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Preview: App State at Idaho

app state vs idaho

“It’s not revenge he’s after, it’s a reckoning,” Doc Holiday (Val Kilmer) said in “Tombstone” of Wyatt Earp after one brother was killed and another maimed by a vigilante group.

If the Appalachian State football team isn’t looking for a reckoning following a depressing 40-27 home loss to Sun Belt frontrunner Arkansas State on national teevee ESPN-U, then many of its fans are. And maybe reckoning is too strong.

AppFans at least want the Mountaineers to get back on track and deliver a beatdown to the Vandals in their East Tennessee State-like stadium barn.

/Resists putting App on “Upset Alert/

After struggling against Troy, less than a #FunBelt title contender, then laying an egg in the second half at home in a de facto conference championship game against the Red Wolves Certified Badass Ozark Dogs, let’s just say it’s time we find out if these Mountaineers are /sighs deeply/ for real.

/Braces for the impact of your backlash, dear readers…/

How healthy is the Mountaineer OL? How confident is Coach Satterfield and Co. in whatever line they trot out Saturday night to run the same kind of Mountaineer offense that got them to 7-1? Whatever offense App ran in the second half last Thursday night was certainly not the same that lit up scoreboards in Norfolk, Va.; Monroe, La.; Atlanta; and on several occasions, the one in Boone (Elev. 3,333 feet).

Will we see those dangerous stretch sweeps to Cox? Will we see Lamb going downfield with daggers to multiple WRs and TEs? Will we see Cox and Upshaw running between the tackles through large gaps, setting up manageable second and third downs?

Or will we see more from that injury ruined second half against A-State? Swing passes that don’t seem to be Lamb’s forte — and his running backs had trouble hauling in last Thursday night? (And, when they did, found nowhere to run….) Rather bland up-the-gut runs behind an overmatched OL?

Granted, a watered-down simplified offensive scheme seems like it would work much — much — better against an Idaho defense that has, uh, struggled than against that big, fast, athletic A-State defense that was a lot better (at least for one night) than its statistics indicated.

After all, the Vandals’ — love that nickname, by the way — defense is one of the worst in all the land simply atrocious. The Idaho D is ranked 114th out of 128 FBS teams, surrendering nearly 500 yards per outing (265 yards per on the ground; 220 yards per up top).

This feels like a get-well game for Appalachian’s offense.

Now…about that Mountaineer defense. It has plummeted from 10th in the nation to 27th in just two weeks after playing two true Sun Belt high-octane offenses.

Idaho’s O? Well, it’s not that shabby, ranked 49th in the country. The Vandals, as Satterfield said this week, love to dink and dunk. Control the clock. Keep opposing offenses on the sideline — and its porous defense.

The Vandals’ Trent Dilfer QB is Matt Linehan, and he has tossed for 2,225 yards with a 7.5 yard-per-pass average. He’ll turn it over, throwing 10 picks against 12 TDs.

/Latrell Gibbs, The Mandarin would like a(nother) pick six. Get on it. KThxBye./

Remember this name: Dezmon Epps. He is Linehan’s go-to WR, hauling in 61 balls for 762 yards. Did your blogger mention that robust 12.5 yards-per-catch average?

/Holy sh…/

Epps is like the WR version of Cox: He makes his team go, but doesn’t score that much, with only two TD grabs all season.

Can one man win a game, you’re probably muttering into your Internet device? Hey Mountaineers, let’s not find out.

Oh, and your blogger isn’t going to get into that cliched “it’s a long plane ride for the Mountaineers” brand of cheap analysis. Well, I mean, yeah, it is a long flight…

/Moves hand a bit closer to that Upset Alert alarm/

To Review (the So Many Questions edition): Upset Alert? OL Health? Conservative offense? Dink and dunk. Dezmon Epps. Loooooong flight.

Yep, when I put it that way, there’s no way to not put the Mountaineers on Upset Alert.

Just get a W, boys. That $1 million Cure Bowl berth is still gettable. This is FB$ football, after all… Give. Em. Hell.The Mandarin (@App_Mandarin)

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