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SoCon Notebook: Injured Eagles set to face struggling Mountaineers

SoCon Notebook: Injured Eagles set to face struggling Mountaineers

SoCon Notebook: Injured Eagles set to face struggling Mountaineers

    Georgia Southern is down on players — 16 scholarship players are out for the season and fullback William Banks is still questionable — and Appalachian State is down on wins.
    Both teams are ineligible for the Southern Conference title.
    It will be the last time the teams meet as members of the SoCon, as both will join the Sun Belt in 2014.
    Those factors make Saturday’s matchup in Boone, N.C., different from most meetings between the programs. None of it makes the game any less meaningful for Georgia Southern (4-2, 2-2 SoCon).
    “It’s the same rivalry for us,” GSU coach Jeff Monken said Tuesday on the SoCon’s weekly teleconference. “It’s an important game. It is every year and it doesn’t really matter the consequences.”
    The Mountaineers (1-6, 1-3) are trying to look at it the same way.
     “We always look forward to playing Georgia Southern,” first-year coach Scott Satterfield, a former offensive coordinator at ASU, said.
    Appalachian State is riding a four-game losing streak, and just about everything has gone wrong in one way or another. In a 34-10 loss to Samford on Oct. 12, the Mountaineers managed only 223 yards of offense. In Saturday’s 27-10 loss at Furman, the offense move the ball just fine, putting up 473 yards to Furman’s 336, but the problem in that one was turnovers.
    “We had eight fumbles and lost five balls to Furman, including an interception that went back to the house,” Satterfield said. “Too many mistakes. In this conference if you make those mistakes, you’re not going to win.”
Satterfield said that the Mountaineers haven’t quit despite their struggles.
    “They do keep working,” he said. “They work hard and they keep coming back for more. That’s what you’ve got to do, and eventually you’re going to start making some plays and you’re going to start getting some wins.”
    Monken certainly isn’t overlooking ASU.
    “I think the thing that our guys are not buying into is the fact that Appalachian is struggling in terms of wins and losses this year. We know exactly what they are. They’re an athletic, tough football team. They’ve lost a lot of close games,” Monken said. “We recruited a lot of the guys that are on that team. They recruited a lot of guys that are on our team. We battle them in recruiting every year, so I know who they have, I recognize how athletic they are, what a good football team they are and what a challenge it’ll be for us.”
    Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., and the game will be shown online, on ESPN3.

Battle for control
    Samford (5-2, 3-0) and Wofford (5-2, 4-0) are the only two SoCon teams without a conference loss this season. That will change Saturday, when Samford travels to Spartanburg, S.C., to face the Terriers at 1:30 p.m.
    Samford is coming off a bye week, and Wofford is coming off back-to-back comeback wins over Elon and Western Carolina,
    Wofford trailed 24-7 and 17-7 at halftime in each contest. Coach Mike Ayers thinks it may be time to rethink his pregame speech.
    “I must just about put them to sleep,” Ayers said. “It takes a while for those guys to wake up.”
Around the league
    Chattanooga (5-2, 3-1) is still very much in the hunt for the SoCon title. The Mocs lost on a last-minute field goal at Georgia Southern on Sept. 28, and haven’t allowed an offensive touchdown since a 42-21 win over Western Carolina on Oct. 5.
    The Mocs look to keep if going against The Citadel (2-5, 2-3) at home on Saturday at 2 p.m.
    The bottom two teams in the SoCon meet on Saturday when Elon (2-6, 1-3) visits Western Carolina (1-7, 0-4) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m., in Cullowhee, N.C.
    Furman has the only non-conference game on Saturday. The Paladins (3-4, 2-2) face LSU on Saturday at 7 p.m.

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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