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What We Know/Don’t Know as #HateStinkWeek Begins

Photo by Allyson Lamb

 

 Man. Oh. Man. To quote App State DL Tyson Fernandez: “Just something bout this week…” Well put (via Twitter), Big Man.
No matter the Mountaineers’ record, no matter the Eagles’ record, this blood feud is special. App State-Georgia Southern is one of those special — and underrated — rivalries in all the land.

/pumps fist…/

Throw in the Thursday night ESPN2 spotlight and, deliciously, the Mountaineers have a chance to eliminate the #Stink from Sun Belt title consideration. The thought is almost too much to handle…

…On the surface, things are looking really pretty good for the Apps: 5-2 overall, with losses only to No. 18 Tennessee and Miami, which was ranked for a while. Offensively, the ‘Neers have looked unimpressive ordinary at times in conference play, but haven’t been seriously tested by a SBC foe en route to a 3-0 record.

That continued Saturday during the Mountaineers 37-19 win over Idaho, with some hard-to-watch trips inside the red zone. Here’s what we know as #HateWeek begins its drag toward kick-off in Statesboro:

  • The Mountaineers’ six trips inside the 20 were fruitful. They got points each time. But the play calls were…meh. And the execution was…meh. A dozen points were left on the Kidd Brewer Stadium turf. That happens. Your blogger believes in the eyeball test — and the sniff test, and the… — and the ‘Neers offense looked more and more lost the closer it got to those (awesome) black end zones. It was a mess.

  • Kicker Michael Rubino got to kick. A lot. That’s a very good silver lining to the above. We all know one of these coming #FunBelt Title Tourney games — or another in between — is going to come down to our redshirt freshman kicker. (No, Tennessee didn’t come down to him. Become a smarter football consumer if you think that way, folks…)

  • The App State passing game is improving. This blogger has been very critical, but he likes what he sees lately. WRs and TEs are getting open, and Coach Visor’s schemes appear to be working. QB Taylor Lamb was efficient and effective, tossing for 220 yards. He didn’t throw a pick, and that will also be key against the #Stink.

  • WR Shaedon Meadors has put his slow start — and my criticism — behind him, hauling in 7 balls for 106 yards. Well done, No. 6. #GiveEmHell in Statesboro.

  • The Mountaineers defense is legit. It will surrender yards between the 30s, especially up top. But its ability to minimize damage is APP-solutely incredible. Idaho racked up 357 yards, but managed only 19 points, including a late garbage-time TD. Incredible. But is it a Houdini act against lesser teams?

  • Georgia Southern, at first glance, appears to be a mess. A total mess, or as much of one as a 4-3 (3-1 #FunBelt) can reasonably be. More on the Eagles later this week. For now, here’s the take of a local columnist:

“The win was a win, nothing more, nothing less. It doesn’t ease any concerns about the issues this team has shown all season. The Eagles struggle in the red zone, they play from behind, too many times the defense looks lethargic and doesn’t play through the whistle, and their offensive identity is still a mystery.”

We certainly know a lot more about these Mountaineers than we did just a few weeks ago, and most of it is positive. Very encouraging stuff. But there are still some things we don’t know:

  • When will we see stud RB Marcus Cox and stud DL John Law again?

  • How good could this still-developing, ever-improving squad be if its two senior stars return, and return to their true forms?! Oh, the possibilities…

  • A lot of soft — 2-ply TP soft — coverage against the Vandals. A better team, and a better QB, would have made a some big plays — and made what was a comfortable lead from the 3rd quarter on into a real dogfight down the stretch.

  • Will we fans ever feel OK with Coach Visor and Co. throwing it around while up three possessions to work on the passing game instead of running the clock? It’s extra practice, sure, but…

  • …And will we as fans ever feel OK with running the read option repeatedly late in the 4th quarter with Lamb still in the game? He got up gimpy, then fumbled on the next play before a) limping off the field while…b) holding his right arm. (He throws with that one, btw.) There appears no QB on the roster who’s ready to take over for No. 11 in a big game, nor on a permanent basis. Yet.

  • Finally, your blogger doesn’t know how any of us will get any work done before 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night

    -Appstradamus (On Twitter: @APPstradamus)

3 Comments

  1. Pingback: What We Know/Don’t Know as #HateStinkWeek Begins | AppStateNews

  2. AppOrange

    October 26, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    I think the Stink will more than ready. I don't think any other game on their schedule could get their ship righted more than this one . . . They are picked to loose a close game, at home, to their arch rival . . . smh

  3. WiseApp

    October 27, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    I've watched a MEGA bunch of Appalachian football games since 1970 and………….well, I reckon our blogger and I will have to continue disagreeing about the impact Rubino's missed kicks had on the final outcome of the Tennessee game. No particular blame game here–just keeping it real. It is what it is……….or was………….

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