Sept. 25, 2014. A familiar foe awaits Appalachian State football for its first-ever Sun Belt Conference game, as the Mountaineers travel to longtime rival Georgia Southern for Thursday night’s nationally televised Sun Belt opener. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro, Ga.
Former titans of the Southern Conference, Mountaineers and Eagles combined to lay claim to 17 conference titles (App State won seven outright, GS won eight outright and the teams shared two) and five NCAA Division I-AA/FCS national championships (App State in 2005, ‘06 and ‘07, GS in 1999 and 2000).
TVThursday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPNU. Ryan Ruocco (play-by-play) and David Diaz-Infante (analyst) is the broadcast team. The broadcast will also be streamed live on WatchESPN.
Thursday’s game will be broadcast live on the Appalachian IMG Sports Network. Live coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. with Pigskin Prelude. Click HERE for a full list of Appalachian IMG Sports Network affiliates or click HERE to listen live online.
In addition to its local affiliates, the Appalachian IMG Sports Network broadcast can also be heard nationwide on SiriusXM Radio (Sirius channel 126, XM channel 201). The SiriusXM coverage comes courtesy of the Heritage Sports Network’s “Legacy Series,” which nationally airs rivalry games each week.
NOTING THURSDAY’S MATCHUP
• Appalachian State (1-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) is coming off a heartbreaking 21-20 loss at Southern Miss on Saturday night. The Mountaineers dominated action throughout the evening but were doomed by three turnovers and 10 points left on the field in the kicking game, including a blocked PAT with six seconds to go in the game that allowed USM to escape with the one-point win.
• One of the many bright spots to come from the narrow defeat at Southern Miss was the play of redshirt freshman quarterback Taylor Lamb. Making his first-career start, Lamb completed 28-of-40 passes for 264 yards and two touchowns. He engineered fourth-quarter touchdown drives of 74 and 75 yards to nearly send the game to overtime.
• Lamb’s 28 completions were the most-ever by an Appalachian State quarterback in his first-career start while his 264 passing yards ranked second among Mountaineers making their first start (behind only Bake Baker’s 298 yards against Marshall in 1996).
• For the second time this season and eighth time in 15 career games, sophomore running back Marcus Coxsurpassed the 100-yard rushing barrier at USM, finishing with 119 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries (5.4 avg.).
• A Doak Walker Award candidate, Cox ranks third in the Sun Belt and 40th among all NCAA Division I FBS rushers with 93.3 yards per game this season.
• Defensively, App State stands alone atop the Sun Belt and is tied for second among all FBS teams with 2.0 interceptions per game.
• Thursday’s game on ESPNU will put one of college football’s most intense rivalries on the national stage for the first time.
• Appalachian State and Georgia Southern are meeting on the gridiron for the 29th time. Thanks to wins in eight of the last 11 matchups, App State leads the all-time series, 15-12-1.
• While the series dates back to 1932, the rivalry ramped up when Georgia Southern joined the Southern Conference in 1993. In 21 seasons as SoCon foes (1993-2013), the Mountaineers and Eagles combined to lay claim to 17 conference titles (App State won seven outright, GS won eight outright and the teams shared two) and five NCAA Division I-AA/FCS national championships (App State in 2005, ‘06 and ‘07, GS in 1999 and 2000).
• One of Thursday’s most intriguing matchups pits the Sun Belt’s second-ranked offense (Georgia Southern – 517.5 yards per game) against the league’s second-ranked defense (Appalachian State – 328.0 yards per game).
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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