Preview 2019: Appalachian State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Preview 2019: Appalachian State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

Appalachian State

Preview 2019: Appalachian State. 5 Things You Need To Know, Season Prediction

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4. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE APPALACHIAN STATE DEFENSE

There isn’t as much talent and experience returning on defense that the offense enjoys, but seven starters and four of the top five tacklers return. Defensive coordinator Ted Roof is a veteran who knows how to bring the heat, with his main job to not screw things up for a defense that finished sixth in the nation allowing just 288 yards and 15.5 points per game.

The defensive front should be a killer. All-star NT Myquon Stout is done, but junior end Elijah Diarrassouba and Chris Willis are back. They’re just okay at getting to the quarterback, but they’re ready to do more after stepping into the rotation and making an impact late in the year. 305-pound redshirt freshman Jordon Earle and 258-pound sophomore George Blackstock will be a part of the interior combination to replace Stout.

The linebacking corps loses second-leading tackler Anthony Flory, but leading man Akeem Davis-Gaither is back after coming up with 105 tackles, and Jordan Fehr is back on the inside coming off an 85-tackle, 5.5 sack season. Throw in 212-pound Noel Cook and his 75 stops, and the corps is really, really good. In all, five of the top six linebackers return – this group will be fantastic.

– It stinks to lose NFL-caliber CB Clifton Duck and Tae Hayes on the other side, but the safeties are terrific. 200-pound seniors Josh Thomas and and ball-hawking First Team All-Sun Belt talent Desmond Franklin return. The corners are the one big question mark on the defense – you don’t just replace Duck and Hayes. It’s a young, green group that needs to find the right rotation in fall camp.

NEXT: Top Players, Keys To the Season, What Will Happen

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