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Week 6: Air Raid!


Scott Satterfield watches game film so we don’t have to. It’s also his job as App State’s head ball coach.

“It looks like a totally different team.”

That’s his attention-grabbing money quote about the Mountaineers’ Week Six foe, 2-3 New Mexico State. Don’t expect another 37-7 Mountaineer beatdown like the Apps unleashed last season in Las Cruces – thought it sure would be nice, eh?

NMSU appears much better (read: competitive) just as the Aggies are a few games from being punted right out of the Sun Belt #FunBelt and into FBS Purgatory. The Aggies got blasted – but paid – last Saturday at Arkansas. But in NMSU’s other two losses, the final margins were six and three points. And the former was a near-upset of the PAC-12’s Arizona State in Tempe.

Add a 30-28 upset of rival New Mexico and a 41-14 win over shellacking of UTEP, and this is not the squad the Apps – and many others – dominated just one year ago.

There are reasons aplenty to expect a close one Saturday at The Rock.

For starters, Marcus Cox (#BeastMode) and Jalin Moore ran wild on State last season: Cox ran for 140 yards and Moore 111 – with then-Junior Dreamboat QB Taylor Lamb racking up 71 more on land. QB1 found paydirt with his legs twice, and Moore once.

But this season, the Apps’ usual ground-and-pound-based approach has been replaced with a Lamb-orchestrated aerial attack. The Mountaineers at times – and, alarmingly – have been able to run just enough. Mostly with understudy-to-workhorse Terrence Upshaw and Lamb in the option game. Feature back-to-understudy Moore has struggled mightily. As has the ‘Neers young and (so it appears) less-physical-than-usual offensive line.

The good news: NMSU’s rushing defense is middle of the pack in FBS and gives up 162 per outing. So maybe – maybe! – this is the week Moore and the OL bust out of their collective funk.

Based on what we’ve seen from App State so far, however, this blogger is betting the Aggies will be sounding a different kind of alarm Saturday afternoon.

There are yards aplenty to be had against the Aggie defense, folks. We’re talking early 250 yards per game and eight TDs.

Get loose, No. 11. And stay that way.

Lamb and his WRs are going to have to provide the points, we think. No reason they can’t do that against this putrid NMSU unit.

Defensively, expect App’s 19th-ranked defense to be tested, especially by QB Tyler Rogers. Kid is having himself a season: Over 1,700 yards up top and 14 scoring tosses.


Impressive stuff. But, he has a weakness: He tends to throw it to the other team, with 5 INTs over as many games.

Do we hear something…Quacking?

/Pumps fists, excitedly/

App’s front seven will need to get to Rogers early, and set the tone – and also force him to make some bad-decision throws that a certain sophomore CB might take…to the house!

Prediction Time: They say defense wins championships. The quest for an outright Sun Belt title begins in earnest Saturday at 3,333 feet. We’ll see about that in early December, but defense, largely, wins this one. Lamb airs it out more than 30 times, at least three ending up in a black-shirted receiver’s hands for 6. (And embattled kicker Michael Rubino is perfect on the day.) Defense bends a bit, but doesn’t break when it counts: Mountaineers 29, NMSU 20. Give. ‘Em. Hell.


Follow your favorite barely tolerated blogger DURING most games – but not this week, due to annoying adult tasks – on Twitter @APPstradamus for analysis, snark and third-down bell emojis (!!).

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