Appalachian State began their only typical game week schedule in October on Sunday with an hour-long practice at Kidd Brewer Stadium to start on game week. The Mountaineers host Idaho for homecoming on Saturday at The Rock. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.
October will go down as a strange month schedule-wise with a pair of half weeks off wrapped around last Wednesday’s 24-0 win at UL Lafayette. Following the impressive shutout, the days off will certainly benefit an App team that is starting to get healthy following a rugged opening five weeks that will likely have featured four bowl teams come December.
With two games upcoming in a span of six days – App travels to Georgia Southern on Oct. 27 – head coach Scott Satterfield is ready to see his team at full strength for the Sun Belt stretch run.
“I feel like we’re really close to being back (to 100 percent),” Satterfield said on Monday’s Sun Belt teleconference. “Hopefully we can get everyone back this week. We’re real close to getting them all back and having 100 percent of our guys.”
App State (4-2, 2-0 Sun Belt) was off Thursday until a late afternoon practice on Sunday for fall break. It was hard-earned rest after putting together one of their most complete halves of the season.
App rolled up almost 300 yards of offense in the first half to grab a 24-0 lead and cruise to an impressive road shutout at UL.
“I thought we came out and played a complete game in the first half,” Satterfield said. “We played well in all three phases. It was our most complete game starting out. We kept it going defensively in the second half, but didn’t stay quite as consistent on offense.”
App didn’t need the offense in the second half after the way it started on Wednesday night. The Mountaineers scored on each of their first four possessions. Only a holding penalty kept the offense from starting the game with four consecutive touchdowns.
Wide receiver Shaedon Meadors had a 56-yard reception on App’s first snap and freshman tight end Collin Reed – who entered the game without a career catch – had three catches on the second drive. However, the defense is the one setting a tough pace for the offense and special teams to try and keep.
The Apps are putting up historic numbers early in conference play.
The Mountaineers three total points surrendered in their two Sun Belt wins are the fewest since back-to-back shutouts in 1998. Only North Texas allowed fewer points in a two-game span in Sun Belt history. The home shutout of UL was the first in fourteen years (2002), part of North Texas’ aforementioned streak.
LAST 25 GAMES – Only four FBS programs have more wins in their last 25 wins than App State. Ohio State (24), Clemson (24), Alabama (23), and Houston (22). App State, TCU, Baylor, Navy, and Boise all have 21 wins. Memphis and Western Kentucky both have 20. App’s losses during their 21-4 stretch dating back to the middle of 2014 were (at Clemson, Arkansas State, at Tennessee (OT), and Miami).
SUN BELT STREAK – App improved to 15-1 in their last 16 conference games dating back to the middle of 2014. The Mountaineers have won eight consecutive road games, the second longest streak in Sun Belt history.
SCORING DEFENSE – App is allowing 1.5 points per game in conference play and 18.3 ppg., which leads the Sun Belt. Back-to-back games without allowing a TD has helped App’s scoring defense drop by almost 10 points per game.
SWARMING DEFENSE – App had season highs in sacks (5) and tackles for loss (10.0) in the shutout at Louisiana. The Mountaineers had five sacks on 44 offensive plays for the Ragin Cajuns in the opening half and nine different Apps had at least a half tackle for loss in the win.
STARTING FAST – App has held double-digit leads at halftime in four of six games this season. The Mountaineers are outscoring opponents not named Miami 92-24 in the first half. That’s an average score of 15-4. Dating back to last season, App has allowed one touchdown and only seven points in the first half of their last four Sun Belt games.
MOORE/COX MONSTER – Running backs Jalin Moore and Marcus Cox are combining to average 156.3 yards per game and 1.25 TDs per game (eight total) through six games this season. Moore is averaging 171 ypg and has five TDs over the last three games.