- This is the first-ever meeting between Appalachian State and UAB on the gridiron
- This is will be Shawn Clark’s first game as Appalachian State head coach
- Both teams last played on December 7 in their respective conference championship games
No. 20 Appalachian State (12-1, 7-1 Sun Belt) face the UAB Blazers (9-4, 6-2 C-USA) in the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, December 21st at 9 PM ET on ESPN.
The Mountaineers are currently 16.5–point favorites against the Blazers in the Appalachian State vs UAB odds.
New Orleans Bowl Odds
|UAB||+16.5 (-110)||+550||O 48 (-110)|
|#20 App State||-16.5 (-110)||-800||U 48 (-110)|
Odds Taken December 17th
Another Championship Season in Appalachia
The Mountaineers had a terrific season under first-year head coach Eliah Drinkwitz. App State won the Sun Belt with a 45-38 victory over Louisiana in the league championship game on December 7. The Mountaineers won eight of the 12 games by double digits and had major road wins over both P5 foes North Carolin and South Carolina.
Drinkwitz did so well in replacing Scott Satterfield that he was named the new head coach at Missouri. Shawn Clark took over as head coach following Drinkwitz taking the job at Mizzou.
A former player, Clark was co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for three seasons before moving into the assistant head coaching role last season.
It's great to be a Mountaineer! Day 1️⃣ for head coach Shawn Clark ✔️ pic.twitter.com/p6rWQA0eZW
— App State Football (@AppState_FB) December 14, 2019
Bill Clark Keeps Blazing Trails
The UAB Blazers finished the regular season with a 9-3 record and made an appearance in the Conference USA championship game. Unfortunately, the Blazers were no match for Florida Atlantic, losing 49-6 back on December 7th.
UAB is led by pass rusher Kris Moll, who finished the season with 16 tackles for loss and nine sacks. Offensively, the Blazers are paced by 6’3″ junior receiver Austin Watkins. Watkins caught 47 passes for 933 yards, an average of 19 yards per reception and scored five touchdowns.
Led by First Team selections Kristopher Moll and Garrett Marino, UAB lands 16 players on All-Conference USA Teams.
— UAB Football (@UAB_FB) December 10, 2019
How Do They Stack Up?
App State ranks No. 42 in total offense, averaging 435.5 yards per game and 6.2 yards per play. The Mountaineers are No. 17 in rushing offense, averaging 229 yards per contest and is No. 87 in passing offense, averaging over 206 yards per contest.
Defensively, Appalachian State is solid, too, ranking No. 27 in total defense, as they rank No. 37 in run defense and No. 22 in scoring defense.
We’re headed down to New Orleans today! To check out the game notes for our @NewOrleansBowl matchup with UAB:
— App State Football (@AppState_FB) December 17, 2019
The Blazers, meanwhile, finished the 2019 season ranked No. 105 in total offense, averaging 352.9 yards per game. They also rank just 101st in passing offense, as they average 193.6 yards per game and 100th in scoring, averaging 23 PPG.
The defense is for UAB is the strength of its team. The Blazers rank No. 9 in total defense and No. 13 against the run, as opponents are only averaging 3.1 yards per rush against UAB.
What’s the Best Bet?
App State is 9-4 against the spread this season. The Mountaineers have been favored in all but three games, which were wins over North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana Lafayette – their only loss was to Georgia Southern, in which they were a 13.5-point favorite.
The Blazers are 7-6 against the spread this season. They’ve been underdogs three times this season, losing all three games. UAB has failed to cover in each loss and has been double-digit underdogs twice, failing to cover each time.
Bill Clark is in his fourth season and has the Blazers playing in a bowl for the third consecutive year. He has a 1-1 record at UAB in bowl games. This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools on the football field.
The Pick: Appalachian State -16.5 (-110)
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