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Notebook: App, The Citadel look to get back on track

    The Citadel and Appalachian State find themselves in similar situations coming into their matchup on Saturday at 2 p.m., in Charleston, S.C.
    Both have won only once, against teams at the bottom of the Southern Conference. ASU defeated Elon (1-4, 0-1 SoCon) 31-21 and the Bulldogs beat Western Carolina (1-4, 0-2) 28-21.
    Both teams are winless at home, and both teams are coming off of games they felt like they should have won.
The Citadel (1-4, 1-2) lost 24-17 at home on Saturday against Furman.
    “It was a tough game,” Bulldogs coach Kevin Higgins said on Tuesday during the SoCon’s weekly teleconference. “It came down to one or two plays and they made the plays when necessary.”
     Appalachian State (1-3, 0-1) felt nearly the same way. In fact, first-year coach Scott Satterfield said the same about the Mountaineers’ season up to this point.
        “I think we have the potential to be a really good football team,” Satterfield said. “With a few plays here or there, we could be sitting here at 3-1. We’ve got to find ways when it comes down to it to make plays at the end of a game. In college football there’s such a fine line between winning a conference championship and losing three or four games.”
    Appalachian State lost Saturday at home, 27-24 against Charleston Southern. The one bright side for ASU is that it is one of only four teams — ASU, Wofford, Samford and Furman — still unbeaten in conference play.
    “The thing that we just keep preaching is staying together and being a family,” Satterfield said. “We win together and we lose together. We don’t want to point fingers.”

An explosive test
    Samford (3-2, 1-0) plays host to Georgia Southern (3-1, 1-1) Saturday at 3 p.m. (EST), in Birmingham, Ala., and has to contend with Jerick McKinnon, one of only two players in the SoCon averaging more than 100 rushing yards per game, the other being Wofford’s Donovan Johnson.
    McKinnon has played both quarterback and running back for the Eagles, has reached the end zone four times and is averaging 7 yards per carry.
    “You don’t know exactly where he’s going to be whether it’s at quarterback or running back,” Samford coach Pat Sullivan said. “He’s one of the most explosive players in our league, if not the most explosive. They put he and (quarterback Kevin) Ellison in at the same time and they present a lot of problems.”
    Samford counters with the league’s most prolific passer. Quarterback Andy Summerlin is second in the SoCon in pass completions (101) and attempts (159), and is tops in the league in passing touchdowns (11) and yards per game (251.8).

Around the league
    Wofford (2-2, 2-0) returns from a bye week to play host to Presbyterian in non-conference play on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
    Furman hosts Elon Saturday at 1:30 p.m., while Chattanooga (2-2, 0-1) faces Western Carolina at home on Saturday at 6 p.m.

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