Appalachian State Mountaineers College Football Preview 2021: Keys To The Season
Appalachian State Mountaineers Biggest Key: Offense
The Mountaineers should have enough of an offense to rip through just about everyone, but they have to score every chance they get against the better teams.
The 2019 team scored 92% of the time they got into the red zone. The 2018 team? 85%.
In 2020, Appalachian State scored 75% of the time it got into the red zone and came up with touchdowns on just 58% of the chances. That mattered in a big, big way in two of the losses, and turnovers were a problem in all three.
Two turnovers against Marshall, -2 in turnover margin against Coastal Carolina, and -3 against Louisiana.
The mistakes were killers, and so were the misfires. ASU missed two makable field goals against Louisiana and lost 24-21. It came up empty on two of the three trips into the red zone against Marshall – with a missed 26-yard field goal and a turnover – and lost by ten.
Appalachian State Mountaineers Biggest Key: Defense
To nitpick one of the best defenses going, the pass rush and pressure need to be steadier.
It was great overall with 26 sacks and 67 tackles for loss, but there were times when it all went bye-bye.
The Mountaineers failed to generate a sack or a tackle for loss in the the Marshall defeat. Not getting a sack against Louisiana was bad, but just the three tackles for loss were a bigger problem against its ground game.
The D dominated Coastal Carolina’s offensive front and still got rolled, so it’s not all about the pressure, but the team managed one sack or none in five of the 12 games.
Appalachian State Mountaineers Key Player To A Successful Season
PK Chandler Slaton, Sr.
He’s been fine, but the Mountaineers might need him to be great.
He hit 11-of-16 field goals in 2019, and was terrific in his first two years making 20 of his 24 chances.
It’s not like he was bad hitting 13-of-19 field goals last year, but the two misses against Louisiana were costly in the three point loss, and a close try against Marshall in the ten point loss didn’t work.
In a loaded Sun Belt with slew of huge games, if he’s close to perfect he’ll be the difference-maker in at least two wins.
Appalachian State Mountaineers Key Game To The 2021 Season
Coastal Carolina, Oct. 20
Georgia Southern was Appalachian state’s kryptonite over the previous few seasons, and that’s going to matter in a big way to end the regular season. However, to make that game matter in the East race, getting by Coastal Carolina will be a big deal.
The Mountaineers outplayed the Chanticleers in the 34-23 loss last season, but they just couldn’t stop screwing up with eight penalties, three turnovers, and with the defense seemingly unable to get off the field.
It’s coming after the road showdown at Louisiana, and no matter what, it needs to be an App State win to have any real hopes of getting to the Sun Belt title game.
2020 Appalachian State Mountaineers Fun Stats
– 4th Quarter Scoring: App State 104 – Opponents 53
– Rushing Offense: App State 265 – Opponents 152
– Fumbles: Opponents 19 (lost 3) – App State 17 (lost 6)