Round 2 – “Appalachian State has lost to N.C. State (98-77), Campbell (73-66), Cincinnati (77-49) and North Carolina Central (76-70) and defeated Lee-McRae (91-63). Georgia opened the season with a 72-52 victory over Wofford, but has since lost to Georgia Tech (80-71), Davidson (94-82), Temple (83-81) and Nebraska (73-65).” Game will be on ESPN3.
Three NFL games set for this holiday, and the first two should have some Mountaineer appearances.
First up, the day’s traditional host, Detroit, welcomes Green Bay to its home for dinner. Serving up some punch will be Sam Martin, the most profiled kicker in the league.
“It’s crazy, man,” said Martin, a former soccer standout who became a first-team Football Championship Series All-American as a senior. “When we’re in stretch lines in practice sometimes, I have those moments where I’m like, ‘Wow.’ If I don’t really think about it, I don’t realize it.”
As a rookie, Martin is fourth in the NFL, averaging 48.4 yards, and fifth in net punting at 41.7 yards.
“He’s not by any means a finished product, and he’ll be the first one to tell you that,” special teams coordinator John Bonamego said.
Following the appetizer, Oakland rambles in to Dallas. App State great turned Raider Jason Hunter is likely out due to injury (he was inactive last Sunday and hasn’t practiced all week).
But since the Cowboys are at home, expect more than one great shot of Carisa Rose working the sidelines.
About 14 years ago App State decided to update its image.
Today it announced that look has been abandoned.
Officially introduced as a novelty, the “old school” Yosef is the new head logo. It shall henceforth be called “Victory Yosef.”
“Yosef Head” is going six feet deep.
And there was much rejoycing.
The old new look was never embraced. It was supposed to be Rushmore-ian, invoking the image of a Yosef sculpted from a broad mountain side. Instead it looked like a fishstick salesman. Or, later, a pirate villain.
It was supposed to be a new look for a new century. No more corncob pipes, stovetop hats or anything remotely considered … /holds nose … mountain.
That new logo also came with a new mascot. He disappeared after just one appearance, a CSI case everyone agreed to leave unexplored, if not celebrated.
Since fishstick was ignored, the supposedly abandoned Block A remained the go-to look. Then, a few years ago, someone had the brilliant idea to bring back the classic. /bygones
Since reintroduced by App State as a novelty, the old school Yosef has slowly been plastered on more and more merchandise. And it seems to sell as fast as it can be produced.
Ya gotta go with the hot, uh, head, so out with the new and in with the old.
Pipe’in ain’t easy. LONG LIVE THE PIPE!
With some Luck.
His first game with his new team will be against his old team. Geez … we hope this isn’t a one off for quick competitive advantage.
The last time App State had a 4-win season (1994), it responded two years later with the only undefeated regular season in school history.
The last time App State had a 4-win SoCon season (2004), it responded the very next year with the first of three national championships.
In 2013 App State matched both those low water marks. And its upcoming regeneration will see challenges previous generations have not.
Plus, the program is losing some key links to its past. As departing senior Tony Washington suggests, 2014 represents a changing of the guard.
“Guys like me, (Andrew) Peacock and Jamal saw the last of those (national-) championship guys leave and we heard how they did it and picked up on a lot of things from those guys,” Washington said during the season. “But these guys coming now don’t have that background. They’ll have to create their own.”
As we indicated, it’s been done before.
The 1995 squad was comprised primarily of guys who never won more than 8 game in a season. They won 9, then notched 12 in 1995.
The 2005 team had one playoff win in its previous four seasons. They started a streak of 13 straight.
The 2014 squad will be stacked both with game-tested Mountaineers and a deep pool of redshirted talent. Cause, yeah, App State pretty much sandbagged the 2013 season by delaying the introduction of a lot of recruits.
Some names among players that redshirted this year that are expected to be factors next season include receivers Dante Jones and Jaquil Capel, quarterback Taylor Lamb, running back Terrence Upshaw, linebacker Lee Wright and defensive back T.J. Watkins and offensive lineman Beau Nunn.
The Mountaineers will recruit about 30 players to reach the 85 scholarship total next season. There are already 18 commitments.
Obviously, unlike previous campaigns, the next one will be against a higher level of competition. It features a new division, new league, and new expectations.
All that pressure will be on the backs of about 100 young men returning to suit up for the first FBS season in school history. That’s how many underclassmen could return (91 were on the roster for the ‘Western game), along with a deep bench of redshirts we’ve yet to see.
Next year all but one game is against FBSers, both established and green. Almost all feature new environments against new schemes, and weekly competitions against players faster, stronger and more experienced than any Mountaineer squad has faced before.
2013 was a year of transition. And 2014 will very much be more of the same. Surpassing four wins is actually a pretty high bar, but that’s just timber to feed some competitive fires.
Historically App State valleys have been followed by monumental heights. And we can’t wait to see how high the next squad of Mountaineers can go. Just gotta wait a looooooong 276 days for that next climb to begin.
One season is over. But preparation for the next should already be underway.
GIVE ‘EM HELL!
Awards – “Cox finished as the SoCon leader with 1,250 yards rushing.” Kendall Lamm Jr., Tony Washington, and Bentlee Critcher make coaches’ first team all-SoCon. Cox and Andrew Peacock on second team. Media has Cox, Washington and Critcher on its first team, and Lamm, Peacock and Karl Anderson on second.
In its 2013/FCS/SoCon finale, App State attracted an announced crowd of 27,115, the second largest at home this season.
On that same day, there were three games in the Sun Belt. None of them were anywhere near as popular as Boone on a cold Saturday afternoon.
Georgia St. at Arkansas St. – 18,512
Western Kentucky at Texas St. – 17,051
UL Monroe at S. Alabama – 13,891
That got us to thinking of average crowd size. For the year App State attracted right at 24,894 to the Rock. As of today, the top five average home crowds in the Sun Belt belong to:
UL-Lafayette – 26,142
Arkansas State – 24,913
Troy – 20,364
Western Kentucky – 19,314
Texas State – 18,062
An amusing irony of App State’s debut Sun Belt schedule – three of the four conference road games will be at those programs atop that attendance list: UL-Lafayette, Arkansas State and Troy.
The fourth road league game will be at Georgia Southern, which has packed its house with 20,000-plus for its last three games against App State.
The other two 2014 road games – at Michigan and Southern Miss – are currently averaging 111,272 and 22,752 fans a game, respectively.
If App State maintains its average attendance next season, the Mountaineers are in for a historic campaign, one in which all 12 games will be played before crowds of more than 20,000 fans.
It’s never happened before, and may not happen again. Looking at the 2015 road schedule for the Sun Belt, App State will be playing before four programs now averaging between 14,000 to 18,000 a game. (One of them, Georgia State, is notoriously overcounting its home crowds).
That hypothetical 2015 slate is dependent upon the Sun Belt not adding a 12th member. If that were to occur in the interim, it is expected the league would split into divisions and possibly re-write those games.
Regardless, next year could be App States’ fans one chance to be a part of history. No matter what happens on the field, it could be the most popular Mountaineer football season ever.
See you at …. /Sean Connery voice … THE ROCK!
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah – “App State has secured a home-and-home series versus Akron, the schools announced on Monday. App will travel to Akron’s InfoCision Stadium on Sept. 24, 2016 with the Zips making a return trip to Kidd Brewer Stadium on Sept. 16, 2017.” Zips are 4-7 this season, 3-4 in MAC. From 2010-2012 they were 1-11 each season.
Early games – Tampa Bay at Detroit (Martin), Jacksonville (McCray) at Houston, and Chicago at St. Louis (Quick). Late games include Tennessee at Oakland (Hunter). San Fran (Kilgore) heads to Washington for Monday Night Football. The Saints (Cadet) played Thursday night.
In other pro App news, both Corey Lynch and DJ Smith were waived last week, by the Titans and Texans respectfully. AE, with Cleveland, is out for the season with injury, as remains Jeremy Kimbrough with Washington. Steven Miller last week was signed for the third time this season to the Detriot practice squad. De’Andre Presley remains on the Panthers practice team.
All too easy ….
Western Carolina was who we always thought they were, never threatening as App State wrote new records and yet again retained the Jug in a 48-27 FCS/SoCon finale.
The good guys built a 31-0 lead 22 minutes into the game, and led 45-14 with 10:05 left in the third.
It was far less a game then it was an exhibition. One last chance for the Mountaineers to flex some FCS muscle. When next we see them, it will be as FBSers lining up in the Big House before 100,000-plus.
Against the ‘Whee, App State scored:
- Running – Marcus Cox ran to endzone on jaunts of 13, 56 and 2 yards.
- Passing – Kameron Bryant hit Cox for a 15-yard score, and Tony Washington for a 50-yarder.
- Kicking – Drew Stewart hit two FGs, from 38 and 48 yards.
- Defending – Karl Anderson nabbed a gift of a Catamount pass and ran it 37 yards for 6.
The Anderson TD ignited a long dormant App State celebration. The senior was the victim of a joyous dogpile in the endzone, prompting the refs to throw flags like confetti. We’ll take those 15 yards. We wanted one last party. And got it.
An estimated 27,115 fans were on hand for the chilly finale. With the score 31-0 and 8:05 still left in the second quarter, a slow trickle started toward the exits. After halftime every App State score – three to be exact – was answered with another dispersal.
Doesn’t matter. Fans got what they paid to see. Joy on the sideline. Cheers in the stands. And App State winning on the scoreboard.
Haven’t had too many of these moments. And there are 279 days until another opportunity to maybe witness one again.
Cox set a freshman rushing record, going for 215 yards. He finishes the season with a school freshman record 1,250 rushing yards, surpassing the 1,153 accumulated in 2006 by Armanti Edwards. He also scored a freshman record 21 TDs; his 15 rushing scores is tied with Edwards for most by a freshman.
AE also lost his school completion record for a season. Kameron Bryant is the new hawkeye. Against the ‘Whee, he was 10 of 16 for 186 yards and two TDs. For the season he completed 237 of his 333 throws for a 71.2 percent accuracy rate. He also has 2,713 passing yards, 6th most in a season at App State.
Andrew Peacock caught 2 passes for 55 yards, finishing his career atop the school’s reception list with 205. He was thirsty afterwards.
And while not a school record, freshman punter Bentlee Critcher finished the season with a 46.2 yard punting average, second best in school history. He surpassed Sam Martin, who went for 45.9 yards a kick last year.
App State ends its final FCS season with a 4-8 mark. It ends its final SoCon season at 4-4. In the conference standings, it ties for fourth place with Wofford, The Citadel and Georgia Southern. The SoCon title will be shared between Chattanooga, Samford and Furman; all 6-2.
The automatic playoff bid goes to …. Furman.
In recognition of the program’s transition, the SoCon logos were absent on the field during the game.
Prior to the game, seniors were recognized on the field with parents and loved ones. The PA system announced the names of the players and their parents present, and they were shown on the scoreboard screen. When it came time to announce Jamal Londry-Jackson, he was on the field standing between his mother Kathryn Londry and former App State coach Jerry Moore. Only Jamal and Kathryn were verbally recognized.
* pic stolen from instagram
Wow – “The Eagles pulled off the biggest upset in school history, earning a 26-20 win over UF in the Swamp. Both teams relied on the rushing attack all game, but Georgia Southern’s triple option was simply far more effective. Georgia Southern’s undersized defensive line was able to put some pressure on Florida because the Gators lack a true passing attack. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles’ triple option attack gave Florida fits. ” Just … wow – “TOOK THE MONEY AND WON. Georgia Southern was paid $555,000 to come play at The Swamp today.” Congrats Eagles!
Lotta endings today.
The 2013 season will come to a close with the finale of an 81-year-old rivalry, App State versus Western Carolina. This will be the 68th consecutive year they’ve played.
It will also end App State’s 42-year relationship with the SoCon, and its 35-year membershiping within the
I-AA Football Championship Subdivision.
There will also be just over a dozen Mountaineers suiting up for the last time. That includes 11 seniors and three juniors forgoing their final year of eligibility.
There will also be a halftime show dedicated to another Mountaineer saying goodbye.
This will all play out during a dreary weather day, which is probably appropriate given this dreary weathered season.
So for one last time in 2013, someone’s gotta get some hell!
“It’s going to be a great football game here,” Coach Scott Satterfield of the Mountaineers said. “It’s the last game for our seniors, and the last game for us in the Southern Conference. So, there’s a lot riding on this game.”
“Being the last time we’re scheduled to play and their last game in the SoCon just adds extra meaning to this game for both sides,” said Mark Speir, the Catamounts’ coach who knows both sides of the rivalry. He was an assistant at Appalachian for nine seasons.
Mountaineer seniors looking to go out winners include Karl Anderson, Josh Anding, Ian Barnard, Patrick Blalock, Michael Frazier, Jamal Londry-Jackson, Andrew Peacock, Adam Scott, Drew Stewart, Rodger Walker, Tony Washington, Rommel Andre, Austin Chambers and Tucker Lee.