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Confident but vulnerable

Throw him the ball!!!It’s no secret that, top to bottom, this edition of an App State playoff team is not as powerful as previous iterations.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t as capable to win some big games. You’re only as weak as your strongest link.

How good this 8-3 team can be hasn’t been determined. Offensive production has been down compared to recent ASU teams. The defense seems improved and has turned in stellar performances in recent weeks — against SoCon champion Georgia Southern and in the last three quarters against Elon.

ASU’s yards and points (401 yards and 30.2 points a game) are the lowest averages since 2003. Red-zone touchdown production and rushing yards are notably off.

Youth and attrition on the offensive line are factors. Moore also noted that opponents have a better handle on defending the spread offense than they did five years ago, and he thinks that his team has faced some particularly good defenses this season.

“You’ve got to remember we had a quarterback change about a month ago, and then there are those offensive linemen,” Moore said. “Our offense is going to go how those guys go; most anybody’s (offense) is that way.

The last few weeks App State has become a pass happy offense with an unsteady yet opportunistic defense. The two combine for a team with surprising patience and resilience.

Down 20? No sweat. We got this.

But there’s off-field issues and untold drama behind the scenes. Combine players lost to injuries with those simply lost, and the team becomes a box of chocolates.

Next opportunity to see what we get comes in 8 days, 4 hours, 58 minutes, 45 seconds ….

Beat Maine.

23 Comments

  1. Yogi86

    November 25, 2011 at 5:07 am

    You'd assume after so much success in recent years that our recruiting would be just as fruitful. There are some stellar young players performing well, but the lack of upper classmen on the offensive line is troubling!! What happened to the guys waiting for their turn? We have loaded up it seems on speedy versatile athletes, and neglected the big uglies!

  2. Jamey

    November 25, 2011 at 5:10 am

    "But there’s off-field issues and untold drama behind the scenes. Combine players lost to injuries with those simply lost, and the team becomes a box of chocolates."

    This is the most concerning part of this article because it will likely be the part that is our undoing during the playoffs. The general sense of unrest within this team seems to be the biggest difference from years past. The players simply have not bought into what the staff is asking. The 3-4 defense has not yielded the desired results, the use of players in 3-4 positions has strained chemistry, and the well-noted offensive line concerns are likely the worst of it. I worry not only about this year;s team, but about the upcoming seasons if this continues. There has to be a shift back to the culture where players are 100% committed the program and the schemes.

  3. cameron

    November 25, 2011 at 7:38 am

    The picture says it ALL! you want success ?? GET BEN JORDEN IN THE GAME!!!!!

  4. A.freeman

    November 25, 2011 at 7:43 am

  5. sideline

    November 25, 2011 at 8:06 am

    And if you tell me that the FBS issue has had nothing to do with it you are mistaken. The coaching staff knows they are gone when that happens. When people know they are going to loose their job and don't know when they do funny things. Same for players you are trying to sign. Do you want to play for an FCS team or do you want to sit the bench for an FBS team. This is not the whole reason for sure but when you add it to all the above you have a situation that unsettles kids that age. This and all the above goes back to coaches. We have the leader in coach Moore but we don't have the strength in assistants. Many players have relationships with assistants that they don't have with the head coach. He can not be close with every player. He needs a strong supporting cast. We don't have that.

  6. Lewis

    November 25, 2011 at 8:51 am

    Vulnerable is an understatement. App sucks compared to the championship years but even then we were lucky to win 3.

  7. ASU87grad

    November 25, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Lewis is back. "Oh no, we suck again."

    Give Em Hell!!

  8. AB

    November 25, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Blaming the feasability study for this year's results, that is quite a stretch even for this site.

    Looking no further than the decision to only bring in one olineman from the 2008 and 2009 recruiting classes as the main driver in our oline struggles. If we had 1 starter at oline from both those classes we'd be talking about home field throughout the playoffs. The remaining positions are good enough to make a run at a title.

  9. Van-Class of 90&#039

    November 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Fresh off of a most thankful Thanksgiving

    Especially thankful for APPNATION you guys and gals ROCK………and so thankful for ASU and the ROCK……….to paraphrase a line from one of my favorites APOLLO13……….I happen to think this will be one of many of our finest hours…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GO APPS

    KICK THEIR BUTTS

    LEAVE US SPEECHLESS

    ROCK ON APP STATE

  10. Jamey

    November 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    If I have learned one thing in my affiliation with Appalachian State, it is this:

    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE PLAYERS ON SATURDAY.

    This may not be the deepest, most cohesive, fastest, hardest hitting, prettiest, most disciplined….etc. team in ASU history. But I know with 100% certainty that they will come with the thunder next week for the playoffs.

  11. sideline

    November 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    AB

    Your statement is a stretch. I said added to all the above. I did not name it as THE problem. To ignore it as any part of the problem is just short sighted. It is one part of many problems this year. One great example is the statement we "don't have the money to hire better assistants". We have the money we just are not going to spend it till we make the move. just because that is probably a very good business move does not mean it isn't true. When you are building a new factory you don't invest in the old one. You squeeze every last drop out of the old one with out spending a dime on it.

    As far as your statement about the O line situation, I could not agree with you more. Then that puts us right back to coaches. They do the recruiting. Our coaching staff is just not motivated. If you looked down on the sideline in the first quarter at Elon you saw NO excitement at all in any of the players or coaches. They all looked like they were standing around waiting for a bus. We got lucky. lucky because for some reason all of a sudden they looked up and decided to get fired up and try and win a game. this has happened all year. Up down Up down. We have yet to play 4 quarters. That happens when your mind is somewhere else and not in the game.

    I am done ranting but I am here to tell you that we need to bring our best game to have a chance this week. If we don't play 4 quarters we have NO chance. Can we? Hell yes Will we? Don't know.

  12. sideline

    November 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    OOPS

    Not done ranting

    AB and most everyone else on here make statements that they think about and have an opinion. That is great.

    Lewis is just on some other planet. number one ASU does not suck. You sound like a State fan. We are far from where we would like to be but suck? That is just a stupid statement. 3 championships lucky? You don't win 3 championships by being lucky. You win them by being good. Sombody sucks for sure but it isn't the team or 99% of the people on this board. Can you guess who that might be Lewis?

  13. Pete

    November 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    This team has had issues this year on and off the playing field.

    Their maybe many longer term issues and opportunities that must be addressed, for futrue teams to measure up to ASU's Championship teams.

    But at this point in the 2011 season only one thing matters survive and advance…BEAT Maine.

  14. AB

    November 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    ASU football has two problems right now:

    1) oline maturity and overall depth, which is directly correlated to the 2008 and 2009 recruiting class of olineman

    2) Replacing 4 of the 5 best assistant coaches from the 2005-2007 run (QB, WR, OL, and DC).

    The feasibility study shouldn't hinder ASU from obtaining or getting the most out of our assistant coaches. Actually it should be just the opposite. If I'm a coach I look at this as an opportunity to potentially get a nice raise. Performing well by actively recruiting and developing my players will be noticed.

  15. Psl48

    November 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Not sure where to post. But this our best alumni in the league!

    http://m.espn.go.com/nfl/gamecast?gameId=31112400

  16. sideline

    November 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I agree with you 100%. The key word is should. It just isn't. At a very minimum 3 of these guys know they are gone. Again not the main problem just one of them. The only thing I may question is if the OL problem were only 08 and 09 would we have to start freshmen? Would we not have someone in between? With that said yes 08 and 09 is killing us now. The one thing that I think most will agree with is that there is something very wrong down on that sideline. I have not been around that long but since the early 90s I have not seen what I see down there this year and last. I really don't see anyone down there who looks like they are fighting for a job.

  17. macjac

    November 25, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    wanna know a huge problem? not getting our best players on the field. With a weak O-Line, you gotta get the tight ends in the game. Ben Jorden is one of the best offensive players on this team- get him in the freakin game

  18. AppWyo

    November 25, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Regardless of how you feel, or what you think, you need to support your team, because it is your team, if not, you should find a new team.

  19. 2guard

    November 26, 2011 at 4:21 am

    I agree with Cameron and Macjac Ben Jordon has not

    been used the way he needs to be. He is a stellar player and needs to be heavily involved in the

    offense. Get him involved Jerry or we won't be playing beyond next weekend.

  20. sideline

    November 26, 2011 at 5:56 am

    I don't think there is anyone on here who does not support the team. There are a lot of people who want them to play better but if they didn't support the team they would not be here. We have a lot of questions. We have good questions like the above comments about Ben Jordan. Ben dosen't call the plays so we wonder what the coaches are thinking.

  21. AppOrange

    November 26, 2011 at 6:09 am

    The fact is, many on here have been posting the same thing about Ben for YEARS. Do you really think anything is going to change in the last game or two of his career. Those of you who watch these things closer than I may be able to answer this . . . . Is Ben and his athleticism having to block more because of our O-Line problems, or is he running wide open and our QB's are not looking his way? Unfortunately, I think I know the answer here.

  22. sideline

    November 26, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Little of both but mostly he is running wide open. They don't even cover him like they used too and I am sure that is because they watch film of him wide open getting nothing. I am starting to think that the coaches think AE is still out there and BJ is gone. In answer to your question I for one don't think it will change. I just wish I knew why.

  23. john

    November 26, 2011 at 8:12 am

    AppOrange–

    unfortunately I dont think things will change, but i believe that if we want to make it far in the playoffs at all, the coaches better involve Jorden in the game plan. its a necessity for success

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