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Post-GSU: What We Know/Don’t Know


Mercifully, it ended around 3 p.m. Saturday. Those App State and Georgia State fans who made slogged it through every second of App’s 17-3 win deserve a free large pizza, Camellia Bowl koozie, or how about some retro Sun Belt gear, just in time for long-sleeves weather?

Something. Anything. We need incentives to keep driving up those American Sports Network ratings. Also, we aren’t getting those three hours back — more for the brave souls who somehow made it to The Rock for a — gasp!noon kickoff. To quote the wise AppFan Editor — who blasts out hot takes on Twitter, where hot takes dominate, even while at KBS for you, dear reader — this one was “Ug-Lee.”

/insert stinky face emoji here/

Before we get to the eye-aching task that is watching the Mountaineer passing game or slap a #HelmetSticker on a punter — he’s a weapon, okay?! — the Editor offered up the only piece of perspective that matters after a hard-to-watch win over winless Georgia State:

Amen. Take that, Chuck. And consider this: Even on App State’s worst offensive day — and this blogger cannot remember a worse one in recent memory — your Panthers Kittens weren’t even close to leaving Kidd Brewer Stadium with a W. Oh, and Chuck, good luck filling up not losing a boatload renovating and owning Turner Field. (Though, sure, that sounds pretty cool. But really, really pricey…)

Enough about him. More about…Bentlee Critcher? Yes, the punter #weapon.

As the App State offense sputtered in the first quarter, Critcher’s boots kept the Panthers pinned back deep. Very deep. His first three punts forced the Cats to start at their own 8, 18, then 6. As the Mountaineer offense went from sluggish to downright hard to watch in the second quarter, Critcher came up big again with punts of 42 and 40 yards to get the Apps out of trouble.

Mountaineer RB Jalin Moore provided the go-ahead 45-yard TD run and 158 hard-earned yards, assisted by his #BandOfBrothers. The Mountaineer defense looked solid, picking off GSU quarterback Connor “So Clearly Not Related to Peyton or Eli” Manning once twice three four times. But in terms of individual performances, Critcher is Week 5’s real MVP. (He’s a former walk-on, folks. #respect)

/gently places a #HelmetSticker on No. 91’s hat. he is a punter, after all…/

We know Critcher is a weapon. Here’s what else we know after the Mountaineers moved to 1-0 in Sun Belt #FunBelt play:

  • Appalachian State is a dominant good football team, and at 3-2 with 7 games remaining, the school’s first FB$ conference title is well within reach. So is a New Orleans Bowl berth. Hell, so are double-digit wins.

  • There is some debate in the Twittersphere about how good the Mountaineers are — or aren’t…

  • …Moore’s gritty performance shows the App running game is (sometimes) enough.

  • Folks, the App State passing game is not very good. It’s unlikely to get leaps-and-bounds better this season. Lamb often has no one to throw to. When he does, he leads WRs out of bounds or simply misses them…

  • …But mostly, this WR corps is not good at all. Period. This appears a recruiting issue. If they, as a group, can reach average status, that might be all this running game, defense and PUNTER (!) need to win a #FunBelt championship. But it won’t be pretty.

  • Lamb & Co. couldn’t get it going against Georgia State’s pass defense. Sure, the two squads who beat App are Top 10 teams with a collective 9-0 record, but, c’mon, if we’re being honest with ourselves, the Mountaineer pass game just doesn’t pass the eyeball test. This is officially an issue, which is a level below a problem.

  • Akron’s pass defense stinks. Terry Bowden, fold your program for trotting that secondary out there. Embarrassing.

  • Coaches are stubborn. See: Satt & Co. insisting on running between the tackles guards despite…the results. See: Satt & Co. going to the screen game despite…the results.

The list of things we don’t know is shrinking, but here it is:

  • Moore just put his head down and kept grinding. But will that enough be enough against Georgia Southern and Troy? (We advise setting aside blind loyalty and mulling this one objectively.)

  • Marcus Cox has a breakaway gear that Moore seems to lack. That makes points easier to get. Get well soon, No. 14.

  • Is Lamb as off as he appears — the stunning lack of awareness about things like the play clock is new — because he’s worried about his green covered WRs or some other reason?

  • Which is the real App State defense? The dominant unit that nearly got a W in Knoxville and shut down Georgia State’s passing game, or the one that got shredded against Miami and Akron?

  • How Coach Satterfield and Co. didn’t see this WR debacle coming? Are we recruiting guys who can get open and catch the ball or “Athletes”? Sure, in the Sun Belt Little Big 12, you need “Athletes,” but you also need a few genuine wide receivers. (See: Simms McElfresh, Dexter Jackson, Brian Quick, Hans Batichon, Matt Cline, aka #Clutch, and, yes, CoCo Hillary. Do we have one of those on this roster?!)

  • Why does KBS sound, sorry, like a morgue so often this season? Is it just the often-dull stretches (second half vs. ODU, most of the Hurricane Warning, and most of the GSU snoozer?), or are folks just not that into already over FB$ football? I mean, teevee ASN, it sounds like a high school game: high-pitched cheerleader voices and refs’ whistles.

  • Is Troy the class of the #FunBelt?

  • Is UL-Lafayette any good? A review of the Ragin’ Cajuns season thus far will make one’s hair ache.

Appstradamus (On Twitter: @APPstradamus)


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  2. WiseApp

    October 5, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Fun Belt vs SoCon? Well, duh. That mule has long since left the barn but what we have now (fan in the stands, excitement-wise) CANNOT even remotely be compared to the old SoCon rivalries and the FCS playoff and championship games. Will it/can it ever return? I'll never say never but if I hold my breath until it does, I'll be watching it from a cloud high above KBS, smiling and flapping my angel wings. The current atmosphere in KBS supports my opinions more than anything else I can ever say. It is what it is…………………

  3. AppLoyal

    October 12, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    As someone who sits in the stands for every home game, and has for the past 9 years, I can tell you that being in the FBS hasn't dimmed my enthusiasm one little bit, nor those around me. But the vanilla, boring, and predictable play-calling along with extremely horrible game/clock management this season is…..well….nothing to cheer for. It also seems that every time the offense does manage to get something going down the field (and the crowd correspondingly hyped up and into it), someone (#75 a lot) commits a stupid foul and a penalty stalls us dead in the water. It's hard to keep a crowd pumped up with all that.

    And, I have to say, Taylor Lamb has become the resident expert at handing the ball off for a run up the middle. Hell, I could do that. Add to that he is incapable of throwing an accurate pass deep down field or slant across the middle, or well, okay, ANYWHERE. So, my question is: how much worse could J. P. Caruso be? GIVE HIM A CHANCE!!! But, to go back to one of the blogger's comments, Satterfiled seems to be very stubborn. That stubbornness just may be the end of us!

    • AppFan

      October 13, 2016 at 12:53 am

      "… nothing to cheer for."

      21-4 over the last 25 games.

      The end is near.

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