By Score Atlanta - One year ago Appalachian State and Wofford shared the Southern Conference title, but that isn’t what Wofford remembers about 2010. Appalachian State beat Wofford 43-13 in Boone, N.C., and now the Terriers are seeking revenge and perhaps an outright title. Wofford coach Mike Ayers will lean on quarterback Mitch Allen and running back Donovan Johnson to help stem a run of three straight victories for Appalachian State in this series and six of the last seven since 2003. Johnson rushed for 173 yards in a victory over Samford and has 320 on the year. He finished with 10 carries and found the endzone in the 38-23 decision. Allen, meanwhile, has five scores to his credit for the season. When the Terriers get near the endzone, expect Eric Breitenstein to tote the rock as he has five scores on the ground entering the game. He has also piled up 295 yards on the ground, with 126 coming in the game against Samford.
Appalachian State is coming in with some momentum though its offense nearly cost the team a win against No. 13 Chattanooga. The offense did not score at all in a 14-12 win, but the Mountaineers returned an interception for a score and a fumble for a touchdown. The Mountaineers have two options at quarterback in Jamal Jackson and DeAndre Presley who can both find the endzone in different ways. Jackson is the rushing threat while Presley is the arial threat, though Presley - the 2010 Southern Conference Offensive Player of the year - can also run. Presley has thrown for 615 yards this season in four games, topping 185 yards twice. He has thrown for three scores while also taking four rushes across the goal line. Jackson has a pair of rushing scores. Cedric Baker Boney is also a yard-churning specialist for Mountaineers coach Jerry Moore’s offense. Whoever is under center will have a dangerous receiving target in Brian Quick. The senior wideout has four touchdown receptions for 369 yards in four games and has racked up eight 100-yard receiving games over his career. Quick and Presley were both named preseason All-Americans by The Sporting News.
Appalachian State and Wofford both come into the game with just one loss apiece after each faced an ACC school early on in the season. App State lost to Virginia Tech 66-13 after letting the Hokies jump out to a 52-0 lead. Jackson came on in relief to help the Mountaineers score both of their touchdowns. Wofford, meanwhile, played Clemson in Death Valley tight, holding an early 21-13 lead before falling 35-27. Allen hooked up with Brenton Bersin for 127 yards as Wofford tried but could not finish off the upset of the Tigers.
Now, the two teams will tango at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, SC with Georgia Southern looming atop the Southern Conference standings. Both Wofford and Appalachian State will host the Eagles later this year, so the winner of the Terriers/Mountaineers tilt could well control its own conference title destiny.
-Fletcher Proctor is assistant managing director at Score, a full-service, Atlanta-based sports marketing company and media partner with GPB Sports.