The #21 Appalachian State Mountaineers (6-0) are the darlings of the Sun Belt football conference, and one of 10 remaining undefeated FBS schools. Appalachian State is fighting for a potential Group-of-Five berth in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day, but they might only achieve that spot if they can run the table and finish the regular season a perfect 12-0.
Appalachian State takes on Georgia State (5-2) this weekend in Sun Belt activeness. The Mountaineers give notice not look out over Georgia State with a Brobdingnagian plot towering following weekend against South Carolina. The Gamecocks look like the solitary straight competitor that could bilk Appalachian State is march toward the Cotton Bowl and an undefeated book.
The Sun Belt is a quaint league realise up of 10 football game squad in coastal Departments of State in the South. Appalachian State, located eminent up in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Boone, North Carolina, leads the East Division that also includes Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Troy, and Coastal Carolina. Of course of study, all of those should sounds like a heavy railroad tie or a likely # 12 seeded player overturn during March Madness. But that is college basketball game, where Cinderellas have an adequate nip at gaining a interior title. It is inconceivable to pull together any deference on the college grid unless you play for a Power Five shoal, which means only a fistful of squad have a logical deed of conveyance chance.
Appalachian State jumped out to a 3-0 record in Sun Belt conference play. Their next matchup will be against South Alabama (1-5), which is currently 0-3 in Sun Belt conference action.
The Sun Belt Curse
Appalachian State faded the Sun Belt’s Top-25 football curse. In the past, whenever a Sun Belt team gets recognition from Top-25 AP Poll voters, they invariably lose the next weekend.
Appalachian State entered the Top 25 last week at #24, and still came out on top in their next game with an easy 52-7 victory over ULM. Darrynton Evans rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown to lead the Mountaineers to a 6-0 record.
App State relies heavily on the run game. They average 232 yards per game, which ranks them #18 overall in the nation. Evans averages 6.4 yards per carry with 10 touchdowns. He also caught a TD reception for 11 total combined scores.
App State is QB, Zac Thomas, likes to prevail and he is scored four touchdowns, while average outing 4.7 grands per carry. Thomas give notice toss out the lump too. He is passed for 1,163 grands and 10 touchdowns.
Appalachian State is rattling to contact the elevation of the Group-of-Five squad in the area, which would down them a bunk in the Cotton Bowl. Boise State is lost to BYU final weekend, push upping App State to the meridian of the G5 squad. Appalachian State could represent meeting in a New Year is Bowl Game instead of one of the many unobjectionable sports stadiums in mid-December.
Appalachian State could finish the season undefeated at 12-0 by winning their next six football games, which would set them up perfectly for a date in the Cotton Bowl.
“I’m glad that we’re able to make history here at App State,” said graduate transfer WR Keishawn Watson.
Their biggest competition remaining on their schedule will be a non-conference game against South Carolina (3-4) in Columbia, SC next weekend. South Carolina already played the role of spoiler this year by upsetting Georgia, ranked #3 at the time.
App State already picked off North Carolina 34-31 courtesy a blocked field goal in Week 3, which first got them some attention.
“This wasn’t an underdog story,” said Appalachian State head coach Elijah Drinkwitz. “You’re not playing a logo. You’re playing a team. It wasn’t going to be an upset. We belonged on that football field today and we wanted to prove it.”
The Mountaineers could sweep the Carolina series with a victory over South Carolina. That would give them key victories over an ACC and SEC team.
Playing in the Sun Belt does not impress the college football playoff selection committee, but beating a team in the SEC is enough to garner attention. The big knock against UCF the last few years was they played a soft schedule outside of the American Conference, which is why the playoff committee snubbed them.