NCAAF Game Preview - Georgia Southern at Appalachian State
Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:00 PM EDT

Wof
14
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59
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24
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17
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56
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24
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33
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28
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14
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20
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14
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17
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38
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7
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48
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54
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46
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43
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24
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21
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52
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42
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38
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10
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10
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44
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56
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10
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43
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14
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10
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48
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29
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44
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14
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45
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58
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27
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27
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31
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63
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21
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17
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24
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6
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35
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35
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36
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48
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41
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17
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37
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13
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17
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20
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7
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27
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34
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54
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24
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20
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10
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56
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38
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3
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31
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7
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30
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3
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34
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7
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24
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31
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31
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42
UtSt
14
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NM
10
Nev
21
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41
Hawaii
38
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Georgia Southern-Appalachian St. Preview
Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:54 AM

Appalachian State was playing its first game as a ranked team when it met Georgia Southern last season. The Eagles pulled off a 34-14 victory that immediately knocked the then-No. 25 Mountaineers out of the poll.

Georgia Southern (4-3, 2-1 Sun Belt) will try to accomplish another upset when it travels to No. 20 Appalachian State (7-0, 4-0) Thursday night in Boone, N.C.

"Last year was last year," Eagles coach Chad Lunsford told reporters this week, "and if we're trying to draw off that, that energy, trying to draw off that to win this football game, that's probably the wrong route to go."

With the Mountaineers perfect in conference play and the Eagles having just one league loss, this could go a long way in determining the East division champion and a berth in the Sun Belt's title game.

"It's a big game because if we want to win a conference championship, we need to beat these guys," said first-year Appalachian State coach Eliah Drinkwitz. "That's what it is."

The Eagles have won three in a row since losing their league opener to Louisiana on Sept. 28. Lunsford said his team probably played its best game of the year in last week's 41-7 rout of New Mexico State.

It was a highly emotionally atmosphere for that nonconference outing, with the Eagles playing their first game after the death of freshman offensive lineman Jordan Wiggins earlier in the week. The coroner ruled his death a suicide.

"This is the toughest adversity we've faced," Lunsford said, "and we did overcome it."

The weather could be a factor for this one. Rain is forecast for the night, which is nothing new for the Eagles.

"Our last two games have been in monsoons so maybe we're used to it now," Lunsford said. "We've got to be mindful of ball security."

The Eagles have lost nine fumbles for the season, but three came last week. They are the only FBS team that has not thrown an interception.

"We are a run-oriented football team so rain obviously plays in our favor," Lunsford said. "But App runs the ball pretty well, too."

Georgia Southern is rushing for 259.9 yards per game (No. 7 in the country) with its triple-option approach, while Appalachian State is at 244.1 rushing yards per game (No. 14 nationally) with its more conventional approach. The Mountaineers ran for a season-high 313 yards in their 30-3 win at South Alabama last week.

Running back Darrynton Evans has rushed for 722 yards this year but is coming off a season-low 46 yards against South Alabama. Running backs Raykwon Anderson and Marcus Williams Jr. rushed for 99 and 94 yards, respectively, in picking up the slack.

The Eagles have three players with over 300 yards rushing, including quarterback Shai Werts (303). Running backs J.D. King and Wesley Kennedy III have rushed for 457 and 312 yards, respectively.

Werts, injured in the season-opening loss to LSU, returned to start the past four games. He has completed 22 of 44 passes for 179 yards in five games.

--Field Level Media

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