The Appalachian State Mountaineers and the Toledo Rockets get the ultimate privilege of playing in a game named after a dollar store, the Dollar General Bowl. Players get gift packages for playing bowl games, and I wonder if they get the dollar store special for this one. Nevertheless, this is a nice looking matchup between two of the better teams from the smaller conferences. It’s a classic matchup of the Sun Belt vs. MAC who always get compared to one another.
The Sun Belt is the MAC of the south, and the MAC is the Sun Belt of the north. The competition level is pretty even keel, with the schools about the same size. Appalachian State are known for their victory over the University of Michigan in 2007. That was a good Michigan team, led by Chad Henne and Mario Manningham. They were a contender for the National Championship before Appalachian State pulled off the upset of the century.
Ever since that game, everyone knows who Appalachian State are. Things have changed a bit since then, including a jump to the FBS for the Mountaineers. At the time, they were just an unheard of FCS team. Mind you, if you followed FCS competition, Appalachian State was not some random team, they were one of the best in the FCS.
Nowadays, the Mountaineers are battling in the Sun Belt, a perfect fit for them. Appalachian State and Troy shared a piece of the Sun Belt Championship. I severely dislike these ties, which have slowly been getting removed from college football, but the Sun Belt still has this format. Troy already blasted their opponent in their bowl game, a 50-30 win over North Texas.
Appalachian State finished the regular season in dominant fashion, blowing UL-Lafayette out by a score of 63-14. The steady arm of Taylor Lamb led the Mountaineers with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. Overall, Lamb has passed for 27 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 539 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground.
The Mountaineers are a well-balanced team, who can generate yardage through the air or ground. Appalachian State must be prepared for Toledo quarterback, Logan Woodside. It’s been a rather dull bowl season thus far. The average point differential has been 34.2 points per game. In other words, whoever shows up to play is winning. Who wants the Dollar General Bowl? Head below for our thoughts and Appalachian State vs. Toledo pick.
Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. Toledo Rockets Betting Odds:
Appalachian State +6.5(-110)
vs. Toledo -6.5(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Appalachian State vs. Toledo Pick:
Logan Woodside will look to put on for NFL scouts in the Dollar General Bowl. It may be a pointless exhibition contest, but it’s an important game for Woodside. Scouts have been keeping a close eye on him, notably the Eagles, Bears, and Buccaneers have been watching him. For those who think a MAC quarterback can’t be successful in the NFL, just look at Ben Roethlisberger. Not to say Woodside is going to have a career anything remotely close to Roethlisberger’s, or even an NFL career at all. He’s put up some head turning numbers the last two years, though.
Woodside has passed for 73 touchdowns and 14 interceptions the last two seasons. Those are video game numbers that won’t go unnoticed with scouts. They would have liked if he was a couple of inches taller, though. He averaged 291.9 passing yards per game for 21st in the nation. It isn’t all Woodside producing. Toledo has been getting solid production out of running back Terry Swanson. Out goes Kareem Hunt, and in goes Swanson. He’s rushed for 1,319 yards and 14 touchdowns. When you have a quarterback as good as Woodside, it opens up some running lanes.
Statistically, the Appalachian State defense looks good, but take a look at the offenses they played. UL-Lafayette, Georgia Southern, and Georgia State were their last three opponents. Those three rank amongst the bottom in the FBS. UL-Monroe put up 52 on them and New Mexico State 31. I can see them having trouble trying to contain the Rockets’ offense. They haven’t seen anything like Toledo in months. I think it’s going to come down to Taylor Lamb attempting to keep up with Woodside. Appalachian State were 33rd in yards per game, and 32nd in points. They know how to move the football. Their defensive numbers are a bit deceiving to me, however. Look for a 37-30 type of game, which would give us a winner on the OVER and a watchable game.
PICK: OVER 61 (-110)