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GBU: Well that was nerve racking

One season down .... Ya gotta feel for the Swag.

They get spotted a 21-0 head start and still can’t beat App State.

Jamal Jackson threw for 284 and four TDS, with Brian Quick snagging 11 passes for 150 and 2 TDs, for the good guys to close the regular season 28-24 over Elon.

The birds were unstoppable early, scoring thrice within the game’s first 13 minutes. That included drives of 35, 43 and 56 yards. In that span App State was punt, fumble, punt, INT.

App finished the first quarter with a 60-yard scoring drive, then on next possession went 70 yards for another score. Swag managed a 24-yard FG just before halftime for a 24-14 lead.

App then scored once in each of the final frames. A 9-yard Jackson to Quick TD pass cut the deficit to 3, then a 5-yard Jackson to Steven Miller pass early in the fourth took the lead for good.

No pressure.

“They could’ve spit the bit,” Moore said. “They could’ve spit the bit, but they didn’t.”

“I’m as proud of them as any football team we’ve ever had,” Moore said. “We’ve got three that won national championships and we’ve had some other good teams that been to the semifinals. This team didn’t win a conference championship, and I’m as proud of them as any one of those football teams that has ever put that black and gold on.”

Moore added, when discussing the dismissals and suspensions this season.

“It’s been the hardest year I’ve had at Appalachian State,” Moore said. “I mean, it’s not even close. It’s fun with the players, but with all the little distractions that have come along all year, it’s absolutely the hardest.”

Off-field drama, gotta love it.

App State now waits for the playoff field to be announced this afternoon.

The Good. Mountaineer resilience
It’s been there all year, notably during the ‘Nooga game, but was proven once and for all at Elon. That first quarter, from the Apps’ perspective, was uglier than the new SoCon champion. The second possession of the game was back-to-back fumbles, the second stolen by Elon. The fourth time App got the ball, Jackson was intercepted on the first snap. Bam! It was 21-0 with 2:37 left in the first quarter. Yet the Mountaineers stayed composed, didn’t panic, chugged on, and got points on the board.

The Bad. Mountaineer ground game
App State rushing yards against Elon – 46. That was on 31 attempts, for a 1.5-yard average. In a season of continual running lows, that’s the lowest of the year. Six Apps had a carry, led by Travaris Cadet with 37 yards on nine carries. Jackson had a dozen carries for 19 yards, and DP 10 yards on one run. No one else gained more than 1.

The Ugly. SoCon TV
Simply embarrassing camera work. Often the quarterback was cut out of the shot. Several times after the snap the camera lost the ball. One Quick catch in particular was lost live. After a season of games you’d think the crew would know what they were doing. And heaven forbid you watch the game on in high-def. Eww.

QUICK HITS

– App State and Elon combined for 714 yards. Of that amount, only 86 were rushing yards. The QBs threw 87 passes, completing 56 (64 percent).

– Both teams were miserable on third downs. App State converted 5 of 13 downs, Elon just 3 of 14.

– The App defense netted a season-high 5 sacks, dropping Elon back 40 yards. Ronald Blair has two of the sacks for a combined 11 yards. John Rizor, Chris Aiken, Gordy Witte Jr. and Joel Ross all had half-a-sack each.

– The announced attendance was 10,638. That marks the first season since 2007 during which App State played every regular season game in front of a five-digit size crowd.

13 Comments

  1. brew

    November 20, 2011 at 4:16 am

    As ugly as the game was I will say the same thing. Down 21 points, App fans looked regected, swag fans up and loud. Then, it seems that the O and D became a team that showed their skill but most of all, their heart. Congrats! If they play like this and good play calling I think they can win a NC this year!!!!

  2. nomadb

    November 20, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I doubt they will change a thing regarding play calling, but I don't know how they can't see that we move the ball so much better when we spread the field and throw the ball…..our 2 minute drill style offense is pretty efficient.

  3. Dan

    November 20, 2011 at 5:33 am

    We have got to be able to run better.

  4. appdreamin

    November 20, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Unsolicited advice, brew–don't put any money on your final thought above.

    Appfan, if Blair had two sacks and four guys had half a sack each, that only adds to four. Who had sack number five?

  5. Gwaltineer

    November 20, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I wish the rest of leon was a 10th as classing as #3. They tried to knock Jackson out with that cheap shot. They will also do that to our QB's. If they put as much effort into playing 60 minutes as they do on getting in the cheap shots, then they would have a meaningful win in the last 50 years.

  6. BIG DAVE

    November 20, 2011 at 8:01 am

    I swear John

    fox is not in Denver. he's up in the box calling plays. Vanilla 1 throught Vanilla 5. time for some Neopolitan………….

  7. BIG DAVE

    November 20, 2011 at 8:03 am

    By the way we were talking recently to both Aikens Uncle and Cousin and yesterday to tony Wahsington's dad. bothe sets of relatives said that Chris and tony loved it at App. Course they are not playing for the O line coach either. Time for Holt and bring back mario from Texas.

  8. jland

    November 20, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I agree with Big Dave… Cut the offensive line coach, and at least one gigantic problem of Moore's will be gone… I'd say Holt would be a good one, since he studied under Elliott… Just a thought…

  9. mgood89

    November 20, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I bet app fans were 6,500 of those 10000+. Great showing from the fans, who were never really out of the game. Way to travel. I was in the Elon student section, decked out in App gear, and I was not alone. App fans everywhere. Good day to be a mountaineer.

  10. carbine

    November 20, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Still amazed at that fourth down play on our first possession of the 3rd quarter (following the interception) where Jackson ran out of bounds short of the line to gain. Either he didnt' know where he was in relation to the line to gain (a HUGE mistake for a quarterback), or he just gave up. There's no excuse for either.

  11. nomadb

    November 20, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    don't forget that he is very inexperienced, carbine

  12. carbine

    November 20, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    I know, but that was a jaw-dropper. What else does the QB have to think about when he's running the ball on a fourth down play except where the sticks are?

  13. mockenburd

    November 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Have you noticed that when JJ runs wide that he never cuts in but always heads for the sidelines? Like yesterday's result though!

    Agree with jland. Coach better assess and take action in the early offseason, or next season could prove even more challenging.

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