The Appalachian State Mountaineers have made a strong mark on major college football in only their fourth Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) season and third year as a bowl-eligible program. And their success is continuing, and in various ways, as they head into their 3:30 p.m. homecoming game against New Mexico State this Saturday in Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone. Continue reading for proof.
One of nation’s top programs last 36 games
App State has a stellar 29-7 record over its last 36 games and is 21-4 in league play since joining the Sun Belt Conference, including a 21-2 mark since starting 0-2 in 2014. The Mountaineers went 10-3 in 2016 for back-to-back 10-win seasons. Appalachian State claimed a share of its first Sun Belt title and a second straight Camellia Bowl win in 2016. The losses during the 36-game stretch have come against Georgia, Clemson, Tennessee, Miami, Troy, Arkansas State and Wake Forest.
FBS – MOST WINS LAST 36 GAMES
- Clemson 34-2
- Alabama 33-3
- Ohio State 32-4
T4. APP STATE 29-7
T4. Western Kentucky 29-7
T4. Wisconsin 29-7
- Houston 28-8
Like in baseball, three strikes and you’re out
By forcing 24 three-and-outs in 47 defensive possessions, Appalachian State ranks third nationally with a 51.1 percentage. Michigan is first at 56.6 percent, and Georgia Tech is second at 53.1. Appalachian State forced three-and-outs on 8 of 13 series vs. Wake Forest, 2 of 10 at Texas State, 9 of 12 versus Savannah State and 5 of 12 at Georgia.
Appalachian State leads Sun Belt teams and ranks 19th nationally by allowing only 17.8 points per game and 302.8 total yards per game. Those numbers come from a schedule that includes two games vs. Power Five conference opponents with a combined record of 9-1.
The Mountaineers finished ninth in the nation in scoring defense last year (17.8 points per game), eighth in red-zone defense and sixth in interceptions (20). It gave up 94 points in Sun Belt play, the lowest total of any FBS league.
Appalachian State is one of only five FBS offenses that hasn’t thrown an interception this year. The other four are Alabama, Oklahoma, NC
State and Georgia Tech.
Appalachian State quarterback Taylor Lamb has thrown for 994 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions on 120 passing attempts this season, allowing him to rank second among active FBS quarterbacks with 213 consecutive attempts without an interception. NC State’s Ryan Finley is first at 257.
With help from a line that ranks first in the Sun Belt and eighth nationally by giving up only 0.75 sacks per game, Lamb leads the Sun Belt in yards per completion (13.62) and yards per attempt (8.28).
He has already become one of the most accomplished quarterbacks at Appalachian State. The Mountaineers’ signal caller has amassed a 29-11 mark over 40 career starts. He ranks first among active FBS quarterbacks in career games, seventh in career passing yards and second in consecutive pass attempts without an interception.
FBS active leaders (Released October 5)
Career games started-
- Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State 42
- J.T. Barrett, Ohio State 41
T3. John Wolford, Wake Forest 40
T3. Brandon Silvers, Troy 40
- Matt Linehan, Idaho 39
- Brogan Roback, Eastern Michigan 38
- Alex McGough, FIU 37
Career passing yards –
- Luke Falk, Washington State 12,611
- Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State 10,623
- Matt Linehan, Idaho 9,642
- Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma 8,994
- Brandon Silvers, Troy 8,635
- Mike White, Western Kentucky 8,132
- Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State 8,043
- Logan Woodside, Toledo 7,978
- Josh Rosen, UCLA 7,720
- Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee 7,714
Most consecutive passes without an interception-
- Ryan Finley, NC State 257
- Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State 213
- Jalen Hurts, Alabama 170
- Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma 152
Appalachian State has started three true freshmen on offense in each game: center Noah Hannon, outside receiver Thomas Hennigan and slot receiver Malik Williams. Illinois and Baylor have started an FBS-leading five true freshmen on offense.
With Hennigan (176 yards) and Williams (118) leading the team in receiving yards, App State headed into its bye week as the only FBS team with seven players who had at least 100 receiving yards through four weeks.
Catch me if you can
Senior receiver T.J. Watkins, who scored an 84-yard touchdown against Wake Forest, is one of four players from a Group of Five schools with an 80-yard gain from scrimmage against a Power Five opponent this season.
East Carolina’s Trevon Brown is the only other Group of Five player with an 80-yard reception vs. a Group of Five team this year.
Consistent offensive line play
Senior right tackle Beau Nunn (32 career starts) and senior right guard Colby Gossett (37 straight starts) have been mainstays on one of the nation’s most consistent offensive lines. Appalachian State has ranked in the top 20 in rushing offense and sacks allowed for three straight years.
So far this season, App has faced rushing defenses ranked 11th (Georgia), 51st (Wake Forest) and 61st (Texas State) nationally.
Rushing Offense Last Three Seasons:
Year YPG NCAA SBC
2014 241.8 17th 2nd
2015 271.5 6th 2nd
2016 250.9 10th 1st
Sacks Allowed Last Three Seasons:
Year Sacks NCAA SBC
2014 11 T-3rd 3rd
2015 11 4th 2nd
2016 16 17th 3rd
Appalachian State has set single-game attendance records at Kidd Brewer Stadium in each of the last two seasons.
In their last home game, the Mountaineers drew stadium-record 35,126 fans for Wake Forest’s first appearance in Boone. That broke the record of 34,658 set last year when Miami became the first Power Five Conference program to visit Boone.
The largest crowds in Kidd Brewer Stadium history include:
Opponent Date Score Crowd
- W. Forest 9/23/17 L, 20-19 35,126
- Miami 9/17/16 L, 45-10 34,658
- Elon 10/9/10 W, 34-31 31,531
- Wofford 10/31/08 W, 70-24 30,931
Exciting game day atmosphere
Philanthropic funding through A Mountaineer Impact, A Drive for Excellence has provided visible enhancements to Kidd Brewer Stadium, most notably new video displays, ribbon displays and a custom audio system integrated with the video system.
The scoreboard display is three times the size of the previous video board in Kidd Brewer Stadium and the largest of its kind among the Group of Five conferences with 2,500 square feet to feature 13HD technology from Daktronics. It measures 50 feet high by 90 feet wide for the overall scoreboard, with the new LED display measuring more than 37 feet high by 67 feet wide.
-More specific notes about this week’s homecoming game versus New Mexico State include:
Appalachian State’s second Sun Belt game of 2017 coincides with homecoming weekend in Boone, and it’s the first full week of league play with five Sun Belt matchups. The Mountaineers won 20-13 at Texas State on September 16.
Scouting New Mexico State
Fifth-year New Mexico State head coach and former East Carolina University assistant Doug Martin received a contract extension last month
based on a strong start that has included wins against rivals New Mexico (30-28) and UTEP (41-14). The Aggies have performed well in losses to Arizona State (37-31), Troy (27-24) and Arkansas (42-24).
The Appalachian State game will be the Sun Belt opener for the Aggies.
Senior quarterback Tyler Rogers ranks fourth nationally in touchdown passes (14) and fifth in passing yards per game (351.4). Jaleel Scott, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound receiver from Rock Hill, SC, is among the national leaders with 543 receiving yards and five touchdowns, while senior back Larry Rose III ranks third among active FBS players with 4,015 rushing yards. Rose III’s career average of 111.5 yards per game is first among active FBS backs.
A victory for App State
*Will make senior quarterback Taylor Lamb 30-11 as a starter, putting him in a second-place tie with D.J. Campbell for the most career victories by an App State starting quarterback. Campbell went 30-17 from
1989-92, and Armanti Edwards ranks first in wins with a 42-7 record from 2006-09.
*Will allow head coach Scott Satterfield to move into sole possession of fifth place on the school’s all-time wins list. At 34-20, he is currently tied with Carl Messere, who went 34-26 from 1965-70. The Mountaineers’ wins
leaders, in order, are: Jerry Moore (215 from 1989-2012); E.C. Duggins (57 from 1947-50, 1952-55); Jim Brakefield (47 from 1971-79); and Sparky Woods (38 from 1984-88).
Series history and game prediction
Appalachian State and New Mexico State, which is in its final year as a Sun Belt Conference football program, will play for the second time overall and first time in Boone.
The Mountaineers made their first trip to Las Cruces, N.M., for their 2016 regular-season finale and clinched a share of their first Sun Belt title with a 37-7 victory in Aggie Stadium. Before kickoff, Arkansas State suffered
its first league loss in dramatic fashion against Louisiana, and a 7-1 final record was good for a two-way tie atop the standings.
App State ended the first quarter in Las Cruces with a 17-0 lead and 234-0 advantage in total yards against New Mexico State, which played without starting quarterback Tyler Rogers and several key offensive linemen.
Indications are that New Mexico State is much- improved from last season. Still, the Mountaineers (2-2 overall; 1-0 conference) have the better of the two teams and should claim their third win of the season in a game broadcast on ESPN 3. But the contest may not be decided until the fourth quarter. Predicted score: In a shootout, Appalachian State 37, New Mexico State 24.