of the team. Jones led Appalachian in receiving yards (585) and was second on the team in receptions (36), while averaging 16.2 yards per reception last season. He needs only 33 receptions and 589 receiving yards this season to become top 10 in school history in both categories.

#83 Simms McElfresh (Sr.) – McElfresh is a former walk-on player who has become not only a starter for the team, but a team captain as well for his toughness and consistency. He ranked first on the team in receptions (42) and was second on the team in receiving yards in 2014. In 2014, 57.1 percent of his receptions resulted in either first downs or touchdowns.

#81 Bobo Beathard (Sr.) – Beathard is the third receiver in the Appalachian State offense, along with being the primary punt and kick returner on special teams. Last season Beathard played in all 12 games, starting in 10 and catching 17 passes for 202 yards (career highs in both categories). He also had a 33-yard punt return touchdown, the first for the Mountaineers in more than eight years.

#6 Shaedon Meadors (So.) — Meadors is perhaps the Mountaineers biggest home run threat at receiever. Last year he had 15 receptions for 287 yards and three touchdowns in only 7 games. His 19.1 yards-per-catch average was the highest on the team, and he had two catches nominated on ESPN SportCenter’s ‘Top 10 Plays’.   

[divider]The Offensive Line[/divider]

The offensive line comes back with a veteran group headed by seniors Jesse Chapman (C) and Davante Harris (OT), along with junior Park Collins (OG).  The right side of the line will be headlined by sophmores Colby Gossett (OG) and Beau Nunn (OT).  The offensive line will play a key role once again blocking for a deep and talented running back corp.  Expect a powerful running game from the Mountaineers. As a unit, Appalachian State’s offensive line only surrendered 11 sacks in 12 games last season, a tie for the third-fewest sacks allowed in NCAA Division I FBS.

Story by: Adam Hothersall, Intern Sports Reporter 

Photos by: Chris Deverell, Photographer