College Football Preview: The 2014 Appalachian State Mountaineers
The Appalachian State Mountaineers leave the FCS to join the Sun Belt in 2014.
2014 College Football Preview
The Appalachian State Mountaineers head to the Sun Belt as they leave behind a trail of success in the FCS.
Overview: Jerry Moore guided Appalachian State to three straight FCS championships from 2005-07 before retiring after 2012 with DC Scott Satterfield taking over the reins. His first year at the helm produced a 4-8 record so where does this team sit in it's first season against tougher competition?
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Offense: The Mountaineers have some weapons and top of the list is quarterback Kameron Bryant who threw for 2,713 yards with 14 scores and three picks on 71.2%. Running back Marcus Cox (245-1250) averaged over five yards per carry to give the offense a quality backfield with the question being who is going to catch the ball. Leading receivers Andrew Peacock and Tony Washington are gone which leaves Cox as the top pass catcher with 43 balls for 558 yards in 2013. Three others are back that totaled over 200 yards each so the cupboard is not bare. The best news is the offensive line is loaded with the top six back including All SoCon LT Kendall Lamm.
Defense: The defensive line gets virtually everyone back and has a nice mix of experience and youth. The problem with this group was almost zero pass rush and the defense as a whole recorded eight sacks in just over 300 passes. The linebacking crew loses leading tackler Karl Anderson but John Law and Kennan Gilchrist are back along with depth and some freshman recruits. Five of the top seven in the secondary return with each having played in at least eleven games. There is plenty of youth throughout the defense but most have experience.
Special Teams: Bentlee Critcher is almost a phenom at punter with a 46 yard average on 51 kicks. However, the Mountaineers need a place kicker and somebody to step up in the return game.
Outlook: The Mountaineers were not the best team in the FCS and won't win the Sun Belt but with 17 starters back they will be interesting to watch. ASU will beat some of their new conference rivals but not enough of them as I see a possible 4-5 wins at most.