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October 12, 2012Appalachian State has already spoiled one homecoming celebration this season when it knocked off Chattanooga. This weekend, the Mountaineers will be looking for a repeat against No. 25-ranked Samford, a team that finds considered one of the best in several statistical categories.
The Mountaineers have a prime opportunity on Saturday to better position themselves in the Southern Conference standings and for that reason this contest with the Bulldogs serves as the most important battle the two have been involved in with each other since Samford joined the league.
In order to get a better look at what the Mountaineers must to leave Birmingham, Ala., with a victory, we turned to former Appalachian running back Cedric Baker Boney for his keys to the game.
CEDRIC'S THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
KEY NO. 1
Protecting the ball against the Bulldogs' defense
The Samford Bulldogs defense forces a lot of turnovers, and the Bulldogs are very effective in passing situations. Jamal Jackson will have to be very accurate and efficient in 3rd-and-long situations. The Bulldogs lead the SoCon in interceptions with 11. The Bulldogs also lead the conference in opponent's 3rd down conversions with 24-percent. To win this game App has to convert on third down and keep drives alive.
KEY NO. 2
The Mountaineers' kickoff and punt coverage has to stay in their lanes and prevent big returns. Big plays in special teams can determine the outcome of this game. The Bulldogs two returners, Fabian Truss and Riley Hawkins, rank in top 10 in the nation in kickoff returns and punt returns. The Mountaineers have to stop these two return men.
KEY NO. 3
Bringing energy and enthusiasm to Seibert Stadium
The game day atmosphere at Samford is not the best. They may have 4,000 fans at the most. The stadium is very quiet. It is hard to get excited for a game when the Mountaineers are used to 30,000 fans at Kidd Brewer. The Mountaineers will have to motivate themselves because they will not feel the energy from the stadium. It is very easy to be lackadaisical with a dead atmosphere like this, but I think the guys will be ready. This is an important game for the Mountaineers, a chance to move to the top of the SoCon standings.
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