2016-17 Football Previews – (Sun Belt) – Mountaineers
Looking for 2016 Appalachian State Mountaineers predictions? When the Mountaineers made the jump to the FBS in 2014, the team got off to a slow start with a 1-5 record through its first six games. The team closed out the year with six straight victories, and it didn’t look back in 2015. Last season, Appalachian State dominated most of the Sun Belt competition, going 7-1 in conference, which was second only to Arkansas State.
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2016-17 College Football Preview – Appalachian State Mountaineers
Head coach: Scott Satterfield
Conference: Sun Belt
2015 Record: 11–2 (7–1 Sun Belt)
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Overall the team went 11-2 (the best overall record of any Sun Belt teams), giving the Mountaineers plenty of optimism heading into 2016.
2016 Appalachian State Mountaineers Predictions: Team Strengths
Last year’s Mountaineers were dominant running the football. The team was sixth in the nation in that category, and there’s little reason to believe it’ll take a step backward in 2016 with tailback Marcus Cox and quarterback Taylor Lamb leading the way.
This offense also has the luxury of continuity. The team returns nine starters from last year’s squad, which is going to help this group carry the momentum it created last season right into the new year.
Defensively, the Mountaineers finished 11th in the country in 2015. Like the offense, nine starters return, which is going to (once again) be crucial when it comes to playing off of last year’s success. Five of the team’s top six tacklers are all back (as are nine of the top 11).
2016 Appalachian State Mountaineers Predictions: Team Weaknesses
On offense, the only thing this group really has to worry about is the fact that it lost three of its top four receivers.
As previously mentioned, continuity is going to be a strength; however, Lamb will need to establish a quarterback-wide receiver relationship with guys he didn’t necessarily target last season.
How quickly the relationship between those two parties can establish will be a major storyline when it comes to early-season success for Appalachian State.
Defensively, this team does lose defensive end Roland Blair and safety Doug Middleton. But if we’re being honest, that’s nitpicking considering how many important pieces are back this year.
The question is whether or not the Mountaineers can push through opposing offensive lines to put pressure on their opponents’ backfields. The answer is likely ‘yes’; however, it will be more difficult this season without Blair suiting up.
Appalachian State Mountaineers 2016 Prediction: (10-2)
As good as Appalachian State can be this season, escaping the first three games with a winning record is going to be difficult with both Tennessee and Miami looming. The good news for Mountaineers fans is that there’s little reason to believe this group will slip up beyond that.
With no Arkansas State on the schedule this season, a two-loss campaign is a reasonable assumption.
Georgia Southern could give the Mountaineers some trouble, but not enough to make us worry about this group hitting double-digit victories.
Assuming this team drops early games to both Tennessee and Miami, there’s a good chance those are the program’s only two losses of the year.
Two dropped contests is never a bad thing, so the big question that remains is whether or not Appalachian State can put it all together to win a Sun Belt championship this season.
Appalachian State Mountaineers Football Schedule
- Thursday, Sept. 1 @ Tennessee – 7:30 PM ET
- Saturday, Sept. 10 vs. Old Dominion – 3:30 PM ET
- Saturday, Sept. 17 vs. Miami – 12:00 PM ET
- Saturday, Sept. 24 @ Akron – TBD
- Saturday, Oct. 1 vs. Georgia State – TBD
- Wednesday, Oct. 12 @ LA-Lafayette – 8:00 PM ET
- Saturday, Oct. 22 vs. Idaho – TBD
- Thursday, Oct. 27 @ Georgia Southern – 7:30 PM ET
- Saturday, Nov. 5 vs. Texas State – TBD
- Saturday, Nov. 12 @ Troy – TBD
- Saturday, Nov. 19 vs. UL Monroe – TBD
- Saturday, Nov. 26 @ New Mexico St. – 4:00 PM ET
What do you think about our 2016 Appalachian State Mountaineers predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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