App State Seeks Sun Belt Win At Coastal (2018-11-02 16:40:07)

CONWAY, S.C. — Appalachian State will look to bounce back near the beach.

The Mountaineers (5-2, 3-1) return to action Saturday with a Sun Belt Conference road game against Coastal Carolina (5-3, 2-2). Kickoff at Brooks Stadium is scheduled for 5 p.m., and the game will be available on ESPN+. The game may be heard locally on WATA 1450 AM/96.5 FM, with coverage starting at 3 p.m.

Coming off its first league loss, App State remains in the hunt for a division and league title. Appalachian's 4-0 lead in the series with Coastal includes a 37-29 home win last season in the Chanticleers' debut as an FBS member, and this will be the Mountaineers' first football trip to Conway, S.C.

Saturday's game on the teal turf in Brooks Stadium will pit two of the nation's top 10 rushing offenses against each other. Coastal Carolina (251.6 rushing yards per game) and App State (248.4) rank ninth and 10th, respectively.

Appalachian will be playing its third full game without senior running back Jalin Moore, but Darrynton Evans leads the Sun Belt in all-purpose yards per conference game (145.8) and is No. 2 in rushing yards per conference game (105.5). Marcus Williams Jr. rushed for a team-high 72 yards against Coastal last season, and Jalen Virgil scored twice while making five receptions for 186 yards.

With quarterback Zac Thomas' availability uncertain, Jacob Huesman and Conway native Peyton Derrick have been preparing for the potential of having expanded roles this weekend against the Chanticleers, who are allowing an average of 217.8 rushing yards and 447.0 total yards per game.

With both teams seeking a sixth victory to reach bowl eligibility, Coastal has won Sun Belt road games against Louisiana (30-28) and Georgia State (37-34). The Chanticleers also scored 47 points while delivering the only loss to UAB, which is 7-1 with three shutouts and two other games with single-digit points allowed.

Fred Payton, Kilton Anderson and Bryce Carpenter have each started at quarterback for Coastal in its last three games. The normal starter is Anderson, who has been battling an ankle injury, and Payton is a true freshman who has helped the Chanticleers win each of their last two games.

With its spread option offense, Coastal is fourth nationally with an average possession time of nearly 35 minutes a game. It possessed the ball for more than 40 minutes against Troy, which had seven scoring drives that lasted less than 2:05 in a 47-21 victory. The Chanticleers' leading rushers this season are Marcus Outlow (81.1 yards per game), CJ Marable (72.0 yards per game) and Anderson (45.2 yards per game).

Georgia Southern had scoring plays of 57 and 47 yards as well as a 32-yard run in its win against App State, which allowed 198 yards on the Eagles' other 50 plays. Demetrius Taylor contributed a punt block that gave the Mountaineers good field position a week after he batted down two passes, and Chris Willis was among the defenders who recorded a tackle for loss in Statesboro, Ga.

Photo Courtesy: Zac Thomas, App State Sports