Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Appalachian State Mountaineers season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Appalachian State Mountaineers
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players, Key Game, Fun Stats
– What Will Happen & Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Appalachian State Previews 2017 | 2016 | 2015
The move up in the world worked.
It seemed like Appalachian State was limping into the FBS world when it entered in 2014, coming off a 4-8 campaign in Scott Satterfield’s first season at the helm. But since then …
Four straight winning seasons. A piece of two Sun Belt championships, three bowl wins, and 30 wins over those three seasons.
And he’s not in the mix for one of those next-step-up coaching gigs, why?
He rebuilt ASU into a powerhouse again, dominating in conference play with 31 wins over the four seasons in the Sun Belt. But now he has a little bit of work to do.
The Mountaineers still have more than enough talent to go bowling, and there’s no reason to shoot for anything lower than the inaugural Sun Belt championship game, but the missing pieces are massive.
Taylor Lamb was a four-year starting quarterback who turned into the perfect leader and steady hand. Two tremendous offensive linemen are gone in Colby Gossett and Beau Nunn, heart-and-soul linebacker Eric Boggs is finished, and in all, five starters are gone from the Sun Belt’s second-best defense in terms of yards.
Fortunately, Satterfield has done a terrific job of bringing in the speed and athleticism to keep the machine right on rolling. There might not be a whole lot of bulk on the lines, and depth will be a problem early on – especially on the offensive front – but this isn’t one of those cute story programs now.
Satterfield and the coaching staff are good enough to figure this out fast – even it takes a few games to find the right guys to replace some of the mainstays.
The key to the season is replacing Lamb. Four options are battling it out for the starting quarterback job with Zac Thomas taking the lead going into the fall camp.
The rest of the skill spots are more than fine, starting with all-star RB Jalin Moore to go along with a great-looking receiving corps. The line could use a few more parts, but even if it’s not the killer it was last season, it’ll be good enough.
Defensively, Anthony Flory is the new main man star of the linebacking corps with Boggs gone. The line isn’t big, but it can move, and the secondary is the Sun Belt’s best, led by the fantastic corner combination of Clifton Duck and Tae Hayes.
And Satterfield is still in place.
Someone is soon going to want to pay him a whole lot of money so he can rebuild someone else’s program. But for now, he’s about to have another great season and go to another bowl.
The great tradition continues – now it just so happens to be at a higher level.