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Gut-Check Time

Photo by Allyson Lamb

Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, it often does.

That’s life, folks.

Lose to 1-6 UMass, turn around and lose the next Saturday to Sun Belt also-ran Louisiana-Monroe.

/Refills AppFan Editor’s mason jar. Steals a sip – okay, three – before handing it back/

And, now, here comes winless, hapless and reeling Georgia Southern. Scott Satterfield’s seat, we sense, isn’t even warm yet after two bad losses and a season chock full of stolen and barely Ws. But there’s no chance Defensive Coordinator Nate Woody can plant his rear end on his seat today. (Nor should he be able to, frankly.)

It’s. Too. Damn. Hot.

We’ll get through it. With booze. And one another. (And, perhaps, news of a new DC, with a new scheme, come the offseason.)

Your blogger saw another Mountaineer site started a discussion page today titled “We’ve Been Spoiled.” So true.

But losing to then-1 win UMass and now a very mediocre UL-Monroe team is a dangerous step – we guess that’s two steps, huh? – backwards.

This recent downturn could – with a record-breaking senior QB who at times single-handedly keeps them in games about to run out of eligibility (four with a certain bowl game, right?)  – get out of hand. A downturn becomes a free fall then a free fall becomes a coaching change then a coaching change becomes two-three-four-plus years in the FB$ wilderness.

To be clear: App State is NOT there yet. Not close. (We think.) But Troy went through this before the Mountaineers joined the Sun Belt. Georgia Southern #Stink is going through it now, and appears several years away from finding its way back to competitiveness much less relevance. The wilderness is a darker place and one harder to come back from when you’re part of the FB$’s, let’s face it, weakest conference.

We knew this day would come. There would be seasons with bad losses and mid-pack #FunBelt finishes. But we didn’t have any evidence that it would be now. Some, like this blogger, expected it would be next season, with a new QB and names like Boggs, Fuller, Stringer and Howard about to complete their final seasons in the Black & Yellow.

That would have been more tolerable – understandable, even. But like this? With QB Taylor Lamb playing so well and those longtime defensive studs on the field. But the D has slowly gotten worse and worse and worse. As one fan wrote on App State Twitter after the clock hit 0:00 Saturday night: Woody doesn’t make adjustments, at least not to the untrained eye. The game plan seems to be the game plan, damn it. Problem is: Opponents adjust.

This is salvageable, for sure. Maybe. The talent is there. The schemes, in seasons past, have been much – much – better defensively. Woody and his guys gave up yards to #FunBelt and FB$ foes, but found ways to keep them out of the end zone.

Not lately, however. And that must change. And soon. Otherwise, well, more on that in the coming days…

…We know what this App program has been built on since Satterfield took over: solid recruiting and preparation, experience complimented by youth, schemes and skill, physicality and speed, heart and grit. Many of those characteristics, sadly, have been missing this season – even when the Mountaineers found ways to win.

Now we’re about to find out just how much resiliency is built into the program’s foundation, too.

Here come the hated Eagles. For better or worse.

Thursday night is a gut-check moment for App State. Let your blogger offer some advice: Watch this on a damn loop all week. If the Mountaineers then come out flat – yet again – the program has bigger problems than we even know.

–Appstradamus

Follow your favorite barely tolerated blogger DURING the game on Twitter @APPstradamus for analysis, snark and third-down bell emojis (!!).

4 Comments

  1. Pingback: Gut-Check Time | AppStateNews

  2. carbine762

    November 6, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Offense can only score when it absolutely has to, defense can't stop anyone from scoring when IT absolutely has to.

    If we can't get up for this one…. Well I will be there Thursday night. But the cruel reality of the FBS world is that if you don't keep winning, you don't sell out your stadium. And if you don't sell out your stadium the program becomes an enormous financial drain. And if your program becomes an enormous financial drain you don't have the resources to do anything about it (hire new/better coaches, upgrade facilities to recruit better talent, etc.), especially when your playing in the worst conference in FBS.. We ain't Alabama, we don't have an enormous donor base to fall back on when we fall down on the field. So we can't afford–literally, can't afford–to fall down. Ever.

  3. FoodBarn

    November 7, 2017 at 5:51 am

    First of all"Blogger" when did the Mountaineers become the "Black & Yellow"?
    I agree, Woody has been a disappointment but Satterfield's offense is stagnant with such slow predictable play calling and a No Threat to run QB. I don't understand how the brain child of the spread at app cannot speed up the tempo and recruit a running QB.

  4. Pingback: Week 11: #Stink Week – AppFan.com

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