Appalachian State looks to bounce back
By Brandon A. Baylor, FCS Intern
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The Appalachian State Mountaineers aren't accustoming to looking up in the Southern Conference standings, but the FCS power is facing a difficult game to get back on top.
App State had its 26-game SoCon winning streak snapped last Saturday with a 21-14 overtime loss at Georgia Southern.
The Mountaineers entered the game with the No. 1 ranking in The Sports Network/Fathead.com FCS Top 25. They turned the ball over three times in the red zone, including a fumble on the final play of the game by quarterback DeAndre Presley.
Head coach Jerry Moore, whose program had gone 1,112 days without a conference loss, knows how much that one hurt.
"We got beat by a team that played just as hard as we did," he said Tuesday. "We made a few mistakes and cost each one of us.
"This one will sting for a while, but I told the guys if we are a championship-caliber team, we have to bounce back and learn something from this or we would have wasted four hours.
"Time to focus on Wofford and their game plan."
Saturday's game against first-place Wofford offers the No. 3-ranked Mountaineers (8-1, 6-1) their biggest test to date this season. The fourth- ranked Terriers enter the showdown with an 8-1 overall record and 6-0 mark in the SoCon. Fullback Eric Breitenstein, a 5-foot-11, 225-pound junior, has rushed for 1,189 yards and 17 touchdowns - conference highs - while averaging 6.8 yards per carry.
The Wofford defense also has been holding up its own behind standout defensive end Ameet Pall, who is leading the conference with 12 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss.
"We can't turn the ball over," Wofford coach Mike Ayers said. "We've got to establish the line of scrimmage, we've got to be able to run the football. Then defensively, play sound defense, like we've been playing. Be opportunistic if they put the ball on the ground and understand that the guys that are going to be running those routes against us are faster than the guys that you normally see. A big challenge from those two phases and then you look at the kicking game, and they can hurt you really bad in the kicking game as well. We've got to be a complete football team, we've got to play our brains out and we gotta have some luck."
Moore, happy to be playing the game at home at Kidd Brewer Stadium, added, "This will be a great game for us, this is the type of atmosphere we look for in college football. Especially since the conference championship rides on this."
11/09 15:33:40 ET