BOONE If yards were points, Appalachian State wouldnt be 1-6.
The Mountaineers, who stunningly and suddenly have fallen on hard times, havent put the ball in the end zone very often this season. The process of getting there hasnt been bad, but getting in has been another matter.
Weve had some pretty good stats as far as offense goes, Mountaineers coach Scott Satterfield. But for one reason or another, were not getting in the end zone like we need to be.
The Mountaineers rank second in the Southern Conference in first downs and third in total yards but are eighth in points. They have just 16 touchdowns, fewer than any other team in the nine-team league.
Some of that has to do with not getting the big plays, Satterfield said. You go back to last year, we had (running back) Steven Miller, and Jamal (Londry-Jackson) was healthy. They created some big plays and got us in the end zone. The bottom line is youve got to score points.
The Mountaineers are averaging more yards than their opponents and are 4 yards away from being able to claim total-yardage victories in five of their seven games. But they have scored just 10 points in each of the last two games.
Last Saturday , Appalachian outgained Furman 473 yards to 336, but five turnovers precluded any chance of a victory.
We had enough yards to win, receiver Andrew Peacock said. But you dont win when you score just 10 points.
Satterfield said: Saturday we had close to 500 yards and 30 first downs and (were) 7 of 14 on third and fourth downs, and you look at those, and youd think we would have scored some points. But we put the ball down (turnovers).
Earlier in the season, possession time and field position seemed to work against the Mountaineers. Throughout the season, a lack of big plays touchdowns and long gains have been absent.
It seems like the first three or four games, no matter who we were playing, the punters were pinning us back, and we had bad, bad field position, Satterfield said. Then we had some problems getting off the field on defense. I think the defense has done a whole lot better job the last few weeks with that, getting off the field on third downs.
But at the same time, were not finishing drives. I think that comes back to just not making the plays offensively when we need to make them getting those big plays. Thats what we need to gain back.
Appalachian will most likely need big plays Saturday against a Georgia Southern team that has put points with yardage. The Eagles lead the league in both, averaging 491 yards and 40 points a game.
The Mountaineers have offensive leaders of their own. Peacock leads the league, and Tony Washington is third in receptions. Marcus Cox is second in receiving yards and has provided a ground threat. Quarterback Kam Bryant has completed 72 percent of his passes and leads the league in pass efficiency.
Theyre getting their catches, Satterfield said of his receivers. But for some reason or another, were not getting loose, were not getting free to where we make one guy miss and get into the end zone.
Our guys are capable of doing that. Weve just got to do more of it.
The Winston-Salem Journal is a news partner of the Observer. For more Appalachian State coverage go to http://www.journalnow.com/sports/asu/
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