By Nathan Ham
This week’s road matchup against Troy has a little extra on the line for Appalachian State. With a victory, the Mountaineers would clinch a spot in the Sun Belt Championship Game where they would face Louisiana on December 4.
Appalachian (8-2, 5-1 SBC) comes into this week off of a 31-7 victory over South Alabama at home last week. Chase Brice completed 14-of-26 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also added a rushing touchdown and 17 yards on the ground. Thomas Hennigan led the team in catches with five of them for 37 yards and a touchdown. Corey Sutton had three receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown. Jalen Virgil had the most receiving yards with 57 on two catches. Malik Williams added one catch for 50 yards.
On the ground, Camerun Peoples led the Mountaineers with 90 yards on 23 carries. Nate Noel was held in check with just seven carries for 22 yards.
Troy (5-5, 3-3 SBC) comes into this contest following a 35-21 loss to Louisiana. This will be Troy’s final home game of the season and they are one win away from bowl eligibility. They will need to either beat App State this week or go on the road and beat Georgia State next week to secure a bowl bid.
The Trojans have used two quarterbacks throughout the season with Missouri transfer Taylor Powell starting the first five games of the season and then last year’s starter Gunnar Watson starting the previous five contests for Troy. They both have similar accuracy and yardage stats, but Watson has thrown just one interception this year while Powell has thrown six. Powell leads the team with 1,251 yards passing and a completion percentage of 66.1% with seven touchdowns and those six interceptions. Watson has thrown for 1,217 yards while completing 63.9% of his passes for seven touchdowns and one interception.
Kimani Vidal leads Troy’s ground game with 641 yards and five touchdowns on 132 carries. B.J. Smith has added 78 carries for 333 yards and three touchdowns and Jamontez Wood has 45 carries for 229 yards and a team-leading six rushing touchdowns.
Troy builds its offense around passing the football and they share the ball around quite a bit. The Trojans have four players with at least 20 catches on the season and seven players have caught at least one touchdown pass. The team is led by Tez Johnson, whose 59 catches for 635 yards and four touchdowns is a team-high in all three categories. Luke Whittemore has 22 catches for 357 yards and a touchdown, Jabre Barber has 30 catches for 309 yards and three touchdowns and Reggie Todd has 23 catches for 291 yards and a score.
Kickoff is slated for 3:30 p.m. from Veterans Memorial Stadium in Troy, Alabama. The game will be aired live on ESPN+ with Will Kollmeyer handling play-by-play duties and Ben Stanfield handling the analyst role. The game can also be heard on the Appalachian Sports Network with Adam Witten (play-by-play), Noah Hannon (analyst) and David Ware (sideline).
Week 12 College Football Schedule
Tuesday, November 16
Toledo 35, Ohio 23
Eastern Michigan 22, Western Michigan 21
Miami (OH) 34, Bowling Green 7
Wednesday, November 17
Northern Illinois 33, Buffalo 27 (OT)
Central Michigan 37, Ball State 17
Thursday, November 18
Louisville 62, Duke 22
Friday, November 19
Southern Miss at Louisiana Tech, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Memphis at #24 Houston, 9 p.m. (ESPN 2)
Arizona at Washington State, 9 p.m. (Pac 12 Network)
Air Force at Nevada, 9 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
#19 San Diego State at UNLV, 11:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Saturday, November 20
Charleston Southern at #1 Georgia, noon (ESPN+)
#7 Michigan State at #4 Ohio State, noon (ABC)
#10 Wake Forest at Clemson, noon (ESPN)
Iowa State at #13 Oklahoma, noon (FOX)
Prairie View A&M at #16 Texas A&M, noon (ESPN+)
Tennessee State at #25 Mississippi State, noon (ESPN+)
New Mexico State at Kentucky, noon (SEC Network)
Florida Atlantic at Western Kentucky, noon
Florida State at Boston College, noon (ACC Network)
Wofford at UNC, noon (ESPN 3)
Purdue at Northwestern, noon (Big Ten Network)
Rutgers at Penn State, noon (Big Ten Network)
UMASS at Army, noon (CBS Sports Network)
Texas at West Virginia, noon (ESPN 2)
South Florida at Tulane, noon (ESPN+)
Kent State at Akron, noon (ESPN+)
Texas State at Coastal Carolina, 1 p.m. (ESPN+)
Illinois at #17 Iowa, 2 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
Arkansas State at Georgia State, 2 p.m. (ESPN 3)
Georgia Tech at #8 Notre Dame, 2:30 p.m. (NBC)
Washington at Colorado, 3 p.m. (Pac 12 Network)
#21 Arkansas at #2 Alabama, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
SMU at #5 Cincinnati, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
#6 Michigan at Maryland, 3:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
Nebraska at #15 Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Virginia at #18 Pittsburgh, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN 2)
UAB at #22 UTSA, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Marshall at Charlotte, 3:30 p.m.
Old Dominion at Middle Tennessee State, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Minnesota at Indiana, 3:30 p.m. (Big Ten Network)
ECU at Navy, 3:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Appalachian State at Troy, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
#14 BYU at Georgia Southern, 4 p.m. (ESPN+)
Syracuse at #20 NC State, 4 p.m. (ACC Network)
Florida at Missouri, 4 p.m. (SEC Network)
Rice at UTEP, 4 p.m. (ESPN+)
UCONN at UCF, 4 p.m. (ESPN+)
Louisiana at Liberty, 4 p.m. (ESPN 2)
Kansas at TCU, 4 p.m. (Big 12 Network)
Temple at Tulsa, 4 p.m. (ESPN+)
UCLA at USC, 4 p.m. (FOX)
#11 Baylor at Kansas State, 5:30 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
Auburn at South Carolina, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
North Texas at Florida International, 7 p.m. (ESPN 3)
California at Stanford, 7 p.m. (Pac 12 Network)
#3 Oregon at #23 Utah, 7:30 p.m. (ABC)
Vanderbilt at #12 Ole Miss, 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
South Alabama at Tennessee, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN U)
Virginia Tech at Miami, 7:30 p.m. (ACC Network)
#9 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech, 8 p.m. (FOX)
Wyoming at Utah State, 8 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
UL-Monroe at LSU, 9 p.m. (ESPN 2)
New Mexico at Boise State, 9 p.m. (FOX Sports 1)
Arizona State at Oregon State, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Colorado State at Hawaii, 11 p.m.