The Old School Marshall duels the Young Gun Chanticleers this Saturday when Coastal Carolina hosts Appalachian State


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At the start of this stupid season, if you had told me that Coastal Carolina would be undefeated and ranked #15 in the nation after 12 weeks of football, I’d have probably said, “Yeah, okay” because Lord Entropy is the Sun Belt’s only master. If you told me Rip Torn would also lead in rushing, I’d have believed it, too.

Yet, the Sun Belt’s Sheriff’s badge still shines on the chest of the Mountaineers, its only blemish a loss to currently undefeated Marshall. Appalachian State may be a bit longer in the tooth than the Chants, but Zack Thomas is still a unit behind center, the defense is as stingy as ever, and the citizens of Boone are plenty surly that anyone would dare question their legitimacy.

Short story shorter, Appalachian State wasn’t letting anyone besmirch the supremacy of the Mountaineers. Respect and fist bumps, App fans.

However, to dismiss the Chanticleers is to make a very big mistake; they are legit good. The Chants shut-out a Georgia State offense that puts up 39 points per game. They’re a member of the Sun Belt’s 2020 Big XII Massacre Squad. They’ve defeated #21 Louisiana in Lafayette. Coastal’s freshman QB, Grayson McCall, has been added to the Maxwell Award watch list.

Coastal Carolina’s proficiency on both sides of the ball reminds me of…Appalachian State.

The Mountaineers are also legit good – and well-rounded. The offense and defense both rank second in the Sun Belt. QB Zac Thomas is having another elite season behind center. And they made Arkansas State look like a division two school in Jonesboro.

Yet, while the Mountaineers have been solid, they haven’t been dominating. Comparing apples, Appalachian State struggled in a 17-13 win at Boone over Georgia State – the same Georgia State that Coastal demolished 51-zero in Atlanta. Sometimes, the Mountaineers’ offense stalls. Coastal always seems to coast.

Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina enjoy an early tee-time in Boone this Saturday on ESPN 2. Whoever wins gets to pin the Sun Belt Sheriff Star on their chests, even if Lord Entropy remains the law of the conference.

A former notary public, Jeremy Harper is a professional writer and Chief Instigator for Storm the Castle Creative. He spends much of his free time staring blankly into space.