By Jesse Wood
Nov. 14, 2014. The Appalachian State Mountaineers (4-5) face Sun Belt powerhouse Arkansas State Red Wolves (6-3) on Saturday at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (ET), and the game will be televised on ESPN 3.
The Mountaineers are coming off three straight victories, while the Red Wolves have won five of their last six, surrendering less than 15 points in four of those victories. This could perhaps be one of the Mountaineers toughest games of the season. Earlier in the year, South Alabama pummeled the Mountaineers 47 to 21 at Kidd Brewer Stadium, and just last week, Arkansas State destroyed South Alabama 45 to 10.
Expect some trickery from Red Wolves – as seen in the above video, where one of the Red Wolves players during a fake punt “plays dead” or something to that effect to distract the opponent.
Pre-game notes provided by App State Sports:
This week’s game preview is brought to you by Carolina Ford Dealers.
Two of the Sun Belt Conference’s hottest teams square off this weekend when Appalachian State travels to longtime Sun Belt power Arkansas State. Saturday’s kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Ark.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast live on the Appalachian IMG Sports Network. Live coverage begins at noon ET with Pigskin Prelude. Click HERE for a full list of Appalachian IMG Sports Network affiliates or click HERE to listen live online.
Saturday’s game will be shown live on ESPN3 (play-by-play: Dave Weekley, analyst: Al Groh).
NOTING SATURDAY’S MATCHUP
• Appalachian State (4-5, 3-2 Sun Belt) carries a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s game, its longest since it won its final three contests of the 2012 regular season.
- A fourth-straight win would give the Mountaineers their longest winning streak since they won four in a row from Sept. 22-Oct. 13, 2012.
- During its current three-game winning streak (Oct. 18 at Troy, Nov. 1 vs. Georgia State, Nov. 8 vs. UL Monroe), Appalachian has won by an average score of 43-14 and has outgained its opponents by an average margin of 499-223.
- Arkansas State (6-3, 4-1 Sun Belt) has won five of its last six games after a 1-2 start. A-State’s only loss during that stretch was a 55-40 setback at first-place UL Lafayette on Oct. 21.
- Since the nationally televised Tuesday night defeat at UL Lafayette, Arkansas State has won two-straight games (Nov. 1 at Idaho, Nov. 8 vs. South Alabama) by an average score of 45-19.
- Offensively, A-State has scored 40 or more points in four-straight games.
- Defensively, the Red Wolves have surrendered 14 points or less in four of their last six contests.
- Statistically, Saturday’s matchup looks like a dandy, as the teams rank second and third in the Sun Belt in total offense (Arkansas State – 2nd, 461.1 ypg; Appalachian State – 3rd, 459.1 ypg) and total defense (App State – 2nd, 359.1 ypg; A-State – 3rd, 370.2 ypg).
- The matchup also features two of the league’s most dynamic quarterbacks in Appalachian State redshirt freshmanTaylor Lamband Arkansas State junior Fredi Knighten. Knighten leads the Sun Belt in total offense, accounting for 290.2 yards per game. However, in his seven starts, Lamb is right on Knighten’s heels, averaging 263.9 yards of total offense per game.
- The matchup is the first-ever between Appalachian State and Arkansas State.
- The game is Appalachian State’s first-ever in the state of Arkansas and only its second against an Arkansas-based team. In their only previous matchup versus an opponent from the Natural State, Appalachian State (then known as Appalachian State Teachers College) routed Arkansas-Monticello (then known as Arkansas A&M), 67-0, in Boone on Sept. 27, 1941.
- Saturday’s game marks the first of two-straight opportunities for Appalachian State to collect its first-ever win on the other side of the Mississippi River. Appalachian is 0-10 all-time when playing west of the Mississippi.
For all of the information on Saturday’s matchup, including links to live video, audio and stats, both teams’ rosters, depth charts, game notes and much more, click HERE to visit appstatesports.com’s official Gameday Central page.