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Week 11: #Stink Week

Photo by Chad Mitchell

App State vs. Georgia Southern. Mountaineers vs. Eagles.

Six of the most exciting words in sports, for those who know.

A dozen I-AA/FCS national championships between them. One of college football’s most underrated but most intense rivalries. Countless classic battles and thrilling finishes. Some top-shelf trash talk. And a mutual respect, though it’s buried – and it should be – beneath a whole lotta hate and resentment.

And together, the SoCon’s former Hatfields and McCoys stormed Big Boy Football, well, the Sun Belt #FunBelt, together. Since, they’ve won Sun Belt titles, some shared, and these two blood feud rivals who seem bound at the hip are a perfect 3-0 collectively in bowl games.

/Whistles/

Fast forward to Thursday night: App State v. Georgia Southern. Under the lights. ESPN ESPN2 ESPNU. A rivalry, renewed. And since it’s November, the #FunBelt slate is getting wearing thin. So this one must be for at least a piece of the Sun Belt trophy, right?

/*headdesk/

Well, this ain’t really what the Big Four Letter network signed up for. Us, neither. And, based on about a thousand tweets we’ve seen from Statesboro #Stinkville, certainly not Eagle Nation, or what’s left of it…

…Here come the putrid Eagles. This 0-8 (0-4 #FunBelt) squad takes the #Stink moniker to a whole new level. The GSU defense gives up a remarkably awful 446 yards per game, and an equally rancid 38.4 points per outing embarrassing loss. The #Stink offense is listed as the 33rd-best in All The Land. But, c’mon, the Eagles once-feared ground attack has produced just 10 TDs in eight game.

/Something really smells in here…/

How can Total Rushing Offense be based totally on yards per game? Advice for the nerds who are, for some reason, in charge of stats and the like: Scoring matters.

/Snickers/

Your blogger has been told it’s not ethical or morally sound or nice to make yourself feel better by wallowing in the failure and ineptitude of one’s enemies. Well, (bleep) that. As App State goes through its worst slide in a few seasons, damn, does it feel good to distract oneself by focusing on how far the #Stink program has fallen plummeted in just two seasons.

As we noted earlier this week, it’s gut-check time for App State.

The Mountaineer defense has been bad during the 2-game losing slide, and not that great all season. And, suddenly, the App State offense is unpredictable – sometimes-sluggish, always slow-to-get-revved-up, rarely in rhythm, and leaving this blogger terrified what it would produce if senior QB Taylor Lamb is ever unable to take the snaps.

/Regrets typing those words, but reality is rough stuff…/

There is something about this spot that bothers some App Fans, including this blogger. Here are three reasons why:

  1. #Stink can let it all hang out. Well, as much as any triple-option triple-gimmick team can. The hapless Eagles have nothing to lose here, and what’s one more lopsided loss, even if it is to your rival? Break out the trick plays, roll the dice with some uncharacteristic deep passes, and do everything you’ve seen on film that has this App State defense so utterly feckless in recent weeks.

  2. Those slow starts. Apps spotted UMass and UL-M too many points, after spotting Idaho three possessions, and just couldn’t get it all back or overcome the sleepwalking starts. Giving bad and mediocre teams hope is one thing. To give a struggling rival hope in what will be #Stinks closest thing to a bowl game this season would be another. The Mountaineers must strike early, strike often, and keep their black shoes on the gas pedal for four quarters. For once.

  3. The embattled DC. Can Nate Woody save his job? Of all the storylines left to play out over the next handful of weeks, this is the most intriguing, most important, and most troubling. Can Woody put the pressure aside and just focus on the next opponent, do his part to get the next W? He knows the triple option well, and his Ds have looked solid over the Mountaineers’ two-game winning streak against Southern. Woody needs a third. A shutout likely is too to ask, but punking the Eagles’ O at The Rock on national teevee would be a start to having his job in a month or so…

The last few weeks have been rough. But throw out App’s recent issues and the convoy of trucks that will bring all the Eagles’ baggage with them up the mountain. Rivalry games are different.

That’s why we suggest, as we often do this time of year, watching this heart rate-raising clip – a lot – until kickoff.

Prediction Time: This blood feud should cause even the – I’m running out of adjectives worthy of how bad GSU really is – #Stink-y (!) Eagles to raise their game. At least at the start. And the triple option is always a beast to stop. But Taylor Lamb, in his final game against Southern, should have a big night. There are yards aplenty to be had against this GSU defense up top. Mountaineers end the frustrating slide as Lamb gashes the Eagles and Woody finds a way to slow down the #Stink O. Vegas has App as a 17.5-point favorite. That feels about right. ASU covers the number: Mountaineers 33, Eagles 13. Give. ‘Em. Hell.

–Appstradamus

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

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Week 11: #Stink Week | AppStateNews

  2. carbine762

    November 11, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    It's good to see us win again, even better since it's against the Stink. I was there Thursday night, and once again, for most of the first half, it seemed like we could not get out of our own way. Two promising drives were derailed by senseless penalties, and the defense had some truely bizzare lapses, though it held both GASO drives short of the end zone. It's not a lack of aggression or athleticism on either side of the ball that's holding us back; these boys play as hard as any team I've ever seen. It's mistakes–often caused by playing TOO aggressively–and lack of discipline that keep us from sustaining drives, and allow opponents to extend theirs. That's the kind of thing coaching can correct. But it's awfully late in the season to be doing that. I know injuries have played havoc with our continuity, but that's true for most teams at this point in the season. I just hope they can get it together to close out the season strong and show well in a bowl, assuming we land an invite.

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