Appalachian State Mountaineers Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

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Appalachian State Mountaineers Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Appalachian State season with what you need to know and keys to the season.

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Appalachian State Mountaineers Preview
Head Coach: Shawn Clark, 3rd year at ASU, 20-7
2021 Record: Overall: 10-4, Conference: 7-2
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Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Appalachian State Top 10 Players | Schedule

Appalachian State Mountaineers Preview 2022

No, it wasn’t a Sun Belt championship season, and the bowl game blowout to WKU stunk, but it’s hard to argue with a ten-win season with two of the four losses to Louisiana.

Now the Mountaineers have to deal with a far tougher schedule – both in non-conference play and in a tougher expanded Sun Belt – but they should be able to keep up the production.

Head coach Shawn Clark has been kept the pipeline of talent going, there’s enough talent back to expect even more consistency, and this should be another good run for a possible conference title. Again, though, the schedule might make that tough, but more on that in the end.

Appalachian State Mountaineers Preview 2022: Offense

The offense is terrific, and it’s full of enough talent to be every bit as good. The Mountaineers run a pro-style scheme with good balance and efficiency, finishing second in the Sun Belt last year in total offense and scoring. It’ll all continue and could be even stronger if …

The receiving corps has to come together. The top three receivers are gone with the top returning target – Christian Wells – catching just 12 passes for 243 yards. There’s a Next Man Up aspect to the attack, but losing Corey Sutton, Thomas Hennigan, and Malik Williams really, really hurts. However …

Everything else is there. Chase Brice is a veteran quarterback who settled into the job, and he’s working behind the best line in the Sun Belt. All-star C Baer Hunter is gone, but everyone else is back from a group that was great in pass protection and almost as strong for the ground game.

The All-Sun Belt running back combination of Nate Noel, Camerun Peoples, and Dietrich Harrington is fantastic.

The offense has to be outstanding, because …

Appalachian State Mountaineers Preview 2022: Defense

The defense that’s been a killer over the last few years should be solid again. However, it has to replace a ton of star talent that’s been a big part of the production over the last few years.

The Mountaineers were among the best in the nation at generating tackles for loss, they led the Sun Belt in run D and was amazing overall right up until WKU went off in the Boca Raton Bowl. Now there will be a whole lot of new faces.

Second leading tackler Trey Cobb is back at his inside linebacker spot, but there are a whole lot of missing parts with five of the top seven tacklers done. The linebacking corps is hardly starting from scratch – Nick Hampton and Brendan Harrington are good ones on the outside – but there’s missing star power.

Hampton is the team’s best pass rusher, but a whole lot of production in the backfield from last year has to be replaced. Jordon Earle is a 290-pound veteran on the nose, but there’s not a lot of size on the line. It’s going to take a rotation to hold up, and the linebackers will take care of the rest.

The secondary loses top corner Shaun Jolly, but Steven Jones is back on the other side for another all-star year, and the safeties are good enough. They all need the pass rush to keep on going.

Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Appalachian State Top 10 Players | Schedule

Appalachian State Mountaineers: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats NEXT

Appalachian State Mountaineers: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Appalachian State Mountaineers: Key To The 2022 Offense

The passing game has to work
There’s no question about the ground attack. It might not rock and roll against Texas A&M, but it’ll beat up everyone else and should be among the best in the Sun Belt with the talent returning. Now it’s up to the passing game to keep up.

Chase Brice is a decent veteran quarterback, but the receiving corps is all but starting over. The balance has to be there, though. Last year the two worst passing games of the year came in the two losses to Louisiana, and it failed to hit 200 yards in the loss to Miami, too.

The overall yards don’t matter that much, but the deep shots have to open things up. Those three losses were the only time last season when the O failed to hit six yards per pass.

Appalachian State Mountaineers: Key To The 2022 Defense

Just keep being the Appalachian State run defense
No one was able to gash the Mountaineer run D last year other than Louisiana in the first meeting, but when this group dominates, forget it.

All four losses came on the four worst days of the year for the run defense. The program is 50-1 in its last 51 games when allowing 135 rushing yards or fewer, and that’s going to be put to the test several times this year against strong running games.

Appalachian State Mountaineers: Key Player To The 2022 Season

DT Jordon Earle, Sr.
He’s only 6-2 and 290 pounds, but he’s one of the biggest lineman in the three-man mix up front. That’s not the worst thing in the world with the defense relying on speed and quickness, but the team can’t afford to lose Earle’s bulk or experience.

The stats don’t mean much for what he does – he made 21 tackles with two tackles for loss, but his job is to be the anchor. He has to hold up and continue to be a rock.

Appalachian State Mountaineers: Key Transfer

RB Ahmani Marshall, Soph.
The Appalachian State backfield is already loaded with all-star talent, and now it has another thumper. There will be more important transfers in the mix as the offseason goes on, but the 6-2, 220-pound Marshall – coming over from Wake Forest – has the talent and upside to be a key part of the rotation.

Appalachian State Key Game To The 2022 Season

at Coastal Carolina, Nov. 3
It’s a tougher slate in the new and improved Sun Belt East, but the road game at Marshall – which will quickly turn into the key game of the season if all goes well – will take on a different tone if the Mountaineers can’t beat Coastal Carolina for a second year in a row.

It’s on the road, it’s just as the season takes a big turn, and the loser of this might be all but out of the Sun Belt title hump.

Appalachian State Mountaineers: 2021 Fun Stats

– 4th Quarter Scoring: ASU 124 – Opponents 58
– Sacks: ASU 37 for 213 yards – Opponents 17 for 115 yards
– 4th Down Conversions: ASU 24-of-37 (65%) – Opponents 9-of-24 (38%)

Offense. Defense Breakdown | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Appalachian State Top 10 Players | Schedule

Appalachian State Mountaineers Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

Appalachian State Mountaineers Season Prediction, What Will Happen

It’s going to be a more fun season because of all the good games on the slate, but Appalachian State might not have quite the same sort of results.

Start with the positive – there’s no Louisiana. The mega-thorn in the program’s side isn’t there to deal with, and there are several winnable games to make a bowl game a forgone conclusion. Of course, the program is looking for more than that now.

Here’s the problem. Even though there are layups against Robert Morris and The Citadel, the season opens against North Carolina – at least it’s a home game – and at Texas A&M. Just as bad in an improved Sun Belt are the road games at Coastal Carolina and Marshall in back-to-back weeks, and closing at Georgia Southern might be tougher than it seems.

Set The Appalachian State Mountaineers Regular Season Win Total At … 8.5

There are too many landmines to expect another ten-win season – at Troy and Georgia State aren’t going to be layups – but …

It could certainly happen. The offense will be terrific, and if the defense can replace all the star power in a hurry, there’s a chance the Mountaineers can rip through most of the schedule and come up with a key road win here or there to be right in the Sun Belt title mix.

Offense. Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Appalachian State Top 10 Players | Schedule

2022 College Football Schedules: All 131 Teams