Appalachian State (9-3, 7-1) vs Toledo (9-3, 6-2)
Start Time: Saturday, December 17th at 5:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. CT
Location: Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama
Series: First Meeting
Line: PK, O/U at 56-57.5
In one of the first games of bowl season, you have one of the best MAC versus Sun Belt games in recent memory as Sun Belt co-champs App State take on the second best team in the MAC in Toledo. In G5 vs G5 games, the only bowl game with more combined wins is Houston versus San Diego State.
This game will see contrasting styles of play. One team throws the ball all over while the other runs it down your throat. One team has a defense that just does enough while the other defense can do everything. This could be a very fun and fascinating game.
The Big Match Up
Al eyes will be on the prolific Toledo pass offense versus the ball-hawk App State defense. Logan Woodside currently leads FBS with 43 touchdown passes. Those touchdowns have primarily gone to three receivers. Cody Thomas and Jon’Vea Johnson have ten each while Michael Roberts, the fourth-leading receiver, has 15.
The App State defense, while not the best pass defense in terms of yardage (29th in FBS), is third in FBS with 20 interceptions on the campaign. With freshman Clifton Duck, senior Mondo Williams and a hybrid 3-4 defense, the Mountaineers can be a tough riddle to figure out. The 23rd ranked rushed defense at 125.8 yards per game is also no joke.
Also not a joke is the Rocket’s run game, mainly Kareem Hunt at 1,355 yards in 2016, who will need to get going to keep the App defense guessing.
A Just-As-Important Match Up
With the Toledo offense versus App State defense being seen as the important duel, the App State offense versus Toledo defense could be just as important, if not more. The Rockets’ defense isn’t bad at 165.7 rushing yards allowed per game (60th) and 229.3 passing yards allowed per game (70th), but something will have to give in the trenches as the Mountaineers average 247.1 rushing yards per game, 13th in FBS.
A dual threat exists in the App State backfield with Jalin Moore (1,367 yards) and Marcus Cox (872 yards), plus the threat of quarterback Taylor Lamb running the ball is always there.
Lamb will have to get the passing game going as there might be hay to make out there. Looks out for Shaedon Meadors as a receiving threat.