Game Time: 3:30PM, Saturday September 22nd 2018
Location: Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone NC
TV/Radio: ESPN+, Appalachian IMG Sports Network
Series History: 7-0 App State
Previous Meeting: 45-7 App State back in 2007
After an unexpected bye week due to Hurricane Florence, Appalachian makes their home debut against the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner Webb. It will be the 8th all-time meeting between the in-state foes with Appalachian leading the all time series 7-0.
Gardner Webb comes into this game with a 1-2 record. The dogs grabbed a season opening win against D2 Limestone and followed that up with a thumping loss to North Carolina A&T and former “Old Mountain Jug” rival Western Carolina. Gardner Webb has not scored a single touchdown in the passing game as QB Jordan Smith is more of a threat with his feet than his arm.
Gardner Webb gave up 475 yards of offense to Western Carolina a week ago which led to their 28-10 defeat. GWU also seems to struggle upfront as they gave up 11 tackles for loss against Western and have gave up 22 TFLs in 2018.
Appalachian comes into this game with an extra week of rest after routing Charlotte in week 2. The Mountaineer offense will see the same style of defense in GWU that they see in practice so it should be a familiar sight. Zac Thomas has been the shining star of the App State offense through two games this season going 14-14 two weeks ago against Charlotte.
The App state defense is going to always look to shut down the run and Gardner Webb, being a run based offense, could play right into the hands of the young Mountaineer front. GWU lacks a down field passing game as they resort to a lot of screen passes and for Bryan Brown that could mean sending more and more blitzes, utilizing the outside speed advantage the Mountaineers will have.
Appalachian is going to have the advantage at every spot on the field Saturday and rightfully so. For Gardner Webb this is their “Super Bowl” and they would love nothing more to spoil App State’s home opener for 2018. Appalachian should see a good number of 2nd and 3rd stringers in by the start of the 4th quarter and Zac Thomas will continue to show why he is the next big thing for App State in a route that many expect.
App State 51-10