Corey Sutton

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App State WR Corey Sutton suffers torn ACL

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The roller coaster that’s been Corey Sutton‘s 2019 campaign has taken another tick downward.

On his personal Twitter account over the weekend, Sutton announced that he has been diagnosed with a torn ACL.  The wide receiver suffered the injury to his left knee in Appalachian State’s win over Texas State Saturday, the fourth time the Sun Belt Conference has hit double-digit victories in the last five seasons.

Obviously, the redshirt junior will miss the remainder of this season.  It’s unclear if Sutton has played his last down for the Mountaineers as the receiver would be eligible for early entry into the 2020 NFL Draft.

Sutton currently leads App State in receiving yards (601), receiving touchdowns (seven) and yards per catch (14.7) despite missing the first two games of 2019.  He’s third in receptions with 41 as well.

In mid-May, Sutton was arrested for possession of marijuana following a traffic stop.  That off-field incident led to a two-game suspension to start the season for Sutton.

During his first on-field season at ASU in 2018, Sutton led the Mountaineers in receptions (44), receiving yards (773), receiving touchdowns (10) and yards per catch (17.6). The touchdowns also led the Sun Belt Conference and were tied for 21st nationally.

Sutton, whose rancorous exit from Kansas State included then-head coach Bill Snyder‘s inexplicable decision to publicly reveal a pair of failed drug tests on the receiver’s part, sat out the 2017 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.

Appalachian State scores 28 straight points to lead Georgia State at halftime

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Looking for a game or two to keep on your Group of 5 radar this evening? No. 25 Appalachian State is leading Georgia State 35-21 in Atlanta as the Mountaineers hope to remain in the running for a spot in the New Years Six bowl lineup at the end of the year.

Georgia State got the scoring started after the defense came up tall with two consecutive three-and-outs. After being forced to punt after a three-and-out, Appalachian State recovered a Georgia State fumble on the punt return by Quavian White. But the Panthers forced a second straight three-and-out to force another punt. Dan Ellington completed a short touchdown pass to Devin Gentry at the end of an 84-yard drive for the 7-0 lead.

Appalachian State answered with Zac Thomas completing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Corey Sutton, but big plays by the Panthers later in the first quarter would see Georgia State build a 21-7 lead. A 67-yard run by Destin Coates gave Georgia State the lead right back, and a Chris Bacon interception return for a touchdown off Thomas had the Panthers up two touchdowns. Thomas shrugged off the mistake and led the Mountaineers on a touchdown drive once they stepped back on the field. Another pass to Sutton was good for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 21-14 before the end of the first quarter.

The Mountaineers came back to tie things up at 21-21 with a Thomas touchdown run midway through the second quarter, and the defense gave the Mountaineers their first lead of the game when Shaun Jolley picked off a pass by Ellington and ran 30 yards the other way for the go-ahead touchdown.

We’ll see if Appalachian State can avoid taking its second loss of the season and remain in the driver’s seat for a spot in the first Sun Belt Conference championship game at the end of the year.

No. 20 Appalachian State upset at home by Georgia Southern

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Any hopes and dreams of being the first Sun Belt Conference team to play in a New Years Six bowl game may have just vanished for No. 20 Appalachian State (7-1, 4-1 Sun Belt). A slow start and an unsuccessful fourth-quarter rally resulted in a 24-21 loss to Georgia Southern (5-3, 3-1 Sun Belt) that not only deals a devasting blow to Appalachian State’s New Years Six hopes but takes the Sun Belt race into high gear entering November.

After scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter with Zac Thomas completing two touchdown passes to Corey Sutton, Appalachian State’s drive to potentially take the lead stalled with a turnover on downs with just 2:16 to play. The Mountaineers got the ball back with 1:06 to play from their own 16-yard line, but Georgia Southern’s defense came up with the final stop to deal a crushing blow to the previously undefeated Mountaineers. The only Group of Five team left standing without a loss is now SMU of the AAC. SMU will be visiting Memphis this weekend.

Georgia Southern beat Appalachian State with just one completed pass by Shai Werts, a 16-yard completion to Mark Michaud. Wesley Kennedy III anchored the offense on the ground with 145 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Eagles in their upset victory. This was just the second victory over a ranked FBS program in Georgia Southern’s history. The last one was also against Appalachian State.

Georgia Southern now controls the fate of the Sun Belt East Division thanks to a game-in-hand and a head-to-head tiebreaker with Appalachian State.

Appalachian State will look to rebound in a big way next week when they visit South Carolina for a non-conference matchup against the SEC program. A win in Columbia would still be great for the Appalachian State program, but it may not be enough this late in the season to allow the Mountaineers to catch up with the eventual champion coming out of the Amercian Athletic Conference or Mountain West Conference for the spot in the New Years Six.

Then again, Appalachian State will need help from Georgia Southern’s opponents too. Georgia Southern will be on the road next week to play Troy.

Appalachian State pegged as pre-season favorite in Sun Belt

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There may be a new coach at Appalachian State but the expectations remain the same in Boone.

The Mountaineers were tabbed on Thursday as the pre-season coaches favorite to win the Sun Belt and repeat as league champs after taking home the trophy in last year’s inaugural conference title game.

AppState edged both Troy and Georgia Southern as the pick to win the East Division in Eliah Drinkwitz’s first season at the helm as well.

On the other side of the league, Louisiana was picked to win the West Division and make it back to the title game for the second time under head coach Billy Napier.

Here’s the full order of finish as predicted from the Sun Belt’s coaches (First-place votes in parentheses):

East Division

1. Appalachian State (7) – 46 pts
2. Troy (1) – 39 pts
3. Georgia Southern (2) – 35 pts
4. Coastal Carolina – 17 pts
5. Georgia State – 13 pts

West Division

1. Louisiana (6) – 46 pts
2. Arkansas State (3) – 42 pts
3. ULM – 27 pts
4. South Alabama (1) – 19 pts
5. Texas State – 16 pts

The league also announced their annual pre-season football teams. AppState and Arkansas State had the most selection across two teams, with the Mountaineers placing a league-high eight on the first team.

Sun Belt First Team Offense

QB – Zac Thomas (Appalachian State, Junior)
RB – Darrynton Evans (Appalachian State, Junior)
RB – B.J. Smith (Troy, Senior)
WR – Corey Sutton (Appalachian State, Junior)
WR – Kirk Merritt (Arkansas State, Senior)
WR – Ja’Marcus Bradley (Louisiana, RS-Senior)
TE – Javonis Isaac (Arkansas State, RS-Junior)
OL – Noah Hannon (Appalachian State, Junior)
OL – Victor Johnson (Appalachian State, Senior)
OL – Kevin Dotson (Louisiana, RS-Senior)
OL – Robert Hunt (Louisiana, RS-Senior)
OL – Kirk Kelley (Troy, Senior)

Sun Belt First Team Defense

DL – William Bradley-King (Arkansas State, RS-Junior)
DL – Forrest Merrill (Arkansas State, Junior)
DL – Raymond Johnson (Georgia Southern, Junior)
DL – Tyree Turner (South Alabama, Senior)
LB – Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian State, Senior)
LB – Jordan Fehr (Appalachian State, Senior)
LB – Bryan London II (Texas State, Senior)
DB – Desmond Franklin (Appalachian State, Senior)
DB – Jerry Jacobs (Arkansas State, Junior)
DB – Monquavion Brinson (Georgia Southern, Senior)
DB – Kindle Vildor (Georgia Southern, Senior)

Sun Belt First Team Special Teams

K – Tyler Bass (Georgia Southern, RS-Senior)
P – Brandon Wright (Georgia State, RS-Senior)
RS – Tra Minter (South Alabama, Senior)