Game Date: Thursday, November 9th 2017
Kickoff: 7:30 PM EST, Kidd Brewer Stadium
Radio: Appalachian IMG Sports Network, Georgia Southern Sports Network
Spread: App State -17.5
Previous Meeting: Appalachian State won 34-10 last year in Statesboro
Series Record: Appalachian State leads the all time series 17-13-1
Series Note: Georgia Southern has not won in Boone since 2007 (App State won its 3rd straight national title that same year)
App State will enter Thursday’s primetime matchup against rival Georgia Southern facing back-to-back losses for the first time since the 2014 season. Appalachian only took an offense with them to Monroe a week ago, and suffered a possible conference title blow in a 52-45 loss to the Warhawks. Appalachian could not contain ULM in any form as ULM racked up 569 total yards.
Jalin Moore returned from injury and had a good performance with 21 carries for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor Lamb was his normal productive self as he went 20-29 for 339 yards and four touchdowns. Lamb also rushed eight times for 21 yards. Ike Lewis continued to show his playmaking ability with seven catches for 87 yards and three touchdowns.
The App State defense was left in Boone on Saturday as they allowed ULM quarterback Caleb Evans to have a great day going 24/32 for 356 yards and three touchdowns. App State’s defense will face a free-falling Georgia Southern offense this week but App State has had a tendency to let lesser teams hang right in ballgames this year so anything is possible Thursday night in Boone.
I also want to address the constant jawing I see on social media and within home games in Boone that App State should bench Taylor Lamb. If any Appalachian State fan honestly thinks any of our backups right now could do better than Lamb, please enlighten me on this. Taylor Lamb is a top-five, possibly even top-three quarterback in App State football history.
Lamb has set record after record and all he does is win as the starting QB at App State. Taylor is a great asset to this team and his season stats prove that, as he has 19 touchdown passes to only four interceptions and he is completing just over 60 percent of his passes. You cant win every game and a team will have bad weeks but it’s not always Lamb’s fault.
Georgia Southern Outlook
This team has no idea how to win.
This is the conclusion I came to after literally watching Georgia Southern fumble away its 8th straight game of the season on Saturday, and potentially giving away one of its three winnable games left on the schedule.
As much as people want to say that rivalry games “toss out the records”, there are some numbers heading into this one that are pretty hard to ignore.
Southern ranks 99th in the country in pass defense this season, giving up an average of 253 yards per game to opposing passing attacks. Southern is 124th in the country in scoring defense, allowing 38.4 points per game this season.
Even after playing three quarters of relatively clean ball on Saturday but eventually finding a way to screw it up as it has done all year and will continue to do, I think it would take an opposing team spotting Georgia Southern 39 points before we could safely say the Eagles could secure a win.
Now, as Southern hasn’t scored north of 27 points in any game all season, I find that number rather unattainable.
This is easily the worst team Southern has ever fielded, not only by numbers, but by the eye test as well.
Maybe next week, Eagles.
Aikman: Appalachian State comes out looking for redemption and to prove a point and Taylor Lamb will pick apart a bad Georgia Southern pass defense. App State 38-17
Brian: There’s just no way that App falls asleep on a Thursday night game in Boone to its biggest rival. Better Georgia Southern teams have traveled to North Carolina against lesser App State teams and still found a way to lose since last winning in ‘07. I think the Eagles are in a holding pattern until new leadership is installed. Prediction: App State 35-14