By Jesse Wood
Oct. 31, 2013. Coming off its best game of the season, the Appalachian State Mountaineers (2-6) play the Chattanooga Mocs (6-2) at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 2. Kickoff begins at 3:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and cost $17 to $32.
While Appalachian State put together its worst start in two decades, the Mocs haven’t played this well in 16 years. Also, while Appalachian State has won 25 of 28 games against the Mocs, including 14 straight at home, two of the previous three games were decided by two points or less and ASU trailed the Mocs heading into the fourth quarter in each of those three games.
Head coach Scott Satterfield said Chattanooga is one of the better teams the Mountaineers will have faced this year, adding that the Mocs are a physical team that pounds the ball and can “impose their will on teams [to] wear you down.”
Satterfield also praised the defense of the Mocs, which leads the SoCon in scoring defense at 17.6 ppg; total defense at 313.2 ypg; pass defense at 135 ypg; and pass efficiency defense at 111.6 ypg. In all, the Mocs are ranked in the top 20 nationally in all four categories. Its offense isn’t shabby either, ranking third in the SoCon in scoring at 30.9 ppg and fourth in total offense and rushing.
Yet one thing that sticks out, something that has plagued Appalachian State this year with the exception of last week’s decisive victory against Georgia Southern, for the Mocs is their discipline. Chattanooga ranks among the most disciplined teams in the nation in terms of fewest turnovers (third in the nation with eight) and penalties (fourth in the nation, averaging 33.9 yards of penalties a game).
When asked about the keys to win the game, Satterfield said, “Take care of the football.”
Against Furman two weeks ago, the Mountaineers squandered nearly 500 yards of offense with five turnovers in a 10-27 loss. Against Georgia Southern last week, the Mountaineers didn’t turn the ball over and created two turnovers, leading to a much different outcome favoring the Mountaineers.
Satterfield also noted that third-down conversions on offense and third-down stops on defense will also be key.
In addition, Satterfield credited the offensive line, which is coming into its own recently. He said the o-line had its best game of the year against Georgia Southern, creating holes for the running game and protecting the passing game.
After a horrific start, Satterfield said the players showed “tremendous fortitude” to play the way they did against Georgia Southern. He described them as resilient to come back to work each Monday, ready to go. He did add, though, that he saw a few more smiles this week coming off the victory.
“They are hungry to finish the season strong,” Satterfield said.
After the Mountaineers face Chattanooga this Saturday, it has three games remaining – two away at Georgia (Nov. 9) and Wofford (Nov. 16) and final home game on Nov. 23.
For more information, click to Game Day Central.