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2018

Appalachian State

College Football

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Appalachian State had another successful season under Scott Satterfield in 2017, winning a share of the Sun Belt with a 9-4 overall record, as well as a nice bowl win over Toledo. With enough guys returning on both sides of the ball, the Mountaineers are favored to take part in the inaugural conference title game. They have the second-best odds (+260) to win the conference and an over/under of 8.5 wins at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

The main worry for the Mountaineers is at quarterback where they lose a four-year starter in Taylor Lamb. Sophomore Zac Thomas was the favorite after spring practices, but he still has to win the job in the fall against three other guys. Either way, the new quarterback won’t be as good as Lamb, who threw for 8.12 yards per attempt and 27 touchdowns with only six picks. At the least, top skill players are still there like running back Jalin Moore (1,037 yards, 12 TDs) and wide receivers Thomas Hennigan (585 yards, 7 TDs), Jalen Virgil and Malik Williams. The line is another worry with four sophomores projected in the starting group alongside left tackle Victor Johnson, who is one of the best in the conference.

The hope for App. State is that the defense remains elite after allowing just 20.2 points per game. Six returning starters should help with at least one veteran piece at each level. The best unit is the secondary, which could also be the best in the conference. Cornerbacks Clifton Duck and Tae Hayes can lockdown wide outs, while safety Josh Thomas returns after missing most of last year with an injury. The front three doesn’t return as many starters, but there is depth around senior nose tackle Myquon Stout. The biggest question is at linebacker where three starters are gone outside of Anthony Flory (87 tackles) and he’ll have a big task of keeping the guys around him in check.

The Mountaineers were put into the slightly tougher East division along with Troy, which they split a Sun Belt title with last year. Those two play in the regular season finale so that could be for the title game. The downside to Appalachian State’s schedule is the trip to Arkansas State in the middle of the season (+4 underdog), the heavy favorite to win the conference. Otherwise, the other six conference games should be smooth sailing. The Penn State trip is a loss in the opener, but reaching nine wins is possible for this team. Of course, if the new quarterback can’t come close to replacing Taylor Lamb, there will be problems in hitting the over. But with enough skill players and another solid defense, that could be enough to win the division.

 

2018 Appalachian State Mountaineers Football Schedule

Sept. 1 at Penn State

Sept. 8 at Charlotte

Sept. 15 vs. Southern Miss

Sept. 22 vs. Gardner-Webb

Sept. 29 vs. South Alabama

Oct. 9 at Arkansas State

Oct. 20 vs. Louisiana

Oct. 25 at Georgia Southern

Nov. 3 at Coastal Carolina

Nov. 10 at Texas State

Nov. 17 vs. Georgia State

Nov. 24 vs. Troy

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