Men’s Basketball vs Furman

Appalachian hosts the Paladins in a non-conference matchup Tuesday night from the Holmes Convocation Center. Furman claimed a ten point win over Presbyterian last Friday while the Mountaineers downed Jacksonville by eight on Saturday. 

The Apps were lead by Chris Burgess’ 18 points in the win over JU while Emarius Logan added 13 in the victory. Furman might be without Stephen Croone who led the Paladins in scoring last season. Croone is dealing with a thumb injury. 
Appalachian is a 3.5 point favorite. No line was available for the Jacksonville game. The official pick is for Appalachian -3.5 considering Furman only managed 63 points in their first outing and App looks to improve on a 76 point output in which they missed a lot of easy shots. 

Appalachian Basketball @ Furman

Last time out, Appalachian fell hard in a huge loss at Ohio by a 73-47 count. You can count on one finger the number of Mountaineers that played well. Tommy Spagnola led the Mountaineers with 11 points and nine rebounds, narrowly missing the double-double in thirty-one minutes of action. Starting point guard Frank Eaves could not have played any worse. Eaves was 2-12 from the floor, including misfiring on all four of his three points attempts, while also leading the team with four turnovers compared to just two assists. Surprisingly, Tab Hamilton was ruled out of the game, and his playing time is doubt until his eligibility is straightened out due to playing too many games in a summer league.

Ohio was favored by ten points and covered the spread easily. We expected the Bobcats to cover and they did. Appalachian is 0-1 against the spread on the season and we are 1-0 with our picks.

Tonight, Appalachian faces Furman in Greenville, SC. I still do not understand why this game was scheduled, against a former SoCon opponent, nor do I understand why its being played in Greenville. The Paladins were drilled in their first game of the season, 75-40, by College of Charleston, but were without last years leading scorer in Stephen Croone who sat out due to a concussion.

This could be an ugly game tonight. Neither team was able to shoot the ball very well in their season opener. The Mountaineers slashed 33/25/44 (field goals/three pointers/free throws) while Furman countered with a 24/17/51. For those counting, thats not good. Furman has always played Appalachian tough in auditorium that is Timmons Arena. The Paladins are 2.5 point favorite, which is basically home court. However, I believe this number favors the Mountaineers slightly. I like the line better at three points, but I’ll take App at +2.5.

Appalachian Football @ Furman

Here we go with Week 7:

Appalachian State (1-4, 1-2) @ Furman (2-4, 1-2)

Time: 1:30 pm


Radio: WKBC 97.3 Wilkesboro, Charlotte, Winston Salem, Hickory & High Country; WATA 1450 Boone, Blowing Rock; WCOG 1320 Winston-Salem, Greensboro; WMFR 1230 High Point, Greensboro; WSML 1200, Burlington, Greensboro; WCMC 99.3 Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill; WZGM 1350 Black Mountain, Asheville; WTOE 1470 Spruce Pine; WPWT 870 Bristol, Johnston City; WZGV 730 Charlotte, Rock Hill, Salisbury; WDNC 620 Durham, Raleigh; WHKP 1450 Hendersonville; WAZZ 1490 Fayetteville; WLON 1050 Lincolnton

Paladin Stadium

Surface: Natural Grass/Fieldturf?

Capacity: 16,000

Jeff Sagarin Ratings: 

App State: 47.61

Furman: 45.51

Home: 3.69

Furman is favored by the Sagarin ratings by 1 ½ points (rounded).

Series: Furman leads 22-18-3

Last Meeting: Appalachian 33, Furman 28, November 10, 2012, Boone

WXAPP’s Furple Gameday Weather Trends:

Mostly Cloudy skies with upper 60’s for the kickoff.           

                 Earlier this year, we talked about how much change was occurring around the Appalachian State football program. From conferences to coaches, it has all been covered, but perhaps the last talked about topic of discussion was the small matter of discipline. We didn’t expect much change from one head coach to the next, considering the new kid on the block had learned from the man who was also his own head coach. None thought that player behavior was going to be an issue until it awoke from a hibernation from nearly a decade ago. Student athlete behaviors will always be ridiculed because they are the ones in the spotlight, playing in front of crowds that pay to watch them play. Hollywood actors get their play in national magazines while mostly football and basketball players are gossiped about at the local coffee shops. While these celebrities are in their prime, many look the other way and give those who foul up a second chance. But, when one misstep leads to another and the games or shows are not what they used to be, the public is quick to judge. The behavior never changed, it just became tolerable to extent. The actions of a football player in Boone have hopefully changed for the better. Our former coach was always an apologist, willing to take a negative event and turn it into a positive. Most of the time it worked out, as players got their second chance. However, a new sheriff is in town, and he has simple rules, which unfortunately not adhered to by a former star. But on the back side, there might always be a safety net, for a troubled student athlete to fall into. In an eerily quiet silence in a courtroom in Watauga County this week, a court official directed the alleged: “Son, if you have not had a chance to talk with Coach Moore, I believe he would like to speak with you.”

            Finally, we get back to football, after a few days which may have felt like an eternity. Bad football is better than none at all, and that is what we will continue to do here. Appalachian is on the brink of a very unprecedented season for all the wrong reasons. The Mountaineers are breaking offensive records in the worst possible way. Appalachian fans are used to halves of football with 223 yards gained, not full games. A first down is not what it used to be in Kidd Brewer Stadium. The bell tolls on third down and you can actually hear it, compared to not hearing anything. An anemic offense is averaging just over 18 points a game at The Rock. It is something this blogger has never witnessed in over twenty five years of Appalachian fandom.

            With such a low offensive numbers, there is not much to review from the week before. The Mountaineers continue to rely almost solely on a true freshman running back to provide some offense. Opposing teams might now be catching up to Marcus Cox. Despite going over the century mark in combined rushing and receiving yards for the fourth straight game, it was his lowest mark of the stretch. Cox averaged just a hair less than five yards a carry on the ground, but could not find a crease in the passing game to break a long one. He was also held without a touchdown for only the second time this season. Cox will be tested once again this week as Furman sports the SoCon’s leading rushing defense, allowing only 3.6 yards per carry.

            Looking solely at the final score, you would think the Appalachian defense was dominated all game long. The Mountaineers held Samford at bay as long as possible in the first half before giving up a two late touchdowns in the second quarter. After giving up an opening drive touchdown, Samford punted on four straight possessions. Those punts accounted for all but two of the Samford punts on the game. On those four possessions that ended with punts, Samford could only manage one first down. The flip side is that Appalachian went three and out on three of those four possessions. Nine plays for twenty yards. The defense had to run back on the field quickly way too many times in the first half. The score may have still been in reach at 21-3 at the half, but everyone in the stadium knew that game was over.

            Appalachian might be able to learn a lesson from Furman this weekend. The Paladins have talent in spots, but not in a lot of places. Their coaches know it, and have used an approach on offense to play to their strengths. Furman has always been a power running team to their core. They continue those ways even with a somewhat smaller than usual offensive line. On the right side, the Paladins are especially thin, with a 253-pound tackle and a 260-pound guard. That is made up for on the left side of the line with preseason All American tackle Dakota Dozier who is a solid 6’5 and 303 pounds and appropriately named Tank Phillips at right guard, who is 6’1 and 290 pounds. They have been able to clear enough room to run for their leading rusher Hank McCloud, who is well on his way to a 1,000 yard season. McCloud is a traditional running back who has a little bit of everything. He will surprise you with his quickness and his power and knows when to use it at the right time. Appalachian will best served to get him to second guess himself behind the line so the Mountaineers can attack from the linebacker level.

             Furman has used three different quarterbacks in its six games this season. Neither has been particularly adept throwing the ball which is dandy for Furman. Reese Hannon is the preference for the Paladins, but has only played in three games this season, all of which he has started in. Hannon has 409 yards passing on the season, with one interception and two touchdown passes. Hannon is not a threat to run on designed plays, and would rather throw an incompletion than to force something that is not there. The Paladins will throw the ball out of necessity, only to keep the linebackers from sneaking up at the line, but they would rather not. Hannon threw two interceptions to the Mountaineers last year while completing nineteen of his thirty six pass attempts.

            Furman probably requested one game tape to study the Mountaineer defense. They wanted the tape from the Charleston Southern game, one that fits their offensive strategy like a glove. The Paladins simply put, want to control the clock by keeping it out of its opponents hands. They want to shorten the game, mainly by giving the opposition fewer times with the football in their hands in which to score. It worked well two years ago in Greenville, when the Mountaineers fell 20-10. Appalachian turned the ball over repeatedly and couldn’t score when it counted. This Mountaineer team can’t score either and will be pressed to on each possession if the Paladins have their way. We believe an old school low scoring game will be fitting to end one of the SoCon’s better rivalries over the years. We are hoping the Mountaineers can find their way on offense. Rhythm is the key word for Appalachian on offense. The timing has to be right with the offensive line, quarterbacks and the receivers. One way to keep that timing right is stay disciplined. Too many times last week, the Mountaineers found themselves gaining momentum slowly, until a penalty, or a bad sack forced them into a tough situation. The ball must be moving forward at all times, with an attacking mentality versus a side to side approach. The easiest way to gain ten yards is shortest way, not the longest. Appalachian has a chance to win if they can score, which is a must. We have not seen it yet, or enough, but this Appalachian defense can play better with a lead, and some support, and believe it can happen this weekend. Furman was held in check last year by the Mountaineers in the run game. The Paladins ran for 97 yards on 26 attempts. Appalachian gifted Furman two defensive touchdowns and a kickoff return last year. Otherwise, the Mountaineer defense played well. At times, a punting contest could take place in this game, which will be low scoring. Eventually the Mountaineers are going to come to their senses. A win over Furman seems like as good a time as any to do it.

The First Pick:

Furple                          16

Mountaineers              19

App. State Men and Women advance at SoCon Tournament


Appalachian and Charleston played a really close game until the final few minutes when Appalachian’s pressure finally got to Charleston. Appalachian was in control for much of the game, but could never really extend their lead in the first half. Charleston led by a point on one occasion, but Appalachian quickly regained the lead. For much of the game, the Mountaineers led by just under ten points as Charleston hung around as long as they could.

The Cougars were still in the game with 2:09 remaining, as they only trailed by six points. The Mountaineers would finish the game on a 8-0 run to mark the final tally at 74-60. Six of those eight points came at the free throw line via Maryah Sydnor and Anna Freeman. Bria Huffman hit a basket as well in that final run by the Mountaineers.

Anna led all scorers with 23 points and added ten rebounds. Maryah Sydnor scored 17 points and added a half dozen rebounds. Raven Gary added 14 points, six rebouns and four assists. Courtney Freeman chipped in eleven points. Three Mountaineers, Sydnor, Anna, and Courtney accumulated twelve of the nineteen Appalachian fouls as all three were called for four. Charleston threw up another twenty three point attempts, and were mostly unsuccessful, hitting only five of them. The Cougars attempted 28 more shots than Appalachian, and the Mountaineers turned the ball over 13 more times than their opponent.

Appalachian gave up 20 offensive rebounds to Charleston, and must clean that up if they want to beat Chattanooga. The Mocs pounded Appalachian just eight days ago at home. The key to beating the Mocs is playing good perimeter defense and getting in the face of the Mocs three point shooters. Appalachian must also be very aware of Chattanooga’s post players, and do everything they can to limit the Mocs to one shot on the offensive end. Appalachian and Chattanooga will face off at noon on Sunday.

(We made the tough decision and attended the men’s game on Saturday)


Appalachian jumped all over a tired Furman team in the first half and never looked back. Appalachian used a 7-0 run the jump out to an 18-7 lead early in the first half. Moments later, a 10-2 run by Appalachian up by seventeen points, a lead they would two more times in the first half before heading to the locker room with a fourteen point halftime lead. Appalachian used active hands on the defensive end, something we had not seen all year long. Their hands were in the passing lanes on the wings, and once the ball was tipped, the Mountaineers were off and running for easy fast break points.

Furman cut the lead to five points at 38-33 early in the second half, but Appalachian once again answered with a huge run, another 7-0 run, that put that back up by double digits with 16:17 to play in the game. Furman would once again cut the lead back down to single digits at 47-40, before Appalachian finally put the Paladins away. Over the next 5:23 of game time, the Mountaineers went on a 19-5 run that gave them the Mountaineers their biggest lead of the game with just over eight minutes to play.

Furman responded with a 10-0 run, but it was too little too late for the Paladins. Tevin Baskin put a bow on the game as Furman went up for a breakaway dunk with 13 seconds left and Baskin emphatically blocked it away to preserve a 74-60 final margin.

In the earlier meeting against Furman, Appalachian had very balanced scoring, as four players scored 14 points. Scoring was very balanced against Furman in the tournament as no player scored more than 13 points. Nathan Healy and Jay Canty scored 13 as Jamaal Trice added twelve points to round out the Mountaineer double figure scorers. Baskin and Tab Hamilton added nine points each while Michael Obacha scored eight points and led the team with seven rebounds.

Next up for the Mountaineers is Davidson, who blistered Georgia Southern with three pointers, nailing ten in the first half, and thirteen for the game. Five Wildcats scored in double figures in the 86-59 win. Davidson handled Appalachian in both meeting this season, so this game will be a tall task for the Mountaineers. Most consider Appalachian the weakest of the four top seeds and predicted they would make an early exit in the tournament. Davidson and Appalachian have never met in the semifinals before and Appalachian is 1-3 all time against the Wildcats in the tournament. Davidson has easily brought the most fans to the tournament, but hopefully a 6pm start will bring a few more Mountaineers to Asheville.

Appalachian opens tournament against Furman

Furman pulled off the upset of the evening last night if you want to believe most SoCon experts. The fact is, there is not a huge gap between the bottom teams of this conference and the lower middle teams. Samford, who Furman beat on Friday, prefers a slower pace of basketball, which induces a game of half court basketball where execution is vital. Samford and Furman both play very short benches and a Furman victory to us was not as surprising as it was for most. Furman had been playing much better down the stretch, despite losing ten games in a row.

Furman won their eighth game of the season last night while getting several players back from injury. Stephen Croone came back from a foot injury, playing in only his second game back from injury and scored eleven of Furman’s 55 points. Croone drilled the Mountaineers for twenty points in their only meeting earlier this year in Boone. Charlie Reddick scored eight points and grabbed ten rebounds in a game where the Paladins outrebounded the Bulldogs 34-24. Furman also had a big game from Bobby Austin who scored seventeen points in 34 minutes.

Appalachian must regroup and focus after an emotional week of basketball last week. The Mountaineers were able to win two games in order to clinch the bye. Furman may have gained some confidence last night, but will have to play after less than a day of rest. The only meeting between the two schools earlier this year featured another one of Appalachian’s games where they blew a big lead and had to hold on late. Appalachian had an 18 point lead in the first half before eventually allowing Furman to cut the lead to one point late in the game. March is not the time for loss of focus and Appalachian must keep its down and grind this win out before worrying about who they may play tomorrow.

We are still waiting on Vegas to chime in on this game. This usually happens where we cannot find a line for tournament games until right before tipoff. Considering other high profile games that are being played across the country, it is very possible that we do not see a line in this game at all. We will keep checking until game time. Our guess is the Mountaineers are favored by 5.5 points, but that could be generous. It is possible this line could be as high as 7 points.

11:25 UPDATE: Appalachian has opened as 6 point favorite. This is what we were expecting. We will keep waiting for movement before we make a pick.

Furman edges App Baseball in Game 1

It was a rough night for the Appalachian battery in what turned out to be a pitchers duel in Greenville as the Paladins won the first game of the series 3-1. The Mountaineers outhit Furman 10-7, but could not get the clutch hit that would send runners across the plate. Appalachian stranded ten runners for the game, five in the final two at bats, and six in their last four innings. The bottom third of the Mountaineer lineup was a combined 0/10 at the plate, outside of a pinch hit by Dillon Dobson. Noah Holmes was granted a night to be the designated hitter while Dobson was slumping, keeping William Head at third base. Holmes batted fifth in the lineup, pushing Jaylin Davis down to sixth spot.

Jamie Nunn (3-1, 2.00) was good enough on the mound to keep the Mountaineers in striking distance, but did not receive any support on offense, or behind him in the field. The Mountaineers committed two errors on the night, one from Will Callaway and another from Jaylon Davis. Nunn pitched seven innings, adding six strikeouts, and twelve ground outs while throwing 98 pitches. Tyler Moore worked the eighth inning on 14 pitches, but did strikeout two batters. The loss was Nunn’s first since a relief effort against Western Carolina last season.

Baseball visits Furman for first place

It is extremely early in the season, only the second conference series for both teams, but Furman has made its presence known early in the season. The Paladins are fresh off of a series win over Elon where the Paladins crushed Elon in their two wins, scoring ten runs in both games. Even more impressive was that the series was played at Elon. Furman then went on to win two games at usually strong Coastal Carolina in the midweek. The Chanticleers are now only 4-8 this season, but have lost to North Carolina, Kentucky, Elon, and NC State. Coastal’s record may not look great, but those are some good baseball programs they lost to. Furman’s other losses are to Gardner-Webb and South Carolina. Seems to me that Furman is legit, and this series will be huge in determining the SoCon race.

Furman was predicted to finish 7th in the SoCon by the coaches and 8th by the media, so this record is a surprise to everyone in the SoCon world. This is best start to a season for Furman since 2001. Last year, Appalachian had one of its best weekends of the season against Furman in a Friday game and Saturday doubleheader. The Mountaineers outscored Furman 34-7 in those three games, with the Mountaineers scoring fourteen runs in two of those games.


Appalachian Men & Women Sweep Furman


Appalachian needs to get respond quickly to its first home loss of the season. The best way to do that might be by playing the Furman Paladins. Surprisingly, Furman has won two games in a row over Western Carolina and Samford, and has been playing a bunch of close games of late. Furman only lost by three to conference leading Chattanooga, which represents their only loss in their past five games. Appalachian made rather easy work of the Paladins earlier this season in a fourteen point win. Furman (10-12, 6-7) is playing for seeding down the stretch. They are only 2.5 games behind Appalachian and 1.5 games behind fifth place Samford. If they could finish around 10-10 in conference play, that could sneak them into the sixth seed, and perhaps into the fifth seed, depending on Samford and other tiebreakers.

Appalachian is a much more skilled team than Furman, and I fully expect the Mountaineers to respond to their poor performance on Saturday. Furman is always a game team, and they beat Appalachian two years ago in Boone in one of the final homes games of the season. The game had no impact on conference standings, but it was a gloomy loss.


It was a big night for the stars of the women’s team. Appalachian had to fight to keep Furman at bay for the entire game, but their efforts were good enough for a ten point win. Anna Freeman got behind the defense for several easy layups that led to her shooting 9/15 from the field for 24 points. Anna also was big on the glass, pulling down 12 rebounds. Maryah Sydnor was also effective scoring 19 points and Kelsey Sharkey continued her strong play with 10 points and seven rebounds.

As a team, Appalachian only attempted three shots from behind the arc, but went to the free throw line often. The Mountaineers were 19/25 from the line, outscoring Furman by twelve points at the charity stripe. Appalachian also outrebounded Furman by nine and actually hit the offensive boards for one of the first times all season. The Mountaineers had been getting killed on the offensive glass, but grabbed eleven on Monday evening. Next up for the Mountaineers is Wofford on Saturday for the annual Play4Kay charity game.

C-Note: Anna Freeman scored her 1700th point in the first half, and her 24 points for the game took her to 1,710 points for her career. Anna grabbed her 900th rebound three games ago against Georgia Southern and currently has 918 career rebounds.


Appalachian and Furman will face off for the first and only time this season in the regular season. Furman has had a rough year, but has been playing better of late as well. The Paladins(6-16, 3-8) are in the midst of a three game losing streak. Their three conference wins are over UNCG, Georgia Southern and Wofford, all since January 14th. The Paladins are 1-9 on the road this year overall, that only win coming at UNCG.

Colin Reddick is the only Paladin averaging in double figures at 12.9 points per game. Charlie Reddick adds 9.8 points per game and Stephen Croone adds 9.3 points per game. Both Reddick’s lead Furman in rebounding, combining for almost twelve rebounds per game. Furman is fresh off of a four game homestand and will be playing their first road game since January 24th.

Appalachian remains in contention for the fourth seed in the conference tournament. Appalachian is in a tie for fifth with Western Carolina at 6-6, sitting only a half game behind Samford, who sits at 6-5, having played one fewer game. Appalachian has already split with Western this season, and will play Samford in a couple of weeks at home. This game is one that the Mountaineers need in order to stay in contention. It is a game that should be considered a must-win, especially with a big game at Elon on Thursday looming. The remainder of the schedule for Appalachian stay in the state of North Carolina. Three home games follow the road games at Elon, and Greensboro on Sunday.

The spread has opened up at 7.5 points. Furman has covered some games recently, and that is a shaky number. If it goes higher, I will be highly tempted to take Furman.

2:13 UPDATE: Line has dropped to 6.5, which I fully expected. I believe that is a great 50/50 number. Furman is bad, but can Appalachian respond after the whooping at Davidson? We will ride the Apps.


Another game, another long stretch without scoring points, allowing the visiting team to get back in the game. Appalachian led by 18 points in the first half, at 34-16 with 4:13 remaining in the first half. It appeared Appalachian was going to cruise to an easy victory, until the Mountaineers decided to go to the locker room with time still remaining. Not only did Appalachian not hit a field goal in the final four minutes of the first half, they could not even get to the free throw line. They went scorless in the final minutes of the first half.

Furman pulled to within six points at halftime and slowly chipped away at the Mountaineer lead. With 1:31 to play, Furman cut the deficit to one point after hitting a three. Appalachian would outscore Furman 8-3 in the final ninety seconds to hold onto second place in the SoCon North. Chattanooga knocked off Samford to give the Bulldogs their sixth conference loss, one half game behind Appalachian and Western who are tied for second, 2,5 games behind first place Elon. Appalachian vists Elon on Thursday night, which will basically eliminate the Mountaineers from SoCon North contention if they lose.

Nathan Healy had a double-double for the Mountaineers with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Michael Obacha scored a season high 14 points, by going 6/6 from the free throw line. Obacha has been shooting 50% from the free throw line prior to the Furman game.

Appalachian fell one point shy of covering the spread in heartbreaking fashion. That is the second time this season Appalachian lost a huge lead at home with a manageable spread and lost the cover. The other was Georgia Southern. We expect Appalachian to be underdogs to Elon on Thursday night.

Women’s Basketball 66 Furman 52

The best possible scenario for Appalachian to forget that dreadful second half at Davidson is to get back on the court as soon as possible. That is what the Mountaineers will do when they play their second straight road conference at Furman on Monday night. The Paladins have been a scrappy team in the past, one that relies heavily on the three pointer. Furman’s last win in the series came in 2011 when the Paladins hit a game-winning three pointer in the closing seconds to defeat the Mountaineers by one.

Furman (4-7, 0-2) went an entire month without a victory following their victory over Mercer on November 24th. Their next win came on December 29th, a win over USC-Upstate. Despite their unattractive wins, three of the four Paladin wins have come at home. Furman’s Timmons Arena, is a tough place to play, mainly because it is not suited for basketball. The depth perception for a shooter is tremendously different from one half to the next. If you have ever been there, you know what we are talking about.

In their eleven games, the Paladins have used a slew of starting lineups. Only Teshia Griswold has started every game. Eleven players have started at least one game, and those same eleven average double digit minutes on the season. Griswold averages 14.4 points and 3.6 rebounds a game. Brittany Hodge leads the team in rebounding at 7.9 boards per game while chipping in 7.2 points per contest. Sarah Durdaller averages 14.2 points per game, but did not play at all during Furman’s six game losing streak.

Appalachian boasts three players in double figures in Anna Freeman (19.4), Courtney Freeman (15.6) and Maryah Sydnor (13.1). Anna scored a season low nine points against Davidson. Sydnor led all scorers with 15 points and is coming on as the season progresses. Sydnor had a slow start to the season but has just recently upped her scoring average into double figures.

SoCon Women’s Basketball SoCon Overall
Team Record Pct Home Away Neutral Streak Record Pct Home Away Neutral Streak
Chattanooga 3-1 1.000 2-0 1-0 0-0 W3 10-3 .833 5-0 4-2 1-0 W2
College of Charleston 3-1 1.000 1-0 2-0 0-0 W3 7-6 .583 3-1 4-4 0-0 W3
Davidson 3-0 1.000 2-0 0-0 0-0 W2 6-7 .417 3-0 1-6 1-1 W1
Elon 3-1 .667 1-1 1-0 0-0 W2 6-7 .417 4-2 1-5 0-0 W1
Samford 3-1 .667 2-0 0-1 0-0 L1 6-7 .417 4-1 1-6 0-0 L5
Western Carolina 2-2 .667 2-1 0-0 0-0 W1 4-9 .333 3-4 1-4 0-0 W1
Appalachian State 2-1 .500 1-0 0-1 0-0 L1 8-3 .700 3-0 2-3 2-0 L2
Furman 0-3 .000 0-0 0-2 0-0 L2 4-8 .364 3-1 1-6 0-0 W1
Wofford 0-3 .000 0-0 0-3 0-0 L3 5-6 .455 1-1 3-5 1-0 L3
UNCG 0-4 .000 0-2 0-1 0-0 L3 3-10 .250 3-6 0-3 0-0 L3
Georgia Southern 1-3 .000 0-0 0-3 0-0 L3 2-11 .083 0-2 0-8 1-1 L9


It was an absolutely ugly first half, but Appalachian fought off one Furman push after another to hold on for a fourteen point road win on Monday evening. Appalachian struggled from the free throw line for the first time all season long. We hinted about not getting the chance to get to the line at Davidson and then the poor shooting backdrop at Furman. At one point in the game, the Mountaineers were 4-14 from the line, but finished the game 16-29. Appalachian also dominated Furman on the boards 44-30, with a 16-10 edge on the offensive glass. The Mountaineers took better advantage than Furman in the turnover battle. Appalachian forced 24 turnovers from Furman, 16 of them being straight steals.

The Appalachian sophmores led the team in scoring with Maryah Sydnor scoring a game high 21 points and added six rebounds. Katie Mallow scored 15 points with the help of a trio of tree pointers, while dishing out four assists. Anna Freeman continues to be shut down, and she only managed 10 points, but did corral 13 rebounds for a very solid double-double. Kelsey Sharkey also grabbed 12 rebounds.

Around the conference, Elon knocked off Chattanooga at home in overtime, giving the Mocs their first conference loss. Davidson defeated upstart Charleston on the road to remain undefeated in conference play. The loss was Charleston’s first conference loss of the season as well. Appalachian hosts Western Carolina on Saturday at home, who just lost to Georgia Southern, giving the Eagles their second win of the season. Conference standings are updated above, but the positioning is off. Charleston will visit Samford on Saturday in the only other game of interest for the rest of the week.

Furman @ Appalachian Football

Here we go with Week 11:

Furman (3-6, 2-4 7th) @ #12 Appalachian State (7-3, 5-2 T2)

Time: 3:30pm

TV/Video: GoASU TV

Radio: WKBC 97.3 Wilkesboro, Charlotte, Winston Salem, Hickory & High Country; WATA 1450 Boone, Blowing Rock; ESPN 730 Charlotte, Rock Hill, Salisbury; WCOG 1320 Greensboro, Winston Salem, WMFR 1230 Greensboro, High Point; WSML 1200 Burlington, Greensboro; WCMC 99.9 Raleigh, WZGM 1350 Black Mountain, Asheville; WPWT 870 Bristol, Johnson City; WTOE 1470 Spruce Pine, WDNC 620 Durham, WLON 1050 Lincolnton

Kidd Brewer Stadium

Surface: Field Turf

Capacity: 24,050

Jeff Sagarin Ratings: 

ASU: 58.86

FU: 48.74

Home: 3.12 points

Appalachian is favored by the Sagarin ratings by 13 points (rounded).

Series: Furman leads 22-17-3

Last Meeting: Furman 20, Appalachian 10, November 5, 2011, Greenville, SC

WXAPP’s Boone Gameday Weather Trends:

Mostly Sunny. Mid 50’s for kickoff Great Fall weather for football! Let’s kick some butt!

It is amazing how quickly circumstances can change in a week. Last weekend, in a matter of about an hour, Appalachian’s season changed dramatically. The Mountaineers knocked off a top ranked team for the first time on the road in program history with a 31-28 win over hated rival Georgia Southern. Later that afternoon, Wofford fell in overtime on the road at Samford, which has now set up the most unique final weekend of conference play between top teams in conference history. Georgia Southern went from controlling its destiny to sitting back and watching it all unfold. The Eagles will share the trophy with someone, but they are not sure who that is. A win gives Appalachian a share of the trophy, but with a Wofford loss to Chattanooga, Appalachian would be declared the conference champion and would receive the automatic bid. A Wofford win and Appalachian would ensure a three way tie for the championship and the automatic bid would be determined once the final standings shake out. Raise your hands if you would have thought this Appalachian team would be in this situation after The Citadel game? After Wofford? Exactly. This conference race is easily the most intense in the history of the conference. Regardless, Appalachian has a chance to accomplish one of its goals it set forth at the beginning of the season, and they will have the opportunity in the comfy confines of Kidd Brewer Stadium on Black Saturday against the only team in the conference it has a losing record against. Can the Mountaineers finally break the 2012 curse that is the state of South Carolina?

That curse is the losing record Appalachian currently holds at home against the two other conference foes from the Palmetto State this season. In those games, Appalachian surrendered ninety points and 1,158 yards of total offense combined – 856 of those yards on the ground. The Mountaineers allowed points in seven of the eight quarters. They were out possessed by over twenty minutes in the two games. Luckily, the Mountaineers are probably done with option football in 2012, and will face a team that has a more traditional offense in the Paladins.

Furman’s offense is all about Jerodis Williams. The senior running back has had a great career, as he will probably finish his career in the top five all time in Furman history in rushing yardage. Williams is coming off of a 1,055 yard performance in 2011 where he scored nine rushing touchdowns. Williams began returning kickoffs halfway through the season and is also a threat in the passing game. He has three 100-yard rushing games this season against Western Carolina, Presbyterian and Wofford. Williams has hit the 1,000 yard mark this season as well in only nine games, which ranks him third in the conference behind only Eric Breitenstein and Stephen Miller. Williams has run for 85 yards or more in every game this season except one. Appalachian has done a great job on Jerodis in the past. During his freshman year, Appalachian was the only team on the schedule where Williams did not record an offensive statistic. Williams ran seven times for 59 yards against the Apps his sophomore year. Last season he was held to 48 yards on thirteen carries. Williams has scored a rushing touchdown against every team in the conference besides Appalachian. The same statistic was true with Eric Breitenstein two weeks ago before he broke through with two rushing touchdowns.

Furman is a team that is very young on the offensive side of the ball. They have one junior on the offensive line, while the rest of the front is manned by freshman and sophomores. Their starting fullback, an almost extinct position in football, is also a freshman. Another freshman, Reese Hannon is their starting quarterback, who took over for senior Dakota Derrick in the second game of the season. Hannon has put together a nice season, but one that is very typical of freshman quarterbacks. Hannon has thrown for 1,656 yards on the season with five interceptions and six touchdowns. However, four of his touchdown passes came in the overtime loss to Coastal Carolina. Hannon did not throw a touchdown pass in the entire month of October. Since his last touchdown pass, Hannon has thrown four interceptions and has seen his average yards per game drop from 234 yard per game in his first four starts to 179 yards per game in last four starts. Hannon is a pocket passer, but is mobile. He will run to buy time as the pocket breaks down, but will not dare run for yardage.

Hannon has some seasoned targets for receivers. Senior Will King leads the Paladins with 34 catches for 541 yard and three touchdowns. Tight end Colin Anderson was a preseason All-American by three different publications and was also a first team preseason SoCon selection. Teams have done a good job defending him this season as he only has caught 23 passes for 396 yards, compared to his junior season where he caught 40 balls for 696 yards and seven touchdowns. Anderson has yet to find the end zone this season. Junior Ryan Culbreath has added 28 catches for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Both of Culbreath’s touchdowns came against Coastal Carolina.

Last week, we nailed just about everything we talked about. We let everyone know of Georgia Southern’s atrocious kicking game, which went on to miss three field goals. We talked up that Sean Price guy, and said Appalachian needed to get him the ball. When they did, good things happened to the tune of seven catches for 231 yards and a touchdown. If there is one thing we missed, was that Jamal Jackson should not play if he was not 100% healthy. We missed that one badly. Jackson calmly sat back in the pocket, took what the Eagles gave him, which equated to a career day. Jackson’s 383 passing yards were a career high, and was good enough for the eighth best passing yardage day by a Mountaineer in program history. Jackson continued to do what he always does when Appalachian wins, which is throw three touchdown passes and no interceptions. If it had not been for his injury against Western Carolina, he would easily be on his way to a 3,000 yard passing season, which has only happened twice in school history.

I remember sitting at the Chattanooga game in front of some of their fans when they asked me about Sean Price. The quote went like this, “What year is that #14, a senior?” The answer was polite and was received by a bunch or responses of disbelief. Sean Price is on the verge of doing something no freshman has ever done in school history. Only five Mountaineers have accumulated 1,000 receiving yards in a season in the black and gold. None of those men were freshman. The feat has been accomplished by some of the best including Bob Agle, Rick Beasley, Davon Foulkes, William Mayfield and Brian Quick. Mayfield benefited from a fifteen game season to accomplish his feat. The others played in twelve games or fewer. Price will be playing in his ninth game this Saturday and is only 86 yards away from hitting the 1,000 yard mark. The Mountaineers are 6-0 when he catches a touchdown and 5-0 when he goes over 100 yards.

Stephen Miller had his second lowest rushing total of the season, but to say he was not effective is an understatement. Miller only carried nine times, but it was mostly a result of the Mountaineers being behind in the first half, and being able to move the ball in the air with ease. Miller did find the end zone for the tenth time this season and broke off a 26 yard run which was enough for Georgia Southern to respect the run and bought Jackson a few extra moments to find open receivers. Miller also caught two passes for twenty three yards. Even with only sixty rushing yards, Miller was effective, and that is all Appalachian needed from him on Saturday.

If anything, Appalachian should be motivated for this game. They easily could have packed it in last week, knowing their conference title hopes were slim. Georgia Southern was exactly what the Mountaineers needed to get back on track. They provided the extra spark that was necessary to beat the Eagles in their beloved back yard. Furman provides another type of motivation. Appalachian squandered multiple opportunities last year in Greeneville. The Mountaineers ventured into the Paladin red zone on many occasions and found themselves turning the ball over in one fashion or another. It was an ugly game that followed the emotional defeat of Georgia Southern the previous week at home. What that team earned by beating Southern last year was all lost in the loss to Furman. This Paladin squad does not have near the talent as last years team did. Their offensive youth and ineptitude in the defensive secondary should play heavily in the Mountaineers favor. Furman has allowed a touchdown pass in every game this season, and they rank 111th of 121 teams in defensive passing efficiency in the nation. Their defense has allowed over 100 yards rushing to every opponent outside of the pass heavy Elon and Presbyterian. As long as Appalachian can keep Jerodis Williams in check on kickoff returns, and not allow Furman to control the line of scrimmage, they should find themselves in the win column. The Paladins have had a week off to get ready for the Mountaineers and they have nothing to lose. Furman has not won in Boone since 1996, a very similar streak that Appalachian held over The Citadel. Hopefully the third time is the charm for the Mountaineers this season.

The First Pick:

Purple Pansies 28

Mountaineers 42