No. 25 Mountaineers come to Paulson looking to extend streak against Eagles to four

Appalachian State running back Darrynton Evans leads the team in rushing with 425 yards and three touchdowns.

Ryan Pye

For the first time in its history, Georgia Southern welcomes a ranked opponent to Paulson Stadium in the form of arch rival Appalachian State. The Mountaineers come into Statesboro as the twenty-fifth ranked team in the nation, and their matchup with the Eagles will have major implications on the race for the Sun Belt East. With a lot on the line for both teams on Thursday, here are a few things to know about the No. 25 Mountaineers.

Appalachian State Offense

The 2018 App State team is the epitome of a balanced offense. Through six games on the year, the Mountaineers are averaging 211 passing yards a game, partnered with 265 yards per game on the ground. Their success in both categories has showed on the scoreboard, where they are averaging nearly 45 points per contest.

Sophomore quarterback Zac Thomas has been sensational thus far, tallying up over 1000 yards passing and tossing 11 touchdowns. The passing game is not his only place to do damage though, because Thomas has been a threat with his legs this season as well, carrying the ball over 40 times for 276 yards.

Apart from their quarterback’s success, the App State running backs have looked solid this season as well. With a variety of backs receiving multiple handoffs, the numbers for individuals aren’t necessarily eye popping, but that does not mean they are not getting the job done.

Darrynton Evans is the team’s leading rusher, racking up 425 yards and three touchdowns on 63 carries. While Evans has the most yards from scrimmage, another back, Jalin Moore, leads all rushers in number of touchdowns with his six.

Unlike some of the one dimensional offenses the Eagles have seen, this Mountaineer team can be dangerous in numerous ways. GS will have to put together a strong gameplan to contain their rivals.

Appalachian State Defense

What makes the Mountaineers scary, in terms of facing off against them, is their lights out defensive play. Outside of their season opening matchup against Penn State, where they allowed 45 points in an overtime game, they have essentially shut opposing offenses down.

Through their first six contests, App State is allowing just over 15 points per game to their opponents, and, in an area where the Eagles should be concerned, are holding teams to around 110 yards on the ground per contest.

Giving up only 295 yards a game, the Mountaineer defense may be the toughest task the Eagles will have to overcome since their meeting with number two Clemson back in week three.

Kickoff from Paulson Stadium Thursday is set for 7:30 p.m.

Ryan Pye, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, [email protected]