By Tim Gardner
Appalachian State University has made history again during its record-setting start in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football.
At 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the Sun Belt Conference, the Mountaineers earned their first Top 25 ranking as an FBS member when the newly released Associated Press (AP) Poll on Sunday listed Appalachian State at No. 25.
It’s tied for the highest ranking ever for a Sun Belt team, as Troy’s one-week appearance at No. 25 in the AP Poll during the 2016 season is the only other case of a Sun Belt team being ranked in either poll. With a school-record 78 voting points in this week’s Amway Coaches Poll, the Mountaineers are one spot outside the 25th spot, 17 voting points behind Miami.
Led by head coach Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State is currently in its fifth season of FBS competition, and it’s the only program with a bowl win in each of its first three eligible seasons following the complete transition. The Mountaineers are 40-10 in their last 50 games and 30-3 in their last 33 conference games.
Appalachian State led in the final minute of a 45-38 overtime loss at Penn State to open the 2018 season, and it has won its last five games by a combined score of 231-49. That includes a 35-9 road victory on ESPN2 against Arkansas State, the preseason West Division favorite in the Sun Belt Conference, and a 27-17 home victory against Louisiana on Saturday. A touchdown by the Ragin’ Cajuns with 1:03 left Saturday accounts for the only second-half points given up by Appalachian’s defense since the Penn State game.
The Mountaineers are currently No. 5 nationally in scoring offense (44.8 points per game), No. 11 in scoring defense (15.7 points per game), No. 8 in yards allowed per game (294.8), No. 17 in offensive yards per game (476.0) and tied with Utah State for No. 1 in special teams touchdowns (four).
Appalachian State was unofficially No. 29 in last week’s AP Poll and No. 31 in last week’s Coaches Poll. The Mountaineers return to action Thursday with a 7:30 p.m. road game at Georgia Southern, which will be televised on ESPNU.
The 2018 football team is the first Appalachian State team to be ranked nationally in the top 25 since the 2016-17 wrestling team closed that regular season at No. 19.
-Article courtesy of the Appalachian State Athletics Strategic Communications Department-