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New head coach, same old App

New head coach, same old App

New head coach, same old App

Appalachian State wide receiver Brian...


    Since the Georgia Southern Eagles joined the Southern Conference in 1993, they are 10-11 against Appalachian State.
    The biggest reason for the losing record? The Eagles have won only three times in Boone, N.C. — once in 1993, again in 2001 and most recently in 2007.
    On Saturday when the Eagles (4-2, 2-2 SoCon) go to Kidd-Brewer Stadium to face the Mountaineers, a lot of folks around the SoCon think that GSU will make it four. After all, the Mountaineers are off to a 1-6 start under first-year head coach Scott Satterfield, and 1-3 in conference, so ASU doesn’t stand a chance, right?
    “Everybody from the outside looking in says, ‘Well heck, they’ve only won one game. Georgia Southern ought to be in the driver’s seat.’ Not in a rivalry game,” GSU coach Jeff Monken said. “They’re the same App State team we see every year. They’re athletic, they’re fast, they’ve got playmakers, and we’re not approaching this any differently than we ever have. We know it’s going to be a fight to the finish.”
    Satterfield, a former offensive coordinator for the Mountaineers, hasn’t changed much about ASU’s spread-offense approach.
    The biggest change came on defense, when 13-year Wofford defensive coordinator Nate Woody joined Satterfield’s staff and brought all his knowledge of Wofford’s, and Georgia Southern’s, option offense with him.
    For the Eagles, a lot offensively will hinge on the return of senior fullback William Banks, who missed GSU’s Sept. 28, game against The Citadel with a concussion.
    Banks suited up for practice without contact on Wednesday, and his return to the lineup is hopeful for Saturday.
    “That would gives us a guy that played well against them last year,” GSU offensive coordinator Brent Davis said. “If he can play, we hope he’ll give us a lift.”
    Banks started on Nov. 3, 2012, when the Eagles played App State in a 31-28 loss at Paulson Stadium. He tallied 129 yards on 19 carries and three touchdowns.
    The Mountaineers passed for 383 and 222 yards in wins over the Eagles in 2012 and 2011.
    “Two years in a row, that’s how they’ve won the game,” GSU defensive co-coordinator Jack Curtis said. “We’d had them in a third-down situation and they’d get a big pass on us, or we’ll let them scramble. We can’t give them anything that’s easy.”
    The Eagles are still looking for a complete game after a 2-2 start in SoCon play without a win on the road.
    “I don’t think we’ve played a complete football game all year, and we’re going to have to do that if we’re going to hope to win,” Monken said.
    Appalachian State fans will do their part to help the Mountaineers snap a four-game winning streak.
    “Their fans are fanatics,” said Curtis, who agrees ASU fans are the best in the Southern Conference — almost.
    “Other than the Georgia Southern fans, it’s a great atmosphere.”
    Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m., and the game will stream live on ESPN3.com.

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

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