BOONE, N.C. — With a program-record 34 voting points, Appalachian State Football is unofficially No. 32 in this week's Amway Coaches Poll.
After opening the season with an overtime loss at Penn State, which is ranked 11th after suffering its first loss to No. 3 Ohio State, the Mountaineers have outscored their last three opponents 169-23. They led 42-7 at halftime of a 52-7 win against South Alabama in their Sun Belt Conference opener Saturday.
In the S&P+ rankings that use advanced analytics, App State climbed to No. 16 after being No. 20 a week ago. It has scored at least 45 points in three straight games for the first time in program history and given up single-digit points in three straight games for the first time since 1998.
Of the 10 primary offensive and defensive team categories, the Mountaineers lead the Sun Belt in six of them and are second in the other four. App State is first in scoring offense (third nationally at 51.8), scoring defense (18th nationally at 17.0), total offense (11th nationally at 523.5), total defense (eighth nationally at 276.3), rushing defense and passing efficiency defense.
Appalachian has accomplished all of that with the third-youngest roster in the country, based on the percentage of underclassmen.
“We talk about our preparation all the time, and if our preparation is where it needs to be, then we'll come out and play a competitive football game,” App State head coach Scott Satterfield said after Saturday's game. “That's what we've been doing this year, and we've got to continue to do that.
“We have some really good leaders on this football team. There's a lot of talk about how young we are, but we have some good leaders that bring these young guys along. These young guys are being led and allowing it to happen. When you have that buy-in, then you can have a special team.”