The curtain opens on the 2017 Georgia Bulldogs football season at 6:15 PM Saturday when the Bulldogs face off against the Appalachian State Mountaineers in Sanford Stadium for a nationally televised game on ESPN. The Bulldogs are 93-27-3 in season openers, including winning 17 of their last 20 season openers. Georgia enters the 2017 season ranked No. 15 in both the AP and USA Today coaches polls.
Appalachian State is located in Boone, NC, and has an enrollment of approximately 18,000 students. The Mountaineers are coached by their fifth-year head coach Scott Satterfield (32 wins and 18 losses in 4 seasons at Appalachian State) and compete in the Sun Belt Conference (“SBC”), where they won their first ever SBC championship last year. The Mountaineers return 47 lettermen, including 13 starters on offense and defense, from a team that posted a 10-3 record and defeated Toledo in the Raycom Camelia Bowl.
Saturday’s game between the Bulldogs and Mountaineers will mark only the second time the schools have faced each other on the football field (Georgia won the only other matchup 45-6 in Sanford in 2013). During the 2017 season Appalachian State will play 4 teams from the state of Georgia (Georgia-Sept 2, Savannah State-Sept 9, Georgia Southern-Nov 9, and Georgia State-Nov 25).
The Mountaineers offense is led by fourth-year starting quarterback Taylor Lamb, who is joined in the backfield by running back Jalin Moore, 2016 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year. On defense the Mountaineers are led by their talented sophomore corner Clifton Duck. Duck had a team-high 5 interceptions last year when he was named to the Football Writers Association of America Freshmen All-American team. The linebacker corp is led by returning starting inside linebacker Eric Boggs, who led the Mountaineers in tackles last year with 98.
Currently, Vegas has the Bulldogs listed as a 14.5 favorite for Saturday with the total being shown at 45.5.