Why the Patriots Will Go Undefeated

With immediate family in the Boston area, I was fortunate enough to grow up watching my favorite sports teams win multiple championships. Beginning in 2001 with the Patriots, the championships kept flowing into Titletown, USA with the Pats winning Super Bowls in ’01, ’03, ’04, and ’14 (with 2 heartbreaking losses in the title game to the New York Football Giants mixed in there), the Red Sox taking home the title in ’04, ’07, and ’13, and even the Celtics and Bruins taking home championships in ’08 and ’11 respectively. Yes, life as a Boston sports fan has been good to me in my 21 years, but the Patriots have been the constant winner out of all the recent Beantown dynasties, and I believe that they have what it takes to complete the 3rd perfect regular season in NFL history, and heres why:

 

1st in Points Scored– Through 10 weeks, New England leads the league in points scored. This offense rivals that of 2007, which had Randy Moss on it, and leads leads the league in passing yards as well. They are playing like a well oiled machine and at the helm of said machine is an angry Tom Brady. You won’t like him when he’s angry.

Terrific Tom- Brady has looked at his most prolific, leading the league in touchdown passes with 24 while only throwing 3 interceptions, which is the least in the league among qualified “starters”. He also is 3rd in completions, trailing only Phillip Rivers and Drew Brees, who are the highlight of their team’s offenses.

Stout Run D- Not since 2004 has the Pats D looked this good. the passing stats against them are a little skewed because of their “bend but don’t break” defense that gives any fan a heart attack near the ends of games, but don’t be fooled; the Patriots are legit at stopping the run. They have allowed 1 more yard than the 1st place New York Jets and are 4th when it comes to allowing points. Chandler Jones is looking the best he has in his entire career, and 1st round pick Malcom Brown is beginning to emerge, making this defense even more scary going down the stretch.

 

 

Mountaineer Halloween Preview: Don’t Let Troy Spook You

 

Troy

It would be far too easy for the Sun Belt’s top ranked team to look past the Troy Trojans, especially with the only other unbeaten Sun Belt team coming to town next Thursday. The Mountaineer offense has defenses on their heels and the black and gold defense is head and shoulders above everyone else in the conference. Last year they started their six game winning streak against the club from Alabama when they crushed the Trojans 53-14 in Troy. The could end up being similar on Saturday, but Scott Satterfield’s squad can’t overlook a Troy team that just keeps getting better.

If you look at the Trojans offensive numbers, there aren’t many impressive ones. This unit only scores just over 24 points per game which is 8th in the conference. They’re 330 yards per game is second to last. The ground game only generates 123 yards per contest. They only convert one-third of the time on third down and they have a poor average time of possession. It looks like a complete matchup nightmare for the Trojans. To be fair, the numbers are skewed because of the three huge programs they’ve played combined with the fact that starting quarterback Brandon Silvers was out for the last two games.

The defensive side of the ball is a different story. Defensive Coordinator Vic Koenning has one of the best defenses in the Sun Belt. Koenning comes in this season from North Carolina where his team was twice ranked in the top 12 in the country in tackles for loss. In his first season, Troy has the 3rd best scoring defense in the conference, behind App State and Georgia Southern. They only give up 26.9 points per game, and they have played North Carolina State, Wisconsin and Mississippi State. They give up less than 200 yards per game on the ground and only 185 passing yards per bout. They trail only Appalachian State in total sacks for the year. Linebacker William Lloyd leads the way with 50 tackles in his junior campaign which ties John Law for 10th in the conference. Floating linebacker Tyler Roberts and defensive end Rashad Dillard disrupt quarterbacks with 3.5 sacks a piece. With Mountaineers’ starting right tackle Beau Nunn questionable, this is the biggest concern for the week.

Let’s be honest, App State should win a one sided affair in this game, but being at the top of the conference means you’re going to get every opponents’ best game. Troy comes in with the most confidence they’ve had all season after a 52-7 win over the mess that is New Mexico State. Quarterback Brandon Silvers threw for five touchdowns in the first half. Running back Brandon Burks ran for 138 yards and a touchdown. They can ruin the Mountaineers’ season with a shocking upset on the road at Kidd Brewer Stadium Saturday afternoon.

A win over New Mexico State gains some confidence, but confidence doesn’t win games on its own. App State’s defense shouldn’t have trouble with Troy. Their offensive line has six guys who have started their first college game this season. The Neers defense has shut down opponents’ running games and have made it look effortless. The sack leaders Ronald Blair, Nate Norwood and John Law should be able to get pressure on a questionable offensive line when Troy tries to open things up through the air. The game plan won’t change for the Mountaineers’ top Sun Belt ranked offense. The offensive line, even without Beau Nunn will create enough space for Marcus Cox and company to establish the run to set up Taylor Lamb’s efficient passing attack. They’ve won 11 of the last 12 games, and Troy won’t be the team to slow them down. The Apps roll.

Prediction: Appalachian State 37, Troy 10

Listen Live on wasuradio.com at 2:45 Saturday for the pre-game show leading up to the 3:30 game time call.

 

The For Real Mountaineers

App state win

Seven times the Appalachian State Mountaineers have entered the fourth quarter this season and any team not named Clemson hasn’t even been close. The Mountaineers have dominated six of their seven opponents and they’ve made it look easy, winning by an average score of 43 to 7.

Unless you walked out of the stadium because football is the devil, and didn’t see the game, the Mountaineers’ first true Sun Belt Conference test was supposed to be last Thursday when the deadly running attack of Georgia Southern came up the mountain. After the Eagles went 86 yards on eight plays for the opening touchdown, that looked to be the case. The nations leading rushing attack wouldn’t score again for over 52 minutes, when the game was already decided. A team averaging 399 yards rushing per game coming into Kid Brewer Stadium, but stifled to 188. Nate Woody’s defense is the best in the Conference and they’ve shown it. They sit at the top of the conference with Arkansas State, who they will see in two weeks time in another game that might take away your precious parking spot and hinder academics…my condolences to you.

The win makes the Apps bowl eligible, but throw that aside. This team is more than just another bowl eligible, six win team. This isn’t just an average team in a bad conference. They shut out one of the best teams in the country for a quarter in a game that was a whole lot closer than the final score indicated and they’ve killed everyone else. This isn’t a team that will fly under the radar much longer if they keep up this same level of play. The college football world is noticing. The Mountaineers received votes to be placed in the College Football Associated Press top 25 poll for the first time in 8 years and are now ranked as the 33rd best team in the nation.

A huge opportunity sits in this football team’s lap. Not only do they have a chance to win a conference title and go to a bowl game, they can be ranked among the best in the country and play in one of the biggest bowl games college football has to offer. With some help, this team could be invited to one of the coveted “New Year’s Six” bowl games as a “Group of Five” conference member which would be a monster stage for a program in their first bowl eligible season.

Look, I know it’s early but this has been close to flawless football we’ve been seeing with exceptional game planning and play calling across the board. The Troy Trojans come to town this week in what should be another beatdown. The Mountaineers are for real, and ready to take the country by storm.