A lot about last night's game on the mountain entertained me, but what might have entertained me most, and I could say this because I'm friends with the TV folks on ESPN2 that were broadcasting it, how much time was spent talking about how cold it was up on the mountain. Sean Clark joins us now, Appalachian State coach, fresh off the win last night against Georgia State. Coach, what do you say to anybody who suggests that last night was a cold night for the mountain?
Well Josh, first of all, I appreciate you having me on this afternoon. That was a great fall day for us. It was a little breezy, but it was in the mid to upper 30s probably. That's football weather. That's why we go outside and do spring practice in the wintertime to make sure our guys aren't afraid of it. I thought we handled it very well. What is the worst weather game that you've ever played in or coached in?
There's two that stand out to me. One is the 1995 Western Carolina game. It started off about 40 degrees and then a front came in, it started to rain and sleet and snow. I think we had about 25 people in the stands at the end of that game. And then 2019 Georgia Southern game, it was snowing and the wind was blowing, 55-hour winds, and they had to take the TV cameras off the carts for the game. But those were two cold games.
As long as the wind's not blowing, it's not bad, but the wind was blowing in that game, but it's really cold. Getting into the game, Sean Clark with us fresh off the wind last night against Georgia State. It seemed like at 14-0, you guys just shifted into old school App State football, running the ball, playing defense. But you tell me, at what point did you realize with the breezy winds and all that, that the passing game wasn't going to cut it and that the running game would be the better path forward? Well, early on, and our plan was to run the football. We got away from that for a little bit, but toward the second quarter there, we started to run the football. Then at halftime, we went in and made some adjustments and really decided that, hey, we're going to get foot to foot and win your one-on-one battles. And we put the onus on the offensive line and tight ends and running backs.
I'm very happy with the receivers, how well they've blocked. We rushed the ball 64 times for four yards, and I told them at halftime, we're going to go out there, we're locking the gates, we're not leaving until we win this football game. I told the offensive line, you asked for it, you're going to get it.
So you better show me the money. Locking the gates, what's that mean? It means whatever it takes, wherever, how long it takes, we're not leaving here until we win.
And after the game, I told them, well, hell, we can unlock the gates now. We got that W. Yeah, you figured it out. What's more difficult, picking guys up after a loss or bringing them back down after a big win in terms of preparing for your next opponent?
I think a little bit of both. We've had a crazy year, Josh. The month of September was really emotionally draining for us. That's not an excuse, but that's reality.
And then I don't say this a lot. I mean, we are really banged up right now. I mean, this is the first time we had all of our running backs healthy at one point. And then all three running backs went out last night. But we went back all week long.
We talked about those three things we want to talk about. And that was discipline, details and fundamentals. And I told them before Wednesday night or Tuesday night that we have to draw a line in the sand and we have to keep the self-inflicted wounds away and do it, do what we do. And that's play fast and physical and have fun playing football. These kids put a lot of pressure on themselves and and to have fun playing football. That's what it's all about from a great home crowd and I'm very proud of everybody in our organization.
I've told you this before, but I've I went to East Carolina and when I was just cutting my teeth in the business, I got to know Lincoln Riley really well when he was there in Greenville. And his last season in 2014 has reminded me a little bit about this App State team, or at least the last couple of weeks, how you've been trying to deal with injuries and bounce back after the really exciting start. I think ECU hung 70 on Carolina that year and they won at Virginia Tech in an upset. But at the end of the year, they didn't play as well in conference play as they would have liked to.
And I remember reflecting on that season with Lincoln and a few others and they just said 18 to 22 year old kids, they watch TV, they're on social media. And when people are telling them they're the greatest thing ever, and that these games matter more than the conference games, it's easy for them to believe that at points. And it's harder for a coaching staff to combat that. Have you had to deal with that at all saying, hey, I know college game day is not here. I know it's not being talked about on SportsCenter so much, but this game against Texas State, this game against JMU, this game against Georgia State, this is what really matters.
We have and they're human also. I mean, you get patted back so many times to see how good you are or, you know, there's an old saying in football, don't read your own obituary. So it's somewhere in between. It's no different than the head coach. After the Texas A&M game, they want to give me a lifetime contract. And after the Texas State game, they wanted to fire me on the spot. So you just have to, you know, really lock arms, get back together, get back to what makes you special. And that's for us is to run the football, play great defense and be excellent special teams.
But overall, I was so pleased. This is the way our guys responded. Down 14, nothing. We really could have, you know, folded the tent, if you will, and where our guys fought. And that's where we have a lot of fighters in our locker room and guys believe in themselves and believe in this football team. And still right there in the mix, trying to win a conference championship in the Sunbelt and, you know, a bowl game right there. Never missed one.
Now that looks like it's very realistic moving forward because of that win. Have you mastered the 10-day Sean Clark's here with us, by the way, App State coach. Have you mastered the 10-day Wednesday to Saturday prep week between now and your next game against Robert Morris?
Have you figured out the best way to go about that? I'm still confused. I think today is Sunday in my mind. You know, the hard part, you put that late game. You start to teach your kids at school on time on Thursday.
So we got home way about 1 30 last night and had our kids up at 6 30 ready for school. But, you know, we'll do our very best here, guys. Get them healthy, get them a couple days off here today and tomorrow and get back Sunday. And our goal is to be 1-0 next week. And the Robert Morris game is the biggest game of our season. Our kids know that. They know that you can't take anybody for granted. And I look forward to working on Robert Morris today and trying to get a win that they'll want to know. So the players have a couple days off.
How about Sean Clark? What's your next couple of days look like? Well, we're going to have a team meeting today and review this tape and then I'll be out on the road recruiting on Friday night. And then I have to get back. I have some honeydews in the house. My garage is a complete disaster right now. So my wife's not very easy on me.
She asked me the first day I have off. I cleaned the garage. So that's where I'll be doing. And I'm looking forward to it, sitting back and just really criticize every other coach in college and college football this weekend.
It's amazing. Nick Saban said before the year when asked, what trait do people not give you enough credit for? What what trait are you good at that most people wouldn't think you're good at? And he would say, really good at cleaning the house, really good at cleaning the garage.
Sean Clark, how good are you at that when you're putting your mind to it? Well, depends on who you ask, but I'm very I like to have a clean place, clean house, and it's been driving me crazy since August. So I need to get back and get some things picked up. I think my kids just throw stuff in the garage like every other kid in America. So it's going to be important for me to get a clean garage and get a fresh start next week for Jay or Robert Morris.
Yeah. Well, if you're in the triad recruiting, you know to hit us up and we'd love to see you. Congratulations on the win last night. That was certainly fun to watch. And best of luck the rest of the way. Sean Clark, Josh, per share with your show. And thanks for let us talk about App State football there, but appreciate you.
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