Game Ball & Helmet Stickers: Appalachian State

Game Ball & Helmet Stickers: Appalachian State

First things first, hats off to App State. There’s a reason they have gained the nickname ‘Giant Killers' over the years and on September 1st 2018, we nearly became their latest victim. They rolled into Happy Valley with reckless abandon and not a stitch of fear in their bones. Had it not been for some costly penalties, who knows how things would have turned out? Then again, if our youthful exuberance had not become content to the roar of 105K when we were up 31-17, that massive fourth quarter comeback may have never taken place. Alas, we will never know because in the end, our Nittany Lions reached deep into their hearts and rang that victory bell on opening day.

Whichever direction this hard fought win takes us will play itself out on the field but there’s no question that adversity builds character. For all the little stumbles we saw from our Lion cubs that kept it so close when it never should have been, we also would not have been in the position to win were it not for them. In the end, our General rose to the occasion once again. If there was anyone left that thought Trace McSorley was just a product of who lined up beside him in the backfield over the past two years, please stop right now. Take out that trusty old mind eraser from your pocket and wash that thought away.

Forget the gaudy stats. Forget that streak of at least one passing touchdown in consecutive games (23, for the record I do believe), and for goodness sake, forget all that garbage talk about him being too small to be a major college quarterback. For the 23rd time as a starter he was living proof that you simply cannot measure heart and for that, the grizzled vet of a leader who wears #9, a.k.a. The Wizard, or T-Money, receives our first Game Ball of the season.


Speaking of those young Lion cubs, I’ve got another Game Ball sitting here just itching to be given out. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever pulled a double in the four years I’ve had the honor of giving you my post-game thoughts on behalf of Lions Pride, but KJ Hamler please stand up. You Sir have all our eyes wide open and dare I say even taken away a little sting from losing #26 to the Big Apple and the NFL. Ladies and gents, yesterday a star was born. There’s no need to remind any of you what we all witnessed from him during crunch time and now we all know full well that the nickname ‘The Human Joystick’ has been verified and justified straight from the jump. It's safe to say WE ARE all looking forward to what he has in store and I predict it's just a matter of time until we start seeing a LOT of #1 jerseys strolling around Happy Valley. Now on to our Helmet Stickers…

Amani Oruwariye, thank you for closing the door and Nick Scott, thank you for letting us know that there really is life after The Hitman. Miles Sanders, you run with anger and we all love it! Ricky Slade…WHOA. Micah Parsons you ask? Every bit as good as advertised. Juwan Johnson, there’s no excuse for four dropped balls but in the end you proved to be too much to handle as we marched downfield. Mike Gesicki, we miss you for obvious reasons (yep, I had to). Yetur Matos-Gross is darn near uncontainable. And as for the kicker conundrum we had when camp began way back in August? Scratch that. Jake Pinegar was straight down the pipes and has a leg that can blast them deep with confidence.

With that, we shake hands and exchange hugs with the Giant Killers. They put up a darn good fight and a valiant effort. Victory number one is in the books and I already need a little rest. As our hearts slowly start beating normally, I’m not even going to bring up what’s next on the docket but I can assure you there will be no ‘here kitty…kitty…kitty' taunts coming from me. Not yet, anyway. What I saw yesterday does not scare me but there is no doubt we'll have a few growing pains as all those weapons come together, as predicted. Until then, we'll just have to continue to sit on the broad shoulders of that quarterback that’s too small to play D-1 football and we all know we're way more than just content with that. WE ARE downright ecstatic about it!