Tag Archives: The WrApp-Up

The WrApp-Up: The Citadel

47-21.  That’s more like it.  A thrashing of a SoCon opponent and Armanti racking up yardage.  Don’t let the name of the opponent and its history against us fool you.  The Citadel is an improved team (don’t forget that they were ranked No. 12 in the nation coming into Saturday’s game).  With several new pieces to our offense and Armanti’s early-season struggles, the App offense has lacked the explosiveness and consistency we’ve seen in the last three years.  The Mountaineer offense erased any doubts about their abilities on Saturday, jumping out to a 41-7 lead by halftime.  The Apps racked up 363 yards of offense in just the first half and scored a touchdown on their last six possessions of the first half. 

Armanti set another personal milestone on Saturday, becoming just the 12th Division I player (FCS or FBS) in history to have 3,000 rushing yards and 3,000 passing yards in his career.  (A reminder to all:  He’s only a junior.)  The Citadel will certainly be one team that will be glad when Edwards finally finishes his career.  A year after gashing the Bulldogs for 291 rushing, Armanti picked them apart with his arm, going 14-for-18 for 225 yards and four touchdowns.  He added 80 yards on the ground on 15 carries.  In his three career games against the Bulldogs, Armanti has accounted for 953 yards (547 passing, 406 rushing) and 12 touchdowns (seven passing and five rushing). 

Devin Radford’s talents were also on display as he rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.  Radford also took a screen pass with 15 seconds left in the first half 68 yards for a back-breaking touchdown. 

The defense was also solid, holding The Citadel to 170 yards below their season average.  The Bulldogs entered the game ranked as the SoCon’s second-highest scoring offense, averaging 35.5 points per game. 

However, despite all the positive performances, the team appeared to let up in the second half again.  The Citadel cut the lead to 41-21 on a 50-yard punt return TD and a TD pass from Bulldog QB Bart Blanchard. 

Coach Moore:  “The intensity level was considerably higher than it’s been in a while.  We really played solid football, especially in the first half. … We did a lot of things we wanted to do, on offense and defense.  (But) we never really took control of the second half of the game. We lost a little bit of our edge, and that gave them a little momentum.”

 The Mountaineers need to remember that no matter the score, the intensity level needs to remain high.  Blowing a 21-0 lead at James Madison proves that no lead is safe.  I hope the coaching staff is reminding the team of that second half and our players keep it in the back of their heads the rest of the season. 

 Up next for the Mountaineers – SoCon newcomer Samford.  Preview coming up on Wednesday.

Game Links:

The Citadel can’t stop Appalachian State’s Edwards (Rocky Mount Telegram)

Mountaineers storm The Citadel (Watauga Democrat)

No. 2 Mountaineers roll over No. 12 The Citadel (GoASU.com)

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The WrApp-Up: Presbyterian

Sorry for the delay in posting this – yesterday was a long day at work and I didn’t get a chance to get on here.  So for what it’s worth – here’s a recap. 

At first glance of a 48-14 scoreline, one might think that it was all Apps from start to finish.  But for the first half of play, that was far from the case.  PC scored on their first drive and remained close throughout the entire half.  The Blue Hose passing attack kept the Mountaineers on their heels and went in the locker room trailing only 17-14 at the half.

Second half – different story.  407 yards of offense (367 on the ground) and four touchdowns later and the Mountaineers had a nice victory to celebrate.  One of the most encouraging aspects of the second half point explosion is that the production came from young, untested players.  Virginia Tech transfer Devin Radford racked up 251 yards of offense (179 on the ground, 72 in the air) and three touchdowns.  Backup quarterback DeAndre Presley ran the ball 5 times for 37 yards and two scores and also completed a pass for 58 yards.

Fun fact:  After his performance on Saturday, Armanti Edwards now sits at third in Southern Conference history with 7,747 total yards of offense in his career. 

Here’s this game’s story links:

Big Second Half Propels Appalachian Past Presbyterian 48-14   (GoASU.com)

Mountaineers Rebound   (News & Observer)

Big Second Half lifts Mountaineers to win  (Winston-Salem Journal)

So what’s next? The non-conference schedule is done and it’s time for the Southern Conference.  Five teams are currently ranked.  The Mountaineers rose to No. 2 this weekend after Richmond’s loss to Villanova knocked them down a few pegs.  James Madison sits atop the poll.  Elon is No. 7, Wofford is No. 9, The Citadel is No. 12 and Furman is No. 15.  Georgia Southern could easily be ranked as well, losing two very close games to Elon and Wofford. 

Four games in and the Mountaineers have yet to put two halves of football together (except for the Jacksonville win – which doesn’t count).  All five of these games will require the Mountaineers’ best efforts if Appalachian hopes win a fourth straight conference title.  With the strength of the Southern Conference this season, I think it’s a safe bet that you’ll see three SoCon teams get bids to the playoffs.  The question remains, can this team finish in the top three?

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The WrApp-Up: JMU

I’ve been delaying this post all weekend.  I still don’t know what to write about this tough loss.  In a reversal of fortune, it was a late fumble that cost the Apps this time and not the Dukes.  If the game had been televised on ESPN, it’d be replayed on ESPN Classic almost immediately.  However, that’s little solace for an Appalachian fan.  Despite falling behind 21-0, James Madison never got down and powered their way back for the win.  Key quote from Coach Moore:

“They did a terrific job of fighting back in the second half,” said Moore. “Really good teams become great teams doing what they did tonight. They got some good momentum in the third quarter and played off that.”

 So, speaking of going from good to great, where does this Appalachian team go next? We’re not in mayday mode or anything yet.  Some who had predicted us to be at 1-2 at this point in the season wouldn’t be crazy.  We lost as expected at LSU, defeated a much weaker opponent (Jacksonville), and lost a tough road game against a very talented James Madison team looking for revenge.  I don’t want to get all Mickey Matthews on everyone and start talking about a bunch of what-ifs and could’ve-beens, but the No. 1 team in the nation shouldn’t blow a 21-0 halftime lead.  We really should be 2-1.  But we’re not and we have to move forward.  Looking ahead, we have three VERY winnable games (Presbyterian, Citadel, Samford) before our shot at Georgia Southern.  Let’s hope the team responds like it did last year and wins out on the way to the playoffs.   

 Here’s your story links:

Second Half Rally Stuns App at JMU  (GoASU.com)

JMU dethrones No. 1 Appalachian State (The Sports Network)

JMU surprises Appalachian State 35-32 (Winston-Salem Journal)

No. 5 JMU knocks off No. 1 Appalachian State (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

 

This picture sums the game up:

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The WrApp-Up: Jacksonville

Talk about a bounceback.  Solid win for the Apps (and great throwbacks!) as we rolled on Jacksonville 56-7.  Add in a school-record crowd of over 30,000 at Kidd Brewer Stadium and you’ve got a great win to carry into the bye week before traveling to Harrisonburg on Sept. 20. 

540 yards of offense – that’s the Mountaineer offensive machine that we all remember from last season.  The defense was stout, allowing only 43 yards of rushing on the day.  Here’s some articles and excerpts highlighting the first home win of the season.

From the Winston-Salem Journal – Record crowd see ASU rip Jacksonville 56-7

 The Mountaineers wore throwback uniforms — black jerseys, gold pants and helmets with a stripe — to commemorate Moore’s 20th season as coach of the Mountaineers. Moore’s first ASU team in 1989 wore the same style uniforms.

And the Steeler-esque color scheme was backed by a steel-curtain defensive performance that set the tone early.

From the Florida Times-Union – Fast start too much for Dolphins in rout

“Appalachian State is a very good team with a lot of very talented players that are big-play makers,” JU coach Kerwin Bell said. “I’m proud of how hard our kids played throughout the game, and they never quit. This was a great experience for our kids and our program as we look to build a program like theirs.”

From GoASU.com – Mountaineers open home slate with 56-7 romp over Jacksonville

Appalachian (1-1) scored early and often, finding the end zone on four of its first six possessions en route to a commanding 28-0 halftime lead, while ASU’s defense pitched a shutout on the afternoon, with Jacksonville’s only points came on a 60-yard punt return midway through the third period.

The contest was decided in the trenches, as the Appalachian’s offensive and defensive lines generated a 448-43 advantage in rushing yards in favor of the Black and Gold.

 

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The WrApp-Up: LSU

Ouch. That one hurt. Saturday’s game really showed the difference between FBS and FCS. I think the real difference was the strength and speed of LSU – we just couldn’t match them. It’s a tough one to take as I thought we would do a bit better but we’ll just move on and hope the team can bounce back strong. I’ll leave that as my comments on the LSU game. I’m not really in the mood to post up a bunch of highlights, etc.

In other news, I attended the Duke-James Madison game on Saturday night in Durham. Maybe Duke has improved significantly since David Cutcliffe’s arrival, but I was really surprised at how bad James Madison looked. I got to the game thinking that it would be a pretty close match-up (and it was at halftime), but Duke dominated in the second half. Rodney Landers looked confused for most of the game and threw a terrible interception that killed the Dukes.

The JMU defense was solid up front as Duke couldn’t really get anything going between the tackles but they used an intermediate passing attack with a lot of quick outs and screen passes and just methodically worked their way down the field. Duke had two really long drives that really demoralized the JMU team and fans. I spoke with a JMU fan and mentioned I was an App State grad – he didn’t seem too keen on facing us in September after watching how his team opened up the season.

Perhaps the lesson to take away from this weekend is that even though our record is 0-1 right now, we can still say that we lost to the defending BCS national champion and not the Duke Blue Devils.

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The WrApp-Up: Last season

Once we get into the 2008 campaign, the weekly WrApp-Up will look at the previous Appalachian game.  And since the last App game was the national championship game in Delaware, we’ll take a trip back to review that wonderful night in Chattanooga.

Even though I was in the stands for that game, sometimes I forget just how much we dominated that game.  Here’s some links to a few stories recapping the championship.

This is our last look back at the 2007 season.  It’s time for a new challenge and a new season.  Coming up on Wednesday:  The 411 on LSU.

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