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App State has hit the “reset” button

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
August 30, 2023 4:16 pm

App State has hit the “reset” button

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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August 30, 2023 4:16 pm

Adam Witten, Appalachian State University PxP, on what App State is doing this year to get the football program but on track after last season.

What can we expect out of the new QB, Ryan Burger? What’s different about Ryan Burger compared to past QBs like Chase Brice and Zack Thomas? What’s Adam excited to see about this newer team? Appalachian State travels down the mountain to Chapel Hill for a matchup against UNC on Spet 9th. How does Adam feel about the Sunbelt division these days compared to where it used to be and where it’s going? Why was the time now to retire #14, Armani Edwards?


All conversations regarding best football program in the state of North Carolina should, rightly, begin and end in Boone. App State, since elevating to FBS football for the 2014 season, they won seven games in year one. They have, or had until last year, not won fewer than nine between 15 and 21. Five out of six years they double digit wins, five out of seven years double digit wins, including a 13 in one season. Last year, after a near miss against North Carolina in one of the craziest games you will ever, ever, ever watch. They scored 61 and lost. An upset win at Texas A&M. It just didn't go well. They finished six and six. How do you move on?

How do you get back to being what you were? Adam Whitten, the play-by-play voice of the Mountaineers, joining us on the Adam Gold Show. I can't remember the last time App had to bounce back from a season like six and six. What do they do?

Adam, appreciate you having me. The thing they've done this year is they've hit the reset button. That's been the word that they've thrown around the building all through the off season.

It's not rebuild, it's not reload, it's reset. And so it's and so it's a lot more than the roster construction. They have new coordinators on both sides of the ball. They brought in a new strength coach that was around the program, you know, back in the in the Satterfield days.

They've done a lot of other things in terms of their habits and the way that they go about certain things that maybe they just kind of run their course and it was time to to refresh some things. Sean Clark has even made the joke, it's not really a joke because it's true that he was always known for wearing this old faded hoodie every day at practice that had looked like it did through some things. And this year he finally issued it to the closet in his office and he brought out a brand new black hoodie that he wears in practice every day.

So even the tiniest detail has been reset within the program. That's what they're trying to do going into this year to erase the bad taste from 6 and 6 2022. Chase Bryce had been the quarterback who's really started his career.

Clemson ended up at Duke for a year and then transfers to App. Year one was much better than year two. I think there may be some some warts finally exposed in year two for Bryce, but it's not all him obviously. Quarterback has not played in a vacuum as Steve Logan always tells us.

But what what do we expect out of the new guy, a redshirt freshman named Ryan Burger? Yeah. Well a lot of bad puns on the broadcast. Sure.

A lot of bad puns with that kind of a last name. So that's that's the first thing. The second thing is you're going to find a guy who maybe is a good fit in terms of his skill set for what this offense wants to be. And this is not a knock against Chase Bryce. Chase is an amazing quarterback.

He set records in his two years for what he did here and he led us to a 10-win season in his first year. And he was the quarterback for that Texas A&M game. So but I think with App's offense because it's so predicated on running the ball because it runs more of a zone scheme on offense and it has a lot of read option action in it. You need a quarterback that that can move. You know, you need a quarterback that can use his feet and chase could run the ball, but the defense knew that if Chase was to get loose, maybe you give up 7, 8, 9 yards.

The quarterback before that, Zach Thomas, if you let him get loose, he could take it for 50 or 60 yards. Ryan Burger is more that type of quarterback. He does not possess the arm nor the experience of Chase Bryce. But that being said, they're not going to ask him to be Chase Bryce. They're not going to ask him to necessarily stretch the field and throw an out route to the field side and put yourself in position to where the defense can take advantage of something like that.

But Ryan has great escapability. He can extend plays. He can give more time for his talented receivers and running backs to get open and make sure that the play is moving forward. So, you know, Ryan has to be his first start.

He played in some garbage time, mop up time last year while preserving his red shirt. But he's going to get the start on Saturday and it'll be, you know, we'll see how he does because Gardner-Webb is a team that's capable of putting a lot of pressure on you. They've got some All-American candidates that can get in the backfield on defense.

But in terms of his skill set, I do like the idea of him being able to offer more of a versatile approach as a quarterback, which I think this offense probably needs. Adam Whitten, voice of the App State Mountaineers, joining us here in the Adam Gold Show. They open up the season coming up on the second Saturday against Gardner-Webb. North Carolina, the trip down here to Chapel Hill on the 9th will follow. And then I'm just fascinated by the game against East Carolina.

This is, this should be great. I hope, I wish this were an annual every year. I know there is a better effort to make this more of a regular part of the schedule. But man, it would be awesome to see those two football mad schools play against each other every single season.

I get why they don't want to because they're two schools theoretically in similar neighborhoods, not in terms of geography, but in terms of their football aspirations. Well, let me ask you about the Sunbelt Conference. As a league, I mean a league with JMU and Marshall, relatively new members, right, of an already good football league. I mean, this is, it's not going to be easy to go, you know, to win six, seven, eight games in that league anymore. No, no, it's not. And last year certainly proved that where in the past, when the league was not as strong, a program like App could maybe come in without its A game, but still find a way to escape with a win.

Not the case anymore. And last year certainly proved that and it's only going to get better. The thing that we continue to love about the Sunbelt is what it has become with its identity as a conference, you know, in a time now where conferences are putting their focus on things that don't necessarily help the fan bases. You know, in a time when the ACC could soon add Cal and Stanford and SMU, the Sunbelt appears to be the one league out there right now, maybe you can make the case for the MAAC too, that is leaning into what at its core makes college football so great, which is the regionality, the rivalries, the fan bases.

Those are the things that the Sunbelt is prioritizing right now. And so you get all these great regional rivalries and games that our fans are excited about and can travel to when App and Marshall play and Georgia Southern and now JMU and Coastal Carolina getting a chance to drive down. All these games are within driving distance. Our fans are already talking about next year, depending on how one game could end up in the schedule with the West Division road game, could a fan of App State potentially go to every single game next year? No other conference is offering that for fans. Sure, they're creating a television product and you're going to get to see some marquee matchups, but the Sunbelt knows what it is. It's comfortable in its own skin and I think it makes it one of the most interesting and fun conferences in college football right now. And yeah, and to your point earlier, certainly makes it a lot more difficult too.

But we get to be excited and really hype up a lot of games within the conference this year. I mean, you and I might disagree as to whether or not Arkansas is driving distance or Monroe, Louisiana is driving distance, but that's it. Like I tell my kid all the time, anywhere is walking distance if you have enough time.

Can I walk there? I'm like, yeah, I mean, it's eight miles, but you probably should leave right now. Adam Whitten is the voice of App State. Final thing, and we have to wait all the way till the end of the season for this, but at the home game against Georgia Southern, Thanksgiving weekend, the Mountaineers will retire the number and honor. Armani Edwards, I wrote it down. I still can't remember the name.

Armani Edwards. I mean, arguably the greatest offensive player in school history. I mean, I hate that it's taken this long.

Maybe I have no idea why or this is normal because it could be normal. But man, he was unbelievable to watch. It's hard to believe it's been like 15 years. Hey Carolina Panthers fans, Chris Lee and Dennis Cox here. We're excited to offer you all the inside information on your team with the newest member of the Capitol Broadcasting Podcast Network Panthers Playbook twice a week. We'll keep you updated on your Carolina Panthers. We're talking about locker room insight, exclusive interviews, and of course, in-depth looks at all of the Panthers wins. Touchdown Carolina Panthers Playbook. Download and subscribe today at or wherever you discover your favorite podcasts.

Yeah, his last season was 2009. I'm interested, we're actually going to record a podcast this afternoon with Doug Gillen, the athletics director, and get into the conversation of why now? Why was the time right now to do this, to retire number 14 for Armani Edwards?

I'm very curious to have that conversation, but at the same time, there are a lot of things. Any school that's had to retire a number probably understands what I'm talking about, which is there's a lot that goes into something like that. First of all, it's got to be, while you don't have to necessarily do this, you have to wait till someone's playing career is over and Armani Edwards just recently kind of officially stepped away from professional football because he did spend a lot of time playing up in Canada. And so, you know, while that's a requirement for the college football hall of fame, it's up to the schools to determine the criteria for that.

So, the timing is, I'm glad we're finally able to do it. But there were a lot of things that they had to get worked out in order to finally make this happen. The other thing too is, you know, you only have a certain amount of numbers to go around for the 100 plus players that you have on the roster. So, when you take a number out of circulation, like they're going to do with 14, that's one less number that you can use for all the players that you have to assign jersey numbers to. So, not that that would prohibit us from retiring somebody of that stature and to honor his greatness, but it's just one more thing that you have to figure out whenever you take a number out of circulation. So, they did announce this will be the last time that we actually retire a number. We'll find other ways to continue to honor people that have significant numbers. But I think 14 is going to be the last one that you'll be able to say, hey, this number will never be worn again.

You could do it. There are ways to honor. I mean, the Dallas Cowboys, they don't retire number 88, even though they'll have several wide receivers in the Hall of Fame who wore number 88.

The next great one, like C.D. Lamb right now, wears number 88, like Michael Irvin wore number 88, like Drew Pearson wore number 88. Maybe that's where we flip. If you're a great quarterback, if you have earned that, you can wear number 14 at App State. So, we'll keep honoring the number over and over and over again. You should wear number 14 during the broadcast, Adam.

I will, yes. I will wear 14 and we'll, you know, like with bad puns with the last name Burger, we'll find different ways. Like, you know, we can only use 14 words when we're making a play call or something like that and we'll keep track of it during the broadcast. We'll figure out all sorts of like ridiculous things to do with the number 14 on Saturday. But, you know, for anybody that got a chance to watch that guy play football, what a treat. What a treat it was and it's going to be a special day for sure. And you will, I'm sure, ham it up all season long.

Adam Whitten, we'll leave on that. Go do what you need to do the rest of the afternoon, sir. I'll talk to you soon. All right, Adam. Take care, man. You got it. Adam Whitten from App State here on the Adam Gold Show.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-30 19:25:22 / 2023-08-30 19:30:55 / 6

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