New Orleans Bowl

Middle Tennessee State (8-5) vs Appalachian State (10-2)

Date/Time: Saturday, December 15th at 8 pm CT

Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA

Bowl history

Originated: 2001

Conference tie-ins: Sun Belt, Conference USA

Last year’s result: Troy defeated North Texas 50-30

Middle Tennessee State bowl history

MTSU is 4-7 all-time in bowl games.

Since moving to the FBS level, they are 2-5 after a 35-30 victory over Arkansas State last year.

This is MTSU’s first trip to the New Orleans Bowl since 2009 which resulted in a 42-32 win over Southern Miss.

Appalachian State bowl history

App State is 3-0 in NCAA sanctioned bowl games including a 34-0 drubbing of Ohio in last season’s Dollar General Bowl.

This is the first appearance in the New Orleans Bowl for App State.

The Mountaineers have now appeared in four straight bowl games.

Series history

MTSU leads the all-time series 2-1, although this marks the first meeting as FBS programs.

In 1989 and 1992, MTSU got their 2 wins in the FCS playoffs.

The first meeting between the two was the second game of the 1974 regular season.

Key player to watch for each team

Middle Tennessee State: Quarterback – Brent Stockstill

Appalachian State: Running Back – Darrynton Evans

Game Notes

Middle Tennessee State

MTSU has not been a thoroughly impressive team this year despite winning eight games. Despite having an underrated quarterback in Brent Stockstill, the MTSU offense is only 72nd in the country in yards per game. Additionally, the offensive line has struggled giving up 36 sacks in 13 games played. Also, they have allowed 89 tackles for loss, which is among the nations worst. That is not a good recipe against a defense like App State. Defensively, MTSU has actually been better than in recent years, which helped get the Blue Raiders to the Conference USA title game. One key to the success on defense has been getting to the quarterback. On another note, MTSU ranks 15th in sacks.

Appalachian State

App State head coach Scott Satterfield just left to take the Louisville job, which means they will have an interim coach. Certainly, the Mountaineers have reached 10 wins due primarily to their sixth-ranked defense. App State does a great job of protecting the quarterback with their offensive line. However, even with a strong defense, they do not get to the quarterback very often ranking just 88th in sacks. That is a weakness of MTSU that they may not be able to exploit. Another interesting note regarding App State is that they rank 42nd in total offense per game while they sit at 20th in scoring. Running back Darrynton Evans has done a tremendous job of filling in for the injured Jalin Moore.

Final analysis

Obviously, you never know how a team who just lost their coach will play. Both defenses are opportunistic and there is not an obvious strength versus weakness in this particular matchup. What that says is that this should be a good New Orleans Bowl.

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– David Creekmur covers College Football/Basketball, WNBA and College Women’s Sports for Full Press Coverage. Like and follow on Twitter

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