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October 19, 2012Saturday afternoon Appalachian State has a crucial matchup with the Wofford Terriers, a team that has lost just one game this season. Like the Terriers, the Mountaineers enter the game with one defeat in Southern Conference play, which means the team that earns the victory will control its own destiny in the quest for a league championship.
Knocking off the Terriers won't be easy for Appalachian, particularly considering the struggles they had early in the year against The Citadel's option attack. That said, the coaching staff believes this is a very different Mountaineer team than what fans saw several weeks back.
No matter, Appalachian will have to play an outstanding game to knockoff the Terriers at home. For that to happen, ASU will have to start things off with strong defensive play and a quick-hitting offense.
In order to get a better look at what the Mountaineers must do to leave Kidd Brewer Stadium 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
App State stopping Eric Breitenstein and Wofford's rushing attack
Wofford leads the nation in rushing with 410.83 yards per game. Eric Breitenstein leads the SoCon in rushing with 995 yards and nine touchdowns. The Mountaineers' defense needs to play very well by playing their assignment and wrapping up Wofford's ball carriers. Brandon Grier, Jeremy Kimbrough and our defensive ends will play a pivotal role in stopping Wofford's triple option.
KEY NO. 2
Big plays in the passing game
Wofford has a very tough defense. The Terriers lead the SoCon in rushing defense only allowing 101.83 yards per game, but the weakness I see is in the secondary. The Mountaineers have the receivers to beat the Terriers deep. Wofford's pass defense is ranked 7th in SoCon, allowing 205 yards per game. Wofford's defense is very sound defensively and very disciplined. When there are opportunities to make plays downfield, the Mountaineers have to make them because Wofford will not give you many opportunities because of the solid defense and time of possession due to their rushing attack.
KEY NO. 3
The key to playing these triple option teams with a good rushing attack is not getting behind early. If the Mountaineers can score first and build an early lead in the first half that would be great. The Mountaineers do not want to fall behind because Wofford runs the ball every play, which eats up the clock. The Mountaineers can't get in a situation where Wofford is up a few scores. The Mountaineers have to play really good in the first half.
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