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Time to make some changes to the lineup

Time to get your heads in the gameDuring yesterday’s SoCo- *ring!*ference, coach Jerry Moore hinted some personnel changes may be coming Saturday.

He’s not calling out too many names, but it would appear youth is trumping experience at one specific position.

One specific move Moore mentioned is that freshman Troy Sanders will see more action at cornerback in place of underperforming sophomore Ed Gainey.

“The thing that’s been good about that is Ed’s really had a good week-and-a-half of practice now,” Moore said.

“I think he got a little bit of a wake-up call. I don’t know if you call it complacency just on him or us or whatever. I hope that we all have.”

Ya think?

Sorry, but we just don’t have too many happy thoughts going into Saturday. For all the grief thrown at the defense the past several days, we still can’t get over seeing the punt return team line up only 10 guys in TWO(!) consecutive games.

Beat Lil Sammy.

CONFIRMING WHAT WE ALREADY KNEW. It’s official – two Saturdays ago our defense had no idea whatsoever what it was doing.


Cornerback Cortez Gilbert said: “Out of 70-some plays we lined up wrong 32 times. So about 50 percent of the time before the snap, we were lined up wrong and they capitalized on our mistakes.

“We knew what to do. We just didn’t do it.”

Gilbert said: “It’s not like we haven’t had intensity in practice or anything like that. It’s just that we haven’t done the job. It’s like your mom telling you to take out the trash and you forget to do it. We knew we were supposed to do it but we just didn’t do it….”

And when they did do it, like, say, completing a tackle after a 20-yard gain, well LOOK AT ME!!! … /thumps chest repeatedly .. I MADE A TACKLE!!! AIN’T I SPECIAL!!!!



  1. Dan

    September 23, 2009 at 5:11 am

    glad to see Appfan has adopted the rallying cry.

  2. Gwaltineer

    September 23, 2009 at 5:21 am has a good article as well. I think a lot of blame has to go to coaching. They did not have the D ready. No excuses.

  3. asu7

    September 23, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Well no more mistakes for anyone from here on out … we have to play every saturday like it is our last …

    No more errors … preseason is over!

    I don't think we can afford to let up from here on out and if that means beating someone by 100 then so be it …

    What are we willing to give up?

    Even as fans it is time for us to step up! No more sitting down in section 213 …

    We can improve as well … we can be louder!

    It is time to propel this program into greatness and it starts with us. WE have the ability to be the 12th man and we have to be there to do it!


  4. appfantoo

    September 23, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Right-on asu7 – unfortunately it is Family Weekend which usually means you'll be able to hear a pin drop at times on the home side of the stadium. Weird what alcohol does to the human volume control system.

    And for those that were booing our team at the McNeese game when we were down by 1 touchdown you can stay home.

  5. DRM

    September 23, 2009 at 7:00 am

    Blame accrues to everyone involved in the program, including many (perhaps most) fans. We still have Michigan/national championship hangover–excusing last year's Richmond and this year's ECU losses by AE's absence, injury, etc. There seemingly is, or at least has been (let's hope past tense is accurate here), almost a sense that past accomplishment equates to current entitlement–that we don't have to prepare as diligently or focus as much or play as hard as other teams, just because we're App State. That subconscious overconfidence has led to a downturn in many programs larger than ours, and I think it is a contributing factor in our three-game losing streak–not the only factor, by any means, but a factor nonetheless.

    All that said, first and foremost, I blame the coaches; Gwalt is correct. It isn't as if players have no responsibility for being prepared to play, but ultimately it is coaches' responsibility to make sure they are. And it is the coaches' responsibility to make necessary adjustments during the game. For six of eight quarters this season, they failed to do either of those things.

  6. grudensucks

    September 23, 2009 at 7:20 am

    I'm sure Gainey has been struggling, but the McNeese St. game, the problems were not at CB. I remember 2007 we had horrible run defense then too. I think Lynch was the top tackler on running plays and he was a dadgum safty. What in the world. I see the same stuff now, but not good tacklers in the back field like Lynch.

  7. Joe

    September 23, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Hate to say it, but Lynch was an awful tackler.. he NEVER wrapped up on a tackle..

    Yes, we are on a 3 game losing streak, but this is not the time to get down on the team. This is the time they need us most. Be there and be LOUD on Saturday.. LETS GO APP!

  8. parking lot

    September 23, 2009 at 7:37 am

    agree on fans needing to be louder. talk about hearing a pin drop the 5-6k on the hill dont ever make a sound.

  9. louie

    September 23, 2009 at 7:41 am

    The problem was certainly with db play- they were just bad. But, it was really a coaching problem when they don't get it fixed during the game. The defense has basically sucked for a while when they play a good offensive team ( Ga Southern, JMU, Richmond and Mcnese State), but it has been mostly hidden by ASU's stellar offense.

  10. DRM

    September 23, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Joe's right–Lynch was not a good tackler. His claim to fame was instinctively being in the right place at very key moments. That and apparently being a pretty good leader. In college, that was good enough. In the pros, it takes more. I really don't expect him to make much more of an impact at Tampa Bay than he did at Cincy.

  11. Fleetwood App

    September 23, 2009 at 7:49 am

    DRM, I agree with you. The attitude you speak of was very evident at the McNeese game. For example, right after we lost, all the fans there were treated to a 10 minute highlight reel on the scoreboard of the Michigan game, championships, etc. Now, all that is good stuff, but it's in the PAST. This is now. It seemed ironic to be standing there watching all these highlights after playing so poorly defensively.

    Anyway, it's time to beat Samford. I drove by the Rock yesterday and saw the team in practice. I think we'll be alright. Hopefully the rain will hold off and we'll have a great crowd. I'll be there.

  12. Dan

    September 23, 2009 at 7:51 am

    beat Samford.

  13. Fleetwood App

    September 23, 2009 at 7:52 am

    It's pretty cool he'll be in Tampa though. I think all of his family lives in FL?

  14. clayton

    September 23, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Lynch not a good tackler? Really? Are you serious?

    He's a safety, not a linebacker. He's supposed to cut running backs at the knees.

    And one of Gainey's biggest problems is that he gets so much work. Most passes come to his size of the field.

  15. asuneers17

    September 23, 2009 at 10:01 am

    There's a reason so many passes come Gainey's way. It's because they're targeting the weaker side of the field. I think Gainey can make some great plays, but he's got to step up this week and prove he's our top option at that position. If not, bring in a new guy….

  16. asu7

    September 23, 2009 at 10:07 am

    We aren't going to lose to Sammy …

    We are going to beat the living snot out of them!

    I actually feel sorry for them … Patton's speech comes to mind …

    In fact they need to listen to that speech right before the game!

    Does anyone know if we still play the opposing teams fight song while we workout?

    I think that is awesome and I know they did it for the UM game and I hope it continues especially when the defense is working out!

  17. DRM

    September 23, 2009 at 10:47 am

    ANY defensive player is supposed to get anyone he's tackling on the turf, consistently, and Lynch wasn't great at doing that. He was wonderful at making an interception or blocking a kick at key moments, but he was no more than an average wrap-up tackler, probably not even that. I remember several plays he made that sealed wins for us (yes, besides Michigan), but none of them involved stopping the ball carrier. All that aside, as David says, I'd love to have him back, simply because he's they type guy who makes plays when the team needs them most. And also because our D could use his leadership.

    Wouldn't we practice with the opposing fight song for road games, not those at home? Either way, I think we should adopt ECU's position on visiting bands–that is, ban them. Except when we play NCCU or NCA&T.

  18. Pete

    September 23, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Why the knocks on Lynch…???
    He was a pretty good college football player…

    Just a hunch …but I bet the APP Staff would like to have 4-5 DBs like Lynch this season or any Season…!!!

  19. clayton

    September 23, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Lynch averaged over 90 tackles in the championship years. He was ahead of many of our linebackers. Yes, his biggest asset was his ability to get to the play but, once he was there, he knew how to finish.

    Defensive problems, I think, are on the line. We have several good players but, no great ones up there to apply pressure to the QB or to generate penetration (giggity).

  20. Fish

    September 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Clayton wants our players to generate penetration and apply pressure (snickers and blushes)….

  21. DRM

    September 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I don't think anyone is knocking Lynch; actually, I would say he was better than a "pretty good" college player. Rather, I think we're just being realistic about his strengths and weaknesses. Tackling, in open field particularly, was not his strong suit. The fact that he had so many tackles is more an indictment of our DL and LBs' weakness against the run–as Clayton mentions–than an indication of exceptional tackling talent on Lynch's part.

    And I bet you're correct, Pete. But if we had four or five DBs just like Lynch, no more than one or two would be on the field at any given time. He's too slow to play corner (remember the foot race versus the Michigan kicker?), even at the FCS level. But there's no questioning the fact that, at the college level, he was a winner. And here, I'm referring to the individual, not to the teams of which he happened to be a part.

  22. Dan

    September 23, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    DRM, the foot race against the Michigan kicker isn't really a fair indictment of Corey's speed – remember he played every defensive snap of that game and special teams too. The kicker, on the other hand, got to sit on his ass most of the day. Corey even mentioned having massive knots in his calves after the game because he was cramping so bad. Not saying your point is off base, just that that particular part is a bad example.

  23. clayton

    September 23, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Corey has 4.55 speed. Not lightning for a safety but, you can live with that.

    He was cramping on that last play. He couldn't stand up after it was over.

  24. DRM

    September 23, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Probably so, but it was a kicker! (I'm joking about the kicker part–many kickers are ex-soccer guys, and many soccer types, particularly wing players, have very good speed.)

    Besides, Lynch knew he didn't have to score. Maybe it was just the cramping, but it appeared to me he let up a bit when he realized the kicker was going to catch him; if so, under the circumstances, that was perfectly fine. I'm just glad we didn't need the points. Of course, had we needed the points, Michigan wouldn't have been attempting a FG anyway (Lloyd Carr couldn't be as dumb as Mickey Matthews!), so the play would never have happened.

  25. DRM

    September 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    4.55, huh? You can live with that at FCS level (obviously), and probably at many FBS schools. But that speed, coupled with the reduced likelihood of big impact plays (just based on the level of competition), is why I think Corey will be a journeyman back-up, at best, in the pros.

  26. David

    September 23, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    I’d love to have Lynch back…sorry tackler or not

  27. Dan

    September 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    40 times are overrated. Jerry Rice anyone?

  28. clayton

    September 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Larry Fitzgerald runs a 4.6, turns out he's good at football.

  29. DRM

    September 23, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Offensive guys know where they're going (at least Rice and Fitzgerald to). I actually think speed is more important in a defensive player. And here I'm just generalizing, not addressing Corey's speed or lack thereof.

  30. DRM

    September 23, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    That's "do." Do!

  31. jason

    September 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    TODAY, I give my ALL for Appalachian State!!!

  32. appnaysayer

    September 23, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Finally found something Appfanmidwest and I agree on, Gwalt and DRM, too. Blame has to be laid right at the feet of the defensive coaching staff. Granted kids make mistakes, but lining up wrong HALF the time. If nothing else, the coaches could have pulled the whole team, played backups, etc. until the regulars got the message. Could it have been any worse, especially in the second half?

    Also find it interesting that folks are saying we need to get over Michigan and then it's a dominant theme of this thread….

    Fans? Most are as fickle as the weather. About one more loss and we'll be back to "Why doesn't Jerry retire?" Agree in theory with the Rah Rah stuff about beating Samford, but alas, it's the team that will have to perform, not the fans.

    A prediction: The first time there's a moderately good defensive play say, stopping a run for a yard and a half, chests will be thumped, helmets slapped–just the way of things.

    Sorry to drone on ( I drink in the afternoons; not really), but not long ago on ESPN I saw a new colorized version of the famous NY Giants Baltimore Colts NFL championship game. Watched it with a younger fan and what was most notable about that game was players getting up after ripping off magnificent runs, receptions, etc. and trotting calmly back to the huddle. Really quite a contrast that I pointed out to said young fan who found it fascinating.

  33. appfanmidwest

    September 23, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve been saying all along that our problem on defense is coaching. When you are out of formation 50% of the time, that is a coaching issue. Wiley needs to man-up and take responsibility…or leave.

    If we lose to Samford because of defense, we call for his F-ing head.

  34. Mike

    September 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    I predict our defense will do much better against Sanford but they still have a lot to work on. As for the comments about Corey's tackling…all I can say is it's never a good thing when your safety is involved in so many tackles. What i did like about Corey that seems to be lacking is leadership and basic play reading and ball hawking skills. We could really use him right now.

  35. Fish

    September 23, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    We’re App State… Nike commercials and stuff….

  36. appnaysayer

    September 23, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Now this hurts. A line from the Asheville Citizen-Times:

    The Mountaineers and Catamounts are the league's only winless teams.

  37. APPsenior

    September 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    First and foremost … BEAT LIL SAMMY

    Even if we win, the D will still need work, I can almost guarantee it.

    “FANS” in the grass, and a select few of the 200’s, need to GET LOUD or GET OUT. If the opposing team can’t hear the play call, they can’t execute the play … simple. Buy a cone from the bookstore to yell through and make it happen. I’m still angry about the apathy of the “fans” at the MSU game…

  38. appfanmidwest

    September 23, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I'm still irritated by John Wiley's comment where he threw the players under the bus for not executing. He did not have them prepared, yet he accepted none of the responsibility.

    Avoidance of accountability is one of the five key dysfunctions of a team. This comment proves that Wiley is likely a weak and possibly ineffective leader.

  39. Greensboro Fan

    September 23, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Our weaknesses have been exposed in the last two games, but now it is time to move ahead and start anew. Eveyone is out to beat us now. The bar has been raised for our team and for me as a fan. I accept the challenge to be the best fan in FCS football. Go Appstate!!!!

  40. god of thunder

    September 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Even though unto the end ,we will fight with great confidence and great strength in the air ,in the fighting grounds,we will fight in the trenches,we will fight in the seas and the oceans,we shall defend our ROCK, whatever the cost maybe, we will fight in the hills ,APP STATE WILL NEVER SURRENDER! (Intro to Iron Maiden, Run to the Hills, Churchill's speech.)

  41. clayton

    September 24, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Coach Wiley has coached some great defenses and some great players (if only he taught Corey Lynch how to tackle, right?).

    He hasn't said anything that DJ Smith and Cortez Gilert have disagreed with. If you're lining up wrong half the time, you're not going to execute. Its not throwing players under the bus, its making a point.

    The defense is on the hot seat. Everybody knows that.

  42. appfanmidwest

    September 24, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Lining up wrong a few times is a player issue. Lining up wrong half the time is a coaching issue.

    Wiley has underperformed as a defensive coach, bottom line. If we did not have Armanti, we would have lost at least half of our games over the past few years due to the defense giving up too many points.

    I hate to be harsh, but loyalty only goes so far when you are losing games.

  43. appfanmidwest

    September 24, 2009 at 3:31 am

    With that said, I will give Wiley the benefit of the doubt and hope that he will make the proper adjustments and turn this defense around. Let's see what HE is made of.

  44. appfanmidwest

    September 24, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Quick point- Do you really think starting players are going to publicly disagree with what a coach says. Hell no. The blame falls squarely on Wiley's shoulders. Time to nut up.

  45. asu7

    September 24, 2009 at 4:28 am

    We will see what our D is made of this week. If they fail to make the adjustments then we have big big big big big issues and it will not only be the players fault but coaches as well.

    Fool me once shame on you … Fool me twice shame on me …

  46. Joe

    September 24, 2009 at 5:21 am

    Midwest seems to fail to notice the adjustments the defense made at half against ECU..

  47. asu7

    September 24, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Joe that is what blows my mind and why I think this was just a game we flubbed up in …

    We played excellent D in the 2nd half against ECU … if our D had played like they did against McNeese we would have been beat by 50 points.

    The adjustments were made and people executed. It is almost like we overlooked McNeese. It also makes the situation worse because we know our D can play well. I think it was just a one game fluke. I expect it to be not a warm welcome for Sammy this weekend.

  48. Striker

    September 24, 2009 at 7:12 am

    A new game. Learn from the past and improve. I believe our coaches and players will resonate with hard nosed play and execution. Focus won't be an issue anymore! "D" is not one player, it's the whole team and everybody doing their part when they step on the field. Follow in Armanti's footsteps…TAKE care of business and the score will show the result. Doesn't matter who we play each Saturday. App will execute!

  49. Dan

    September 24, 2009 at 8:18 am

    midwest – i hope you’re only referring to this year. He has been the D coordinator since 93 i believe, which would include ’05, one of the best defenses we’ve had.

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