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Hypothetical 2020 Football Opponent Preview: Appalachian State

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Battle for the NC crown? Possibly.

New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Michigan State v Wake Forest Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

About The University

University Founded: 1899

Location: Boone, NC

University Motto: Esse quam videri. (To be, rather than to seem.)

University Mascot: Mountaineers

Colors: Black and gold (Guys have damn good taste!)

Enrollment: 19,280

Endowment: $122.4 million

Football Details

All-Time Record: 629–338–28 (.646)

Bowl Record: 5-0, also 20 playoff appearances and 3 National Titles as an FCS powerhouse before moving to Sun Belt in 2014

2019 Record: 12-1 (these boys don’t mess around, can’t lie)

Current Coach: Shawn Clark, 1st season

Key Returning Players: Zac Thomas, QB (Last season: 2718 yards, 28 TDs. 6 INT), Thomas Hennigan, WR (Last season: 61 catches, 773 yards, 6 TDs)

Key Departures: A litany of defensive players, which I’ll get into below, RB Darrynton Evans (1,480 yards, 255 carries, 18 TDs) also HC Eliah Drinkwitz, who left to become head coach of Mizzou

As much as I got mildly annoyed by App State talking smack about being the best program in NC last year, there’s no doubt they were at WORST second best to Wake, and if we’re being honest, a throwdown between the squads last season would have been dang interesting. Heck, both programs have been on fire for several years now. Game gotta recognize game, right? However, not only did the Mountaineers lose their head coach for the second time in as many offseasons for a bigger program, they lost their top two linebackers (Jordan Fehr and Akeem Davis-Gaither) and best tackling DB (Josh Thomas) to the NFL draft. Combine that with the loss of Darrynton Evans and I’ll be extremely curious to see how both programs deal with turnover. Wake lost plenty as well, but we at least have the coaching continuity edge and also the fact that the game is in Winston-Salem rather than Boone (though that’d only matter in a normal season, which uh...not gonna happen y’all.)

It’s going to be a hell of a game if it goes down, and I genuinely have a boatload of respect for App State (certainly more than some of our other in-state rivals). If things don’t go down as scheduled this year, I hope we can run it back in 2021, because I think that’ll be one of the most fun games of the year. In the past, Wake vs. App State games have always been a good time, and I expect this one to be no exception.

What do y’all think? Sound off in the comments. Thanks for reading, and as always, go Deacs!

—SF