Mountaineers take on rising Chattanooga
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Appalachian State's offense came alive in a 38-14 route of Georgia Southern a week ago. The Mountaineers (2-6, 2-3 SoCon) threw for 381 yards, and after falling behind 7-0, Appalachian State scored the next 31 points.
App State quarterback Kameron Bryant completed 27-of-33 passes and two touchdowns against Georgia Southern. One week earlier, Bryant threw for 307 yards on 32-of-40 passing, but five turnovers sunk the Mountaineers in a loss to Furman.
"It all came together last weekend," Mountaineers coach Scott Satterfield said. "The receivers played the best that have all season."
Two of those receivers, Andrew Peacock and Tony Washington, are in the Top 3 in the SoCon in receptions. Peacock leads the conference with 52 receptions for 463 yards and two touchdowns, while Washington is third with 43 catches for 589 yards and a touchdown.
"(Kameron) has done a better job the last few weeks of spreading the ball," Satterfield said. "Peacock and Washington are getting their touches, and now we're getting the ball to Simms McElfresh and Malachi Jones, so we've got five or six guys involved, and that makes it tougher for a defense to defend us."
Satterfield was impressed with McElfresh, who entered the program as a walk-on and has played his way not only into a scholarship, but into the starting lineup.
"One thing is he works hard every single day," Satterfield said. "He was a walk-on player who is not very big, but he played hard and made himself into a good football player."
Satterfield also gave credit to the Mountaineers' offensive line for playing better as the season has gone on.
"They have really come on strong the last three weeks," Satterfield said. "They've stayed predominately healthy over the last month and that's what we want. We want continuity."
But the strength of the Mocs' team is defense. Chattanooga (6-2, 4-1) gives up 17.6 points and 313.2 yards in total defense. Both lead the Southern Conference.
The Mocs have been particularly tough against the pass by allowing just 135.0 yards per game, which also leads the SoCon.
But Chattanooga is also improved on offense. The Mocs average 30.9 points and 377.1 yards per game. Keon Williams leads the Mocs in rushing with 687 yards and nine touchdowns this season.
Chattanooga quarterback Jacob Huesman, the son of head coach Russ Huesman, is ninth in rushing with 648 yards and seven touchdowns. He's also thrown for 1,094 yards and 13 touchdowns.