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App State Defense Dominating

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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The Appalachian State defense, over the past four games, has given up one touchdown and has scored one of its own.

Appalachian State had a perfect month of October, going 4-0 and drawing closer to a potential Sun Belt Conference championship. It was a defining stretch for the Mountaineers, with their defense leading the way with a historic couple of weeks. In games against Georgia State, Louisiana, Idaho and Georgia Southern, Appalachian State allowed a total of one offensive touchdown, a late score, from the Vandals, that came almost as time expired and had zero impact on the final outcome. No defense in college football has had a more effective month.

The Mountaineers kicked off their impressive run with a 17-3 win over the Panthers in a contest where they forced more turnovers than points allowed. That afternoon, Appalachian State held Georgia State to just 241 total yards, 3.5 yards per pass and 3.5 yards per rush. Next Wednesday in Lafayette, the Mountaineers had a similar effort in the program's first road shutout in a conference game; Appalachian State limited Louisiana to 267 total yards, 3.7 yards per pass and 3.4 yards per rush.

Up 37-12 against Idaho, the Mountaineer defense gave up its only October touchdown on a score with four seconds remaining. Appalachian State had three interceptions in the outing, including two from Clifton Duck.

A record-setting defensive performance set the tone for the Mountaineers in a road triumph over the Eagles. Appalachian State held Georgia Southern to merely 159 total yards, the Eagles' lowest total-ever at home. The Mountaineers gave up just nine total first downs and 65 rushing yards. Georgia Southern's only touchdown came on a return for a score after a fumbled field goal attempt.

For the month of October, the Mountaineers allowed an average of 256 yards per game, held opponents to 52% passing and three yards per rush. The Appalachian State defense, over the past four games, has given up one touchdown and has scored one of its own. At this point, the Mountaineers pace the Sun Belt in both scoring and total defense and are tied for the national lead in interceptions. First-team defenders have not yet surrendered a touchdown in league play.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports