Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
Preview
Middle Tennessee vs Appalachian State
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, December 15, 2018
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana



R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL STORYLINES

1. Appalachian State will start the post-Scott Satterfield era when it faces Middle Tennessee in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Dec. 15. Satterfield was announced as Louisville coach Dec. 4 and won't be with the Mountaineers in the bowl game, with defensive line coach Mark Ivey serving as the team's interim head coach. Satterfield had guided Appalachian State to three straight bowl game victories, but it remains to be seen how well the team will play with Satterfield's move and the transitions it brings.

2. Middle Tennessee dominated against Conference USA opponents, losing only once in eight league contests this season, but the Blue Raiders didn't win the conference championship thanks to a bad penalty at the end of the contest. Trailing UAB - which the Blue Raiders routed the previous week -- by two late in the championship game, Middle Tennessee was ready to get the ball back with just over a minute to play but was called for 12 men on the field when the Blazers were punting, giving UAB a first down and essentially ending the contest. The Blue Raiders, who suffered three of their five losses on the road against SEC opponents, will certainly have something to prove after such a disappointing end to their season.

3. Appalachian State's defense has been stellar this season, holding opponents to 15.7 points and 280.1 yards per contest, allowing more than 20 only in its two losses. Middle Tennessee will certainly be a test for the Mountaineers' defense, having averaged 29.2 points and 391.1 yards per game, with senior quarterback - and the coach's son - Brent Stockstill throwing for 3,214 yards and 28 touchdowns. How well Stockstill and the Blue Raiders' offense can put points on the board, especially early in the contest, will tell if this is a competitive contest or another Appalachian State blowout.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Appalachian State -7

ABOUT MIDDLE TENNESSEE (8-5, 7-1 Conference USA): Stockstill had a number of targets when dropping back to pass, led by junior wide receiver Ty Lee (67 catches, 828 yards, seven touchdowns) and senior wide receiver Patrick Smith (54, 526, six). Redshirt freshman running back Chaton Mobley led the ground attack for coach Rick Stockstill with 568 yards and four TDs, though junior Terelle West (288 yards) and senior Tavares Thomas (226) ran enough to keep the opposition guessing. Defensively, the Blue Raiders were up and down throughout the season and have given up 27 or more points in three of their last four outings, two of those losses.

ABOUT APPALACHIAN STATE (10-2, 7-1 Sun Belt): The Mountaineers have a balanced offensive attack with a running game powered by sophomore running back/wide receiver Darrynton Evans (1,079 yards, seven TDs) and a passing game orchestrated by sophomore quarterback Zac Thomas (1,862 yards, 18 TDs), who is also a threat to run the ball with 476 yards and 10 scores. The Appalachian State defense has been stout throughout the season, led by junior linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither's 95 tackles, including 8.5 for loss, and senior linebacker Anthony Flory's 91. Junior linebacker Jordan Fehr led the Mountaineers with 5.5 sacks among his 7.5 tackles for loss, while junior linebacker Noel Cook was also in opponents' backfields often, leading the team with 10 tackles for loss (3.5 sacks) among his 69 stops.



PREDICTION: Appalachian State 38, Middle Tennessee 24
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Middle Tennessee 8-5 L1 29.2 25.3 5-1 3-4 0-2 6-1 7-2
Appalachian State 10-2 W5 36.7 15.7 6-0 4-2 1-2 1-0 8-1
Last Meeting
Middle Tennessee Appalachian State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No previous meeting.
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Middle Tennessee N/A
Appalachian State N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Middle Tennessee N/A
Appalachian State N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Middle Tennessee N/A
Appalachian State N/A
Touchdowns Player TD
Middle Tennessee N/A
Appalachian State N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Middle Tennessee B. Stockstill 70.4 3203 28 8
Appalachian State Z. Thomas 62.6 1862 18 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Middle Tennessee C. Mobley 115 579 5.0 4
Appalachian State D. Evans 165 1079 6.5 7
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Middle Tennessee T. Lee 67 828 12.4 7
Appalachian State C. Sutton 36 695 19.3 8
Touchdowns Player TD
Middle Tennessee T. Thomas 9
Appalachian State Z. Thomas 10
Quickchart Matchup
Middle Tennessee Middle Tennessee Off vs  Appalachian State Appalachian State Def
Middle Tennessee 388.5 yards
Appalachian State 279.4 yards
Middle Tennessee 3.8 yards/rush
Appalachian State 3.6 yards/rush
Middle Tennessee 7.4 yards/attempt
Appalachian State 5.3 yards/attempt
Appalachian State Appalachian State Off vs  Middle Tennessee Middle Tennessee Def
Appalachian State 429.6 yards
Middle Tennessee 373 yards
Appalachian State 5.7 yards/rush
Middle Tennessee 4.1 yards/rush
Appalachian State 7.7 yards/attempt
Middle Tennessee 6.8 yards/attempt