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App Trail: What App State football coach Shawn Clark said at his weekly press conference

App Trail: What App State football coach Shawn Clark said at his weekly press conference

Appalachian State UNC Charlotte Football

Appalachian State head coach Shawn Clark stands with his team prior to an NCAA football game on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, N.C. The App State Mountaineers defeated the UNCC 49ers, 35-20. (Allison Lee Isley, Winston-Salem Journal) 091320-wsj-spt-appstate

Appalachian State coach Shawn Clark held his weekly press conference on Monday ahead of the Mountaineers away game at Marshall.

Before he started, App State athletics issued a statement from Clark regarding the social media post that circulated from the App State locker room following the game against Charlotte. 

"After the game, an inappropriate picture was taken in our locker room and posted on social media," Clark said in the statement. "This is unacceptable and does not represent the values of our football program, our athletics department or our university. I apologize to Chancellor Everts and the Appalachian State University community on behalf of our program."

Here's some of what Clark said during his presser:

Opening Statement

"Good seeing you guys again. Had a chance to review the tape and we're happy to win. Winning's hard in college football. And to have three turnovers and not play as well on offense and come out with a victory — anytime you can rush the ball for 300 yards and 29 first downs and our defense played exceptional, and come up with the victory. And that's what it's about. It's about winning. And we're moving forward to Marshall."

On his reaction to the social media post that circulated following the team's game against Charlotte and if it was awkward given his friendship with 49ers coach Will Healy:

"Without question. I was in bed at 8 o'clock and got a phone call. And we've handled this internally and we'll put it to rest."

On if there would be suspensions or punishment stemming from that:

"It's all internal."

On the health of the team following the game, specifically asking about tight end Henry Pearson and running back Marcus Williams Jr.:

"Marcus Williams Jr., he was back yesterday. Cam Peoples was back yesterday. Cam Peoples is still being evaluated, and we'll have a better idea as the week goes on."

On reviewing the Charlotte film and what he noticed:

"The positives was we had 29 first downs, and we rushed for 308 yards. That's a positive in that kind of weather condition. That's something we had to do because of the elements. Very happy with that. Wasn't satisfied with turnovers. It's something we work on on a daily basis. And we had two fumbles and went for it on fourth-and-3. That was my call. Again, the play didn't happen. That was disappointing. We were 4 for 7 in the red zone. Our goal is to be 100 percent. Those things cannot happen. On defense, I thought we were excellent. On third down, we were 11 for 14 on third down (only three first-down conversions allowed). And again, just our attention to detail. Charlotte can do some things that give you some problems. And our kids really adjusted on the sidelines, made some adjustments and I was happy about that. The negatives, you have some offsides on fourth-and-3, our kid jumps offsides with no crowd noise. So we were telling them to watch the ball and he jumps offsides and continues the drive, and I believe they score a touchdown or a field goal on that. That was disappointing. And then special teams, we have to get special teams squared away now. Yesterday at practice, that's all we did. Special teams. And to get things back on the same page to play App State football."

On the younger guys who played well: 

"You take one bad play from Jordon Earle, and he played a great football game. Hansky Paillant, I thought he played very well. T.D. Roof, he gave us a few quality snaps. We'll get him more in the game. But overall, I thought our guys did what they were supposed to do. We really improved from last year against Charlotte on defense. And now we will move on to Marshall, and we have our work cut out for us."

On keeping Charlotte QB Chris Reynolds uncomfortable:

"I think we just got lined up. I think we have a very good defensive line that can rush the passer. Again, Reynolds is a heck of a football player, and he can extend plays. And you saw that last year, so we just tried to keep him in the pocket as best we could and knowing he was going to make a few plays, but we had to limit the big plays."

On where there the preparation for Marshall begins:

"It started at 7 o'clock Sunday morning. I had a chance to come in and watch some tape, start getting ready for Marshall then. Went to church and came back, and it was Marshall from noon yesterday till about 11:45 last night. Again, in this business you've got to have a short memory. And if you win you move on, and if you lose you move on. We're fortunate enough to win but all of our attention is on Marshall now."

On what stands out about the team:

"I think team speed. I think coach (Doc) Holliday has done a great job recruiting team speed. They have an outstanding quarterback, and it always starts with a quarterback. Grant Wells, a kid from my hometown that I know a lot about, he really shined versus Eastern Kentucky. And then, their offensive line, it's five seniors up from. Greg Adkins, who's a guy I'm very familiar with, does a great job with those guys. They play the game the way it should be played, and again, if you can stop the run, they have a vertical passing game. And with their receivers, they can straight out fly. They're long, they have length. And we have to be very good to stop them, put them that way."

On App State being ranked again (24th in the AP Poll, 23rd in the Amway Coaches Poll):

"It's all good, but really it matters at the end of the season. Our goal is to be 1-0, and I told them yesterday in our team meeting that the Charlotte game is gone, and we reached our goal about being 1-0. And we'll go week by week. Again, playing Marshall, our goal is to be 1-0. We'll keep it here in the present and let the future hold what it holds."

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@EthanJoyceWSJ

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