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App State vs. East Tennessee State: Start Time, Preview & Prediction

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The first step in a new era of Appalachian State football kicks off as the Apps welcome a former SoCon rival to Boone.

NCAA Football: New Orleans Bowl-Middle Tennessee at Appalachian State Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 3:30 p.m., Saturday, August 31

Location: Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone NC

TV: ESPN+

Radio: Appalachian IMG Sports Network

Previous Meeting: App State 21-7 in 2003

All Time Record: 32-14-1


Outlook

An old SoCon foe walks into Kidd Brewer Stadium Week 1 looking to pull a major upset to start the year.

East Tennessee State had a very successful first season under Randy Sanders and finished tied for 1st in the SoCon and made an appearance in the FCS playoffs. Former Coastal Carolina starter Chance Thrasher has impressed in the scrimmages leading up to this weekend and looks like he may be in line to start against the Mountaineers. Sophomore running back Quay Holmes will be the threat to watch as he nearly reached the thousand yard mark as a freshman.

Elijah Drinkwitz, along with a revamped staff are the new faces in Boone and will make their debut in front of what should be a strong crowd. Star WR Corey Sutton will be suspended for this game as punishment for his marijuana possession charge back over the summer.

App State hung their hat on defense last year as they had a top ten ranking nationally. Now with a new DC in Ted Roof, and the losses of Myquon Stout and Clifton Duck, one has to wonder will this unit take a step back.

Zac Thomas returns on offense to lead a loaded regime along with track speed running back Darrynton Evans. With Sutton out look for Thomas Hennigan and Jalen Virgil to get alot of looks in the passing game as people often overlook their ability to impact the game. The O-Line will look to control the game from the start led by Senior Bowl watch list Tackle Victor Johnson.


Prediction

Coach Drinkwitz has a great opportunity to get started against an FCS team in ETSU. The Bucs should bring a good amount of their fans on the short trip over to Boone but Drinkwitz will have the Apps ready to play and look for the starters to get a break by the start of the 4th if not before.

I took App in my season preview article and my pick remains the same here.

App 54 - ETSU 10