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App State vs. UNC: Preview & Prediction

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The battle for in-state supremacy takes place this Saturday in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina v Wake Forest Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Game Time: Saturday, Sept. 21, 3:30 p.m.

Location: Kenan Memorial Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC

TV: FS Southeast, FS Carolinas, ACC-NetworkXtra

Radio: Appalachian Sports Network, Tar Heel Sports Network

All Time Record: UNC 1-0, 1940 56-6

Line: UNC -3, O/U 58


Preview

After surrendering 41 points to Charlotte two weeks ago, the Appalachian State Mountaineers had a much needed weekend off to gather themselves and begin for the biggest in-state battle of the 2019 season.

Even App State players know they are an ugly 2-0 as starting DE Elijah Diarrassouba stated to local media outlets last week.

Ted Roof could possibly destroy Alabama or Clemson’s defense if given the chance, but that is another story for another time. Defensively, players looked out of place and guys were not communicating effectively against Charlotte and it’s something App had two solid weeks to work out the kinks, especially in the young secondary.

App State must lean on Darrynton Evans coming off his 200-plus-yard game against Charlotte. He is the key for the App State offense to succeed. After a two-game suspension, Corey Sutton will make his 2019 season debut in Chapel Hill. Sutton’s absence was felt as Zac Thomas lacked his big play guy. However, Thomas Hennigan stepped up and played pretty well, showing he can be as “sure handed” as they come.

As Evans is the offense for the N’eers, Sam Howell is the key for the Heels. Howell was 17/28 passing for 182 yards and 2 TDs in the Heels 24-18 loss to Wake Forest last week. Howell has earned a fourth quarter PTP badge so far this year as he has played well beyond his freshman age in the fourth quarter of games this year in wins over South Carolina and Miami. Howell even was leading the Heels downfield late last Friday night but ran out of time before being able to throw one last strike for a possible TD.

WR Sage Surratt (Younger brother of UNC LB Chazz Suratt) torched the UNC secondary last week reeling off 169 yards on nine receptions. The WR group hopefully can exploit some gaps and make life easier for Zac Thomas in the pocket.


Prediction

Back in the preseason, I predicted an App State win, but now with the way this defense has played through two games, I’m afraid my thoughts have changed.

The defense was way to vulnerable to the big play against Charlotte and UNC is night and day better than Charlotte, but I do not trust the defense and this is the first time in years I cant trust the defense to keep us in a game.

If anything I trust them to take us out Saturday.

UNC 34-17