ASU hopes to put loss in the distance
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
That’s was what Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore faced going into practice this week. His Mountaineers are coming off a surprisingly lopsided 52-28 loss to The Citadel in a game that got to be 31-0 before Appalachian State scored a touchdown.
This Saturday, the Mountaineers must regroup to face a Chattanooga team that Moore calls “the most improved team and program in our league.”
“They’ve probably lost more close games than any team in our league,” Moore said on the Southern Conference teleconference call Tuesday. “That’s the way we’ll prepare for them. They’re a good football team. It would be a game like the rest of them, a good tight ballgame.”
Appalachian State is still processing what went wrong against a Citadel team that also upset No. 3 Georgia Southern 23-21 and is 3-0 this season. The Bulldogs play at N.C. State this Saturday.
Moore said giving up several big plays defensively helped The Citadel build its 31-point lead.
“We gave up a lot of big plays,” Moore said. “Anybody at the game, or who kept up with it, probably knows that we gave up over 300 yards in big plays. It was their preparation and our lack of it. We had a lot of missed assignments and confusion.”
Even with the loss, the Mountaineers went through a spirited workout Monday inside the Sofield Family indoor practice field. Quarterback Jamal Jackson said the team’s mood is not one of depression, but they know that they have to play better against Chattanooga if they want to avoid another loss.
“The mood’s good,” Jackson said. “It’s time to prepare for a new opponent, and it’s time to keep moving through this conference race. Once that game was over with and once we watched film (Monday), we put it in the vault and it’s over with.”
The most disturbing aspect of the loss was the ease with which the Bulldogs ran through the Appalachian State defense. The Citadel ran for 463 yards. Three Bulldogs — Ben Dupree (180 yards), Darien Robinson (113 yards) and Ricky Anderson (102 yards) — ran for over 100 yards.
“Honestly, those guys hit us in the mouth,” safety Troy Sanders said. “We were never really ready, to tell you the truth. We didn’t come out there with any energy. We came out flat and The Citadel came out there with more energy from the first snap. ”