Here we go with Week 2:
North Carolina A & T (0-0) @ #3 Appalachian State (0-1)
Kidd Brewer Stadium
Surface: Field Turf
Jeff Sagarin Ratings:
Home: 3.08 points
Appalachian is favored by the
Sagarin ratings by 42.5 points (rounded).
Series: Appalachian leads 4-1
Last Meeting: Appalachian 38 NC A&T 31 Greensboro, NC September 16, 1995
WXAPP’s Boone Gameday Weather Trends:
Partly Sunny, Small Chance passing shower
Kickoff: Mid to lower 70s.
Dwelling on the past is never a good thing. History cannot be changed, but it can repeat itself. Several times in the 82-year history of Appalachian football, the opponent won the first game. It has happened quite a few times and will likely happen again. But never, in 82 years, was it ever as ugly as it was last Saturday. There is no arguing the result. Virginia Tech is a better team. A
certain win in 2007, has spoiled these games for Appalachian fans for eternity. We all hope to recapture the glory that once was that magical day. It is quite likely that it will never happen again. If the national championships in 2005 and 2006 were not enough for the football world to recognize Appalachian, beating that Big Ten team was our battle cry, our final scream from the top of our lungs that exclaimed, “We belong!!!” That day we did belong. Four days ago,
Appalachian did not belong. As long as the history from four days ago is not
repeated this weekend, Appalachian will be OK.
It will be very difficult to get any type of idea what this A&T team is made of. Last week, they played a school that played its first football game in 78 years in Virginia Lynchburg. The Aggies had previously planned to play St. Paul’s college, who dropped their athletic program in the spring. This Aggie program has fallen off from the early 1990’s when Appalachian and A&T played 4 years in a row. Recently, they have been winless in several campaigns and can only offer 35 scholarships due to Academic Progress Rate Penalty status.
One item that does stick out is A&T’s big play ability. Even though their opponent was overmatched, TheAggies had four scoring plays that were responsible for nearly half of their offense against VU-Lynchburg. Quarterback Kindle Lewis’ four touchdown passes
covered 58, 52, 34 and 65 yards. Four completions. Four touchdown passes. Two-hundred and nineteen yards. Take those plays away and Lewis was a modest 10 for 19 and 122 yards. If I were Aggie Coach Rod Broadway, I would continue to look for the deep ball. Last year, Chattanooga burned the Appalachian secondary all day on deep passes. The Aggies must allow Lewis time to throw and give the Aggie receivers time to get open. If they are successful, we could see history repeat itself again.
There is a lot to talk about concerning Appalachian, and then there is nothing to
talk about. The offense was totally out of sync. In a game where field position is so critical, the Mountaineers couldn’t move the ball hardly at all. It gave Virginia Tech short fields, which they easily capitalized on all game long. When Virginia Tech did not have a short field, the only thing stopping them were there own mistakes. The Hokies scored on one long drive all game. It was a
14-play, 97-yard drive that took a whopping 6:38 off the game clock. Every other Hokie scoring drive took less than 3:05 to complete, and only lasted 8plays. The Hokies were rolling. It almost looked like a video game. For the first time in a long time, Appalachian was on the wrong end of the video game.
I am going to keep it short and sweet this week. Being critical this late in the week is pointless and everything has already been covered. Appalachian just was not ready last week. What can
Appalachian do this week better than last week? Just about everything. There is going to be a turnaround this weekend and it is almost inevitable. The Mountaineers will go from facing one of the best teams in the division to one of the worst. North Carolina A&T should not present a challenge to Appalachian. What Appalachian fans want to see is an improvement from last weekend, but at what cost? Do the Mountaineers need a confidence game? What good can
come from a 50-point loss, followed by a 50-point win?
What needs to happen before the conference slate, is that Appalachian needs to prove it can run the ball effectively. The option read is a great play, granted that it is read properly. The offensive line needs to allow DeAndre Presley time to throw. Our receivers will get open with enough time. There is not a need for some elaborate route running to get receivers open. It will come together, we all just need a little patience. What I want to see from the defense is gang tackling, with quick reaction time. If those two things are accomplished, Appalachian will be successful this Saturday, and for weeks to come.
The First Pick: