Mountaineers must match GSU's offense
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
The Mountaineers (1-6, 1-3 SoCon) rolled up 30 first downs and 473 yards in total offense. Quarterback Kameron Bryant completed 32-of-40 passes for 307 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, all of which are solid numbers.
The Mountaineers still lost 27-10.
Five turnovers doomed Appalachian State at Furman. The Mountaineers fumbled the ball eight times, losing four of them that led to 17 points. An interception on an Andrew Peacock option pass was returned 98 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter.
Added up, that's 24 of Furman's 27 points set up by App State turnovers.
"We had some pretty good stats," Mountaineers coach Scott Satterfield said. "We came close to 500 yards and we had 30 first downs. When you look at that, we should have scored more points. We put the ball down on the ground for five turnovers, so you can move the ball but when you give it to them, you're not getting any points."
Appalachian State's biggest problem isn't gaining yards. It's scoring points. The Mountaineers average 18.6 points per game, which is eighth out of the nine-team SoCon. Only Western Carolina, at 17.8 points per game, scores less than the Mountaineers.
Appalachian State's offense will have to see more production if it wants to keep up with Georgia Southern, which invades Kidd Brewer Stadium Saturday. Kickoff is at 3:30 p.m.
Georgia Southern (4-2, 2-2), which averages 40.2 points per game, leads the Southern Conference in scoring. The Eagles also lead the SoCon in total offense with 491.7 yards per game, and in rushing with 36.8 yards each game.
Jerick McKinnon leads the SoCon in rushing with 794 yards on 124 carries. He is the only SoCon rusher to average more than 100 yards per game at 132.3 yards per outing.
Georgia Southern is third in the conference defensively by giving up 358.7 yards per game. They also allow 23.7 points per game, which is also third in the SoCon.
"McKinnon leads the conference in rushing. He's a great player for them," Satterfield said. "Defensively, they put pressure on teams. They've got athletic players at linebacker and in the secondary. They've held teams in check to 23 points per game this season."
Appalachian State went down to Statesboro, Ga., in 2012 and walked away with a 31-28 victory over then No. 1-ranked Eagles.
But the Mountaineers have struggled this season. Their loss to Furman was their fourth straight setback in 2012.
"I think the guys are continuing to fight," Satterfield said. "We're still working hard. Everybody is frustrated on how games have turned out for us. We haven't played a complete game mistake free. We're making way too many mistakes putting the ball on the ground and not creating enough turnovers."
Appalachian State is last in the SoCon with a minus-five turnover ratio. They are eighth in the league in interceptions with four, and have turned the ball over 13 times this season.
Even with the Mountaineers' problems, Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken is not taking Appalachian State lightly.
"I'm not buying into it," Monken said. "App State is struggling with wins and loses this year, but we know what they are. They are and athletic, tough football team."