The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
No. 78: Appalachian State Mountaineers
Spring Practice Starts: February 5
Spring Game: March 2
Appalachian State Spring Status
The Mountaineers wrapped up spring practice without an official game, and getting the session done earlier than anyone in college football.
Coming off a nine-win season and a dominant bowl win over Toledo, the Mountaineers were terrific at getting the wins, but they played to the competition. There were a few brain cramps along the way, but overall, it was another great season for head coach Scott Satterfield. 2018 shouldn’t see much of a dip.
The defense loses heart-and-sould linebacker Eric Boggs, but the secondary should be solid and there’s just enough speed and talent across the board to be fine.
The offense has to find a new leader for longtime QB Taylor Lamb, but RB Jalin Moore returns along with a young, YOUNG receiving corps that will be among the Sun Belt’s best. The line is the question mark, though, even with three starters back.
Appalachian State Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Quarterback. Who’s going to take over for Lamb, a four-year starter who closed out with 27 touchdown passes and just six picks? It’ll still be a battle this fall, but sophomore Zac Thomas became the lead dog in the pack after spring ball. He has the more retuning experience – amounting to just 33 passing yards in four games of work – but as long as he doesn’t screw up, he’ll be fine.
Appalachian State Biggest Issue
The punting game needs fixing. As a freshman Xavier Subotsch averaged under 40 yards per punt, and he didn’t get a whole lot of help from the coverage team. Overall, the Mountaineers finished with the nation’s 118th-ranked punting game. The Australian has the experience, but the production has to come.
Appalachian State Biggest Positive
The ground game should once again be fantastic. Jalin Moore led the way with over 1,000 yards and 12 scores, and now he’s back along with a slew of sophomore backs to fill in the rotation. Lamb might have been a key part of the rushing puzzle last season, but Thomas can move, too.
Really, Why Are The Appalachian State Mountaineers Ranked Here?
There are just enough missing stars to be a wee bit of a problem, but the infrastructure is terrific. As long as the O line can stay in one piece, and the defense continues to play like it did over the final four games of last season – allowing 26 total points and shutting out Toledo – ASU will be a major player. Again.