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Slowly moving into football mode

We can see kickoff from our houseYes, it’s been a long offseason. And still there’s … /checks countdown clock … 73 days to go till kickoff.

So how about a quick refresher on what we know – who’s coming back.

Appalachian State will return five starters on offense and seven on defense in 2011, from an FCS quarterfinalist team that finished 10-3.

Of players not listed as No. 1 on the depth chart, safety Dominique McDuffie has 17 career starts as a safety and three at cornerback; linebacker Justin Lloyd has been a starter in 11 games; running back Cedric Baker has three career starts; and linebacker Demery Brewer has two starts at defensive end.

By means of comparison, last season’s team returned 16 starters, nine on O and seven on D.

The known knowns on offense include Walter Payton finalist DP, First Down Ben Jordan, Weapon X Travaris Cadet and Mr. Fantastic Brian Quick. Two seniors, Orry Frye and Matt Ruff, anchor the line.

The known unknowns? Eight of the projected starters are freshmen and sophomores. That’s alotta youth.

Most of the defense is back and, on paper, more experienced (Nine of projected starters are juniors or seniors). Due to some new scheming though, they’re gonna be an unknown unknown.

The schedule is encouraging. Va Tech is coming off its own Michigan impersonation last season, and it ain’t gonna be feelin’ too compassionate to the original Alltime Upsetter. Expect one heck of a punch.

Two on paper gimmies follow, with A&T and Savannah State in Boone.

Learning curves don’t come better prepared.


  1. nomadb

    June 22, 2011 at 9:50 am

    jonesing for football, though i don't want to wish the summer away.

    we need a VT game rollcall…..

    i'm in…who's with me? where's the app tailgate section going to pop up?

  2. DRM

    June 22, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Been taking lessons from Rumsfeld, Appfan?

  3. StorminASU

    June 22, 2011 at 10:35 am

    My wife and I and a few more will be there. Let's give em Hell Apps

  4. lillycafe

    June 22, 2011 at 11:19 am

    My wife and I along with several others from our tailgate group will be there. Have 4 rooms at the Comfort Inn on S. Main Street in Blacksburg!!

  5. Big Dave

    June 22, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I like my turkey baked, roasted or boiled….We may be boiling them at the tailgate…….

  6. tim

    June 22, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I'll be in Blacksburg with a couple of others. Hope the boys come to play, especially on special teams!

    Big Dave, gotta go with fried turkey!

  7. AB

    June 22, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I think by the end of the season ASU will be on of the top 8 if not top 4 teams in the nation. My fear however is getting through the first half of the SoCon schedule while the young 0-line and 3-4 scheme works itself out.

    Other than UTC as the first SoCon game the schedule sets up nicely to break in young players.

  8. Stuck in Lodi

    June 22, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    My brother and a bunch of friends are VT grads. Can't wait. We had some good games with Tech back in the early 80's. I think Beasley had a big game in Blacksburg once. Just wish the game was later in the day or, better yet; a night game. Grapevine here in VA has it that the game is sold out. Not sure if that's true or not.

  9. clayton

    June 22, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    We have a lot of big play ability (see: Cadet, T and Quick, B). Also think we'll score a lot of INTs and sacks.

    Concerned about consistency.

  10. bcoach

    June 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Three of us will be there. I would LOVE to win this game but

  11. The rock

    June 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    This may help our chances with 'nooga. 3 players off the team.

  12. Gwaltineer

    June 23, 2011 at 3:07 am

    GSU and UTC will be great games to have in Boone. I can't wait to see those games. I always hate traveling to Wofford, but we should beat them.

    The biggest question mark on the O side of the ball are who will catch the ball other than Quick.

  13. bcoach

    June 23, 2011 at 4:07 am

    One other thing that we don't like to talk about is will DP learn to work under pressure.

  14. AppMan

    June 23, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I hate going to Wofford too. The piped in crowd noise, bussed in high school band and kids sliding down the hill on cardboard boxes is just too much atmosphere for me to take.

  15. carbine

    June 23, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    You know, once the game gets started I don't think the players really notice the off-field surroundings or the crowd much at all, no matter how big it is or what it's doing. Of much greater concern are the eleven guys in opposing uniforms, and what they're up to.

    I love that we play up a level at least once a season. Besides the money the game brings in, it helps us prepare for the real season that begins the following Saturday. And while it would be great to win this one against VT, the chances of that are slim given the disparities between the teams, not to mention what happened to VT in last year's opener, nor our reputation as The Great Upsetters. How could they possibly NOT be prepared to play their best against us?

  16. ASU3432

    June 23, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    VT's opener last year was Boise State, I think it was on Labor day night. They played JMU the following Saturday – a short week of preparation for Tech coming off an important BCS loss. You gotta believe that JMU had pointed to that game all summer while the Hokies prepared for Boise. Plus, I think it was a very rainy day, the great equalizer; which had to help the Dukes.

  17. StorminASU

    June 23, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    I'm not sure about the team not paying attention to the crowd (at least if it's quiet) because some of the guys were saying how distracting it was to play at Samford because it was so quiet. Who knows how a loud, hostile crowd affects them though.

  18. appthunder90

    June 24, 2011 at 3:01 am


    in my experience, its whatever you are accustomed to that determines what is distracting and what isnt.

  19. AppMan

    June 24, 2011 at 5:54 am

    While being interviewed by the FBS committee several players indicated how the atmosphere, or lack thereof, at some SoCon schools affected their intensity. Samford was the one that was singled out.

  20. appthunder90

    June 24, 2011 at 9:07 am

    fortunately for our guys, they are all accustomed to the loudest stadium in the state!

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