The Aggies opened up with a 31-0 win over Sam Houston State that is way better than it sounds. What can they do for a follow-up against Appalachian State?
By Steve Wright
Here are the three keys to an Aggie victory over the Mountaineers:
Beware the Mountaineers’ Late
It is hard to put into words what happened between Appalachian State and North Carolina in Week 1. The over/under of the game was set at 56.5, a score that BOTH teams passed individually as the Tar Heels squeaked out a 63-61 win.
If it sounds like a basketball game, it basically was. Appalachian State scored 40 points in the final quarter of a football game and still lost. The loss was even more devastating because they had a two-point conversion to tie the game as time expired that was stopped short. I have no idea if they can have such a dominant scoring quarter again, but the Aggies should work on being well ahead to avoid the chance.
Continue to Dominate on Third Down
You wouldn’t know it based on the score, but that was a very efficient and explosive San Houston State offense that the Aggies completely shut down. The primary way they did so was to be obnoxiously good on third down defensively, where they held the Bearkats to just one successful conversion from their 12 attempts.
Offensively the Aggies were good, too, going 7-of-13 on third down, keeping their drives alive while stopping Sam Houston State cold. Another defensive effort like that will shut down what is clearly a free-scoring Mountaineers offense.
Haynes King Relaxes
Haynes King’s box score from Week 1 makes for interesting reading. His three touchdowns and 364 yards through the air are both very good. His two interceptions and QBR of 49.0 are – clearly – bad.
King is the right player for this offense, and his 11.1 yards per pass will undoubtedly make the Aggies more of a vertical threat than they have been. He is, however, forcing passes he doesn’t need to, especially with the strength of the defense he has behind him.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 2:30 PM CT (3:30 PM ET). You can watch this SEC football game on the ESPN2 Network.