College Football News Preview 2020: Appalachian State Mountaineers Keys To The Season
Biggest Key To The Appalachian State Mountaineers Offense
Passing accuracy matters. Zac Thomas has been around long enough to be one of the Sun Belt’s best quarterbacks – if not the star of stars – and the receiving corps is loaded. However, the Appalachian State machine goes when the offense is keeping things moving with a crisp passing game.
Thomas had one game last year under the 50% passing mark – the loss to Georgia Southern. He threw for 271 yards and three scores, but there were just enough misfires to keep giving the ball back to the Eagles and their killer rushing offense.
Thomas and the passing game were under the 50% mark four times in 2018 with one loss – again, to Georgia Southern – and several close calls. Louisiana has been a problem when the passing game wasn’t sharp.
When it’s moving and the Mountaineers efficient, forget it. They’re too good.
Biggest Key To The Appalachian State Mountaineers Defense
Come up with playmakers who can get into the backfield. Akeem Davis-Gaither was the star of the show at one outside linebacker spot, but he wasn’t alone. Three of the top four Mountaineers in tackles for loss are gone.
Enough pass rushers are back to be fine, but the Sun Belt’s No. 1 run defense relied on lots and lots of big plays in the backfield. That means the linebacking corps has to be replenished immediately, and the line has to keep the pressure on.
The program hasn’t come up with fewer than 86 tackles for loss over the last three seasons. That can’t stop, which is why …
Key Appalachian State Mountaineers Player To A Successful Season
LB Tim Frizzell, Sr.
And anyone else who wants to provide a big push on the outside.
The 6-1, 230-pound Frizzell has the size to be a hybrid pass rusher – sort of like Akeem Davis-Gaither, but bigger – but he wasn’t able to do too much last year with nine tackles. Now he’ll get his shot to be one of the team’s top disruptive forces – he has the athleticism and size to do it.
Key Game To The Appalachian State Mountaineers Season
at Georgia Southern, Oct. 14
The Eagles have been Appalachian State’s Achilles’ heel over the last two seasons.
The Mountaineers might have been off to the New Year’s Six last year had they been able to get by Georgia Southern and finish the regular season 13-0 with a Sun Belt title, but they couldn’t get everything going on Halloween in a 24-21 loss.
They won the Sun Belt title in 2018, too, but the 34-14 loss was the main misfire along the way. Overall, starting with a win over Georgia Southern in late 2017, ASU is 28-3 with a loss to Penn State and those two defeats to the Eagles.
– Appalachian State Schedule
2019 Appalachian State Fun Stats
– 2nd Quarter Scoring: Appalachian State 155 – Opponents 57
– 4th Down Conversions: Appalachian State 13-of-16 (81%) – Opponents 15-of-26 (58%)
– Fumbles: Opponents 20 (lost 10) – Appalachian State 9 (lost 3)