By Tim Gardner
The Appalachian State University Football team is open this week and is tied for first place in the Sun Belt Conference.
The Mountaineers’ next game versus Georgia State will be a matchup of league-leading football teams and perhaps their most important to date of the 2017 season because of its major ramifications.
A 27-6 home win against rival Georgia Southern last Thursday night, coupled with results from the rest of the Sun Belt Conference on Saturday, have Appalachian State as part of a three-way tie for first at 5-1 (five wins; one loss). Georgia State and Troy improved to 5-1 with road victories Saturday, and Arkansas State dropped from first place and from the unbeaten ranks in conference play after a 24-19 loss at South Alabama. Arkansas State is currently 4-1 in Sun Belt play.
Of the four one-loss teams, only Arkansas State plays this week, and a Red Wolves win against Texas State would leave the Sun Belt with four 5-1 teams heading into the Thanksgiving weekend. Appalachian State plays at Georgia State on November 25, and the winner of that game at Georgia State Stadium (formerly Turner Field) will be 6-1 in the Sun Belt with a chance to clinch at least a share of a conference title in its December 2 regular season finale.
Appalachian State hosts Louisiana at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone in that game.
Fifth-year coach Scott Satterfield’s Mountaineers (6-4 overall) won a share of the Sun Belt title in 2016, and the victory over Georgia Southern made them bowl eligible for the third consecutive season.
Appalachian State was crowned champions of the 2015 and 2016 Camellia Bowls, becoming the first program in history to win bowl games in its first two years after making the transition from the lower-level Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) to the major-level Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
Another note of interest for Appalachian State is the new national statistical standing of senior quarterback Taylor Lamb, a Calhoun, GA native. With 21 touchdown passes and just four interceptions this season, the 6-2, 200-pound Lamb is one of only four FBS quarterbacks with at least 20 touchdown passes and a Touchdown-to-Interception ratio of 5-to-1 or better.
The current Sun Belt Conference Standings with team first, conference record and then overall-record follows:
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