Start time: Saturday, September 2nd, 2017, 6:15 PM EST
Live Coverage: Appalachian State IMG Sports Network (97.3 WKBC FM in the high Country area), Watch ESPN
Location: Sanford Stadium, Athens, Georgia
Previous Meeting: UGA topped App State 45-6 on November 9th 2013
Appalachian State makes its long awaited season debut fresh off a Sun Belt title run in 2016. It was one year ago when the Mountaineers pushed Tennessee to the limit in “Rocky Top.” Now the Apps have a chance to dash the playoff hopes of Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs right out of the gate in 2017. The game is going to be watched by a national audience as it is scheduled for 6:15 PM on ESPN. The spread for this game is 14 and there is some belief that Appalachian can cover that spread but the Neer’s defense will be tested from the get go with the offense of the Dawgs.
UGA is going to give App a steady dose of Nick Chubb and Sony Mitchell, as they are two of the most prolific running backs in the country. Jacob Eason will also look to air it out and try to attack the Mountaineer secondary. Myquon Stout and Tee Sims will have big jobs ahead of them upfront as they will be banging pads with the big front line of the Dawgs all night. Clifton Duck and the App State secondary will need to be on their “A” game because they are going against SEC receivers and that speaks enough within itself.
Appalachian will need to move the ball on offense as the Apps will definitely rely on Jalin Moore. UGA did have a suspect defense a year ago and depending on if the Dawgs are looking ahead to Notre Dame next week, this could provide a chance for Appalachian much like a year ago against Tennessee. App fans may be looking to see how the passing game comes out here in Week one. We know the running game is going to be ok between Moore and Upshaw, but the passing game is the big question. Who other than Shaedon Meadors will step up in this key spot for the Mountaineers?
Back in my first App State season preview article I predicted a 42-21 UGA victory. I don’t think my thoughts have changed much. Appalachian State has a team that if UGA comes in sluggish and overlooks the Neer’s like Tennessee did last year it could be detrimental to the playoff hopes for the Dawgs.
An App State upset would be huge for a possible New Years 6 Bowl down the line and hey, anything is possible. App will put up a fight in the first half and show they belong on the national stage but the Dawgs will have just a little to much.
UGA- 42 App-24