Returning Starters – Offense: 10 Defense: 10
Preview: The Mountaineers are heading in the right direction as a program after making a successful transition to the FBS. Last season App State quietly played excellent down the stretch winning their last 6 games in a row to finish the year 7-5 overall and 6-2 in conference. The Mountaineers return the most starts in the FBS with 20 guys coming back and as a results ASU is a serious threat to win the Sun Belt in 2015.
Appalachian State’s resurgence last season came as a result of a jump in production from the backfield. The Mountaineers return 4 starters along the O-line along with RB Marcus Cox who put up 1,415 yards which earned him second team All-Sun Belt honors. Sophomore QB Taylor Lamb broke the freshman record for passing yards at App State and he returns ready to take the next step with his top 4 targets also returning.
The Mountaineers also return 10 starters on the defensive side of the ball and this experienced unit should be one of the better all-around defenses in the conference. The defensive line is loaded with veterans including headliner DE Ronald Blair who has aspiration of making it to the NFL. The LB corps is also returning proven talent with leading tackler from 2014 John Law leading the group. Experience is the word as well with the secondary with a veteran unit led by Doug Middleton.
Prediction: Given how the Mountaineers finished last season mixed with the amount of returning talent, this team is poised to make a serious run at the Sun Belt title. App State will get a measuring stick game in their second contest as they go on the road to face Clemson. Outside of Clemson the Mountaineers have a manageable schedule the rest of the way.
Projected Record: 9-3 (6-2)