Football Heads West for Sun Belt Battle at Idaho on Saturday, Nov. 14

Published Friday, November 13, 2015 at 2:07 pm
Nate Norwood (40) had six tackles and a sack in last year's 45-28 win over Idaho. Photo by Bill Sheffield / App State Athletics

Nate Norwood (40) had six tackles and a sack in last year’s 45-28 win over Idaho. Photo by Bill Sheffield / App State Athletics

Appalachian State makes the second-longest trip in school history this weekend when it travels to Moscow, Idaho for Saturday’s Sun Belt Conference matchup versus Idaho. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT) at Idaho’s Kibbie Dome.

WATCH LIVE
Saturday’s game can be seen nationwide on ESPN3 (play-by-play: Trey Bender, analyst: Forrest Conoly).

Saturday’s game can be heard across North Carolina on the 17-station Appalachian IMG Sports Network (click HERE for a list of network affiliates).

Coverage begins on the Appalachian IMG Sports Network with Pigskin Prelude at 3 p.m. ET.

PREVIEWING SATURDAY’S MATCHUP

• The 2,499-mile trip from Boone, N.C. to Moscow, Idaho is the longest that Appalachian State has ever made for a game on the United States mainland. The longest trip the Mountaineers have ever made was a 4,622-mile journey to face Hawai’i in the 2003 season opener.

• Appalachian is playing in the Pacific time zone for the first time in school history and is making only its seventh all-time appearance west of the Central time zone.

• The Mountaineers are 0-6 in their previous six games played west of the Central time zone.

• App State is looking to rebound from its first Sun Belt defeat in 398 days, a 40-27 home loss to Arkansas State on Nov. 5.

The loss to first-place A-State (6-3, 5-0 Sun Belt) snapped the Mountaineers’ 10-game Sun Belt winning streak, which was the fourth-longest conference winning streak in Sun Belt history.

• Getting back on track on Saturday will be a tall task against upstart Idaho (3-6, 2-4 Sun Belt).

• Idaho’s three wins this season match its total victories from the past three campaigns combined (2012-14) and are its most in a season since it went 6-7 in 2010.

• The Vandals could easily be riding a four-game winning streak and be on the verge of bowl eligibility going into this weekend’s game, as their last two losses have been a 55-48 overtime setback at New Mexico State (Oct. 31) and a 52-45 defeat at South Alabama (Nov. 7). Idaho led 48-34 with less than four minutes to go in regulation at NMSU and 24-0 late in the first half at USA.

• Despite last Thursday’s loss, Appalachian State continues to lead the Sun Belt and rank among the top 30 nationally in scoring defense (18.3 ppg – 18th nationally), scoring offense (37.4 ppg – 18th nationally), total defense (322.9 ypg – 21st nationally) and total offense (474.6 ypg – 26th nationally).

• Appalachian’s top individual storyline heading into Saturday’s game is junior Marcus Cox, who needs just nine rushing yards to become the first student-athlete in school history to run for 1,000 yards as a freshmam, sophomore and junior.

• Defensively, all eyes are on senior defensive end Ronald Blair, who leads the Sun Belt and is tied for 12th nationally with 1.5 tackles for loss per game (13.5 total).

• Blair also ranks sixth in the conference with 4.0 sacks this season and is facing an Idaho offensive front that has allowed 20 sacks in nine games this season (seventh-most in the Sun Belt).

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.

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