Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Appalachian State Looks to Maintain Top Spot in the Sun Belt

Red-hot Appalachian State University football continues a three-game homestand on Saturday when it hosts its annual Family Weekend contest versus Sun Belt Conference foe Troy. Appalachian State (6-1, 3-0 Sun Belt) began its three-game homestand with its biggest win of the season to date, a 31-13 rout over longtime rival Georgia Southern in a nationally televised Sun Belt showdown last Thursday night.

With the victory over Georgia Southern, the Mountaineers became the first team to ever defeat the Eagles in a Sun Belt Conference game. Georgia Southern (5-2, 3-1 Sun Belt) was 11-0 in Sun Belt play since joining the league in 2014. After knocking off Georgia Southern, Appalachian now owns the Sun Belt’s longest conference winning streak with nine-straight league wins. The Mountaineers have also won five straight games and 11 of their last 12 contests overall.

For the first time in eight years, Appalachian State received votes in this week’s Associated Press College Football Top 25 poll. The Mountaineers received a total of six points in this week’s AP poll, good for eighth in the “also receiving votes” category (33rd overall).

With its win over Georgia Southern, Appalachian also became officially eligible for bowl consideration in 2015. Should the Mountaineers receive a bowl bid following the regular season, it would be the first NCAA bowl appearance in program history.

Appalachian State continues to lead the Sun Belt Conference in scoring offense (38.0 ppg), scoring defense (12.0 ppg), total offense (482.0 ypg) and total defense (277.0 ypg). The Mountaineers are the only team to rank among the top 20 nationally in both total defense (7th) and total offense (20th).

In the latest of a string of ultra-impressive performances by App State’s defense, the Mountaineers limited Georgia Southern (the nation’s top rushing team at 399.0 ypg coming into last Thursday’s game) to a season-low 188 yards on the ground.

Troy (2-5, 1-2 Sun Belt) is coming off an impressive 52-7 conference road win at New Mexico State last Saturday. Three of the Trojans’ five losses under firstyear head coach Neal Brown have come on the road against power-conference opponents: 49-21 at NC State on Sept. 5, 28-3 at Wisconsin on Sept. 19 and 45-17 at Misssissippi State on Oct. 10.

Appalachian State’s current string of 12 victories in its last 13 games began with a 53-14 win at Troy on Oct. 18 of last season.