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Originally published: 2013-08-29 22:46:44
Last modified: 2013-08-29 22:47:27

Mountaineers take on Grizzlies

by Steve Behr Sports Editor

Appalachian State's schedule maker did not do new head football coach Scott Satterfield any favors by scheduling Montana for the 2013 opener.
The fact that the game is in Missoula, Mont., doesn't make things any easier for Satterfield, who takes his Mountaineers to Washington-Grizzly Stadium Saturday to face the Grizzlies for the second time in as many years, and for the third time since 2009.
Kickoff is at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
Appalachian State, which beat Montana in a 35-27 showdown at Kidd Brewer Stadium in 2012, begins its final season in the Football Championship Subdivision ranked 12th overall. The Mountaineers return 10 starters from their 2012 edition that finished with an 8-4 overall record, but saw their season end in a bitterly disappointing 38-37 loss to Illinois State in overtime in the second round of the FCS playoffs.
"It's certainly a huge challenge for us," Satterfield said. I was told that we have never won on that side of the Mississippi River. It's a huge challenge for us and one that we relish and we can't wait to go out there and see what kind of team we have."
The Mountaineers face a Montana defense that returns 10 starters and has some of the top linebackers in the nation in seniors Brock Coyle, Jordan Tripp and John Kanongata. The trio was the top three tacklers for the Grizzlies last year, and made 274 of the defense's 912 tackles -- that's about 30 percent -- in 2012.
"It all starts with their defense," Satterfield said. "They have 10 starters back and three of the best linebackers in the FCS. They have an excellent and solid defense that was the No. 2 run defense last year."
That presents a problem for the Mountaineers, who are trying to rebuild a running game that centered around 1,300-yard rusher Steven Miller, who is trying to catch on with the Detroit Lions as a free agent.