Dollar General Bowl
Appalachian State (8-4) vs. Toledo (11-2)
Dec. 23, 7 p.m. ET, Mobile, Ala. (ESPN)
Toledo -6.5, O/U: 61.5
HOW THESE TEAMS GOT HERE
Appalachian State: Appalachian State overcame two bad losses to UMass and UL Monroe by winning its final three regular season games to get a piece of the Sun Belt title (with Troy) for a second straight season. That loss to UL Monroe was the Mountaineers’ only conference loss on the year, but they avoided most of the Sun Belt’s top teams. App State only beat two teams without losing records: Georgia State (7-5) and New Mexico State (6-6).
Toledo: Toledo won its first MAC title since 2004 by handling Akron on Dec. 2 in Detroit. The conference title looked like a sure thing until a slip-up against Ohio on Nov. 8, but that proved to be the lone conference blemish on the year for the Rockets. Toledo’s only other loss was a trip to Miami on September. From there, Toledo won eight of its next nine games, putting up an average of 39 points for the year. Toledo’s 11-2 record is its best since 1995.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Taylor Lamb, QB, Appalachian State: Lamb, a four-year starter, set the Sun Belt record for career touchdown passes this season. He enters the bowl game with 90 after putting up 27 touchdowns with just six interceptions on the year. Lamb is one of five FBS quarterbacks with at least 25 touchdown passes and six or fewer interceptions. He can run, too. Lamb has 539 yards and five touchdowns on just 70 carries. That’s a 7.7-yard average.
Logan Woodside, QB, Toledo: Woodside, with 28 touchdowns and five interceptions, also meets that criteria. With 242 yards in the bowl game, Woodside can pass for 4,000 yards for a second straight season. A 300-yard performance would be his eighth of the season. For his career, Woodside enters the game with 10,399 yards and 93 touchdowns in three years as Toledo’s starter.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH: A bowl rematch! Appalachian State beat Toledo last year in the Camellia Bowl. It was a close one, too. The Mountaineers edged the Rockets, 31-28, on a late field goal and a 30-yard miss by Toledo in the last two minutes that could have forced overtime. This one has the chance to be more high-scoring. App State averaged 41.5 points per game in its final four games while Toledo put up 39.5 over the same stretch.
WHAT’S ON THE LINE: Appalachian State, in just its fourth year at the FBS level, can win its third straight bowl game after winning the Camellia Bowl the last two seasons, over Toledo last year and Ohio in 2015. In addition to potentially getting a bit of revenge for losing to App State last year, Toledo can reach 12 wins for the first time since 1971.
Nick: Toledo 38, Appalachian State 27
Sam: Toledo 34, Appalachian State 24
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