Start Time: Saturday, November 4th, 3:00 PM ET
Announcers: Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Watson Brown (analyst)
Location: Malone Stadium (30,427)
Series: Appalachian State leads 3-0
Odds: Appalachian State (-9.5) 61.5 total
Appalachian State Outlook
Appalachian State makes the trip from Boone to Monroe after a tough double overtime loss to UMass a week ago. It was another tale of an uninspiring performance by the Mountaineers, but only this time Appalachian was unable to pull out the win. However, if there was a game that the Apps could afford to drop it was a non-conference game.
Injuries have plagued Appalachian so far in 2017. Both Terrence Upshaw and Jalin Moore missed last week’s game and App has not had either of their top two receivers all season. Even with limited and young help at the wideout spots, Taylor Lamb has had a productive season as the senior to date is 139 of 234 passing for 1,757 yards with 15 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
Ike Lewis has been the go-to target for Lamb the past few weeks and that trend could remain the same heading into this matchup with a weary ULM defense. Marcus Williams, Jr. has done a serviceable job filling in as the go-to running back in the absence of Moore and Upshaw. He could find success in this matchup against ULM. App fans are expecting a bounce back performance out of the N’eers here and rightfully so with the big Thursday night primetime battle with rival Georgia Southern looming.
It’s been a rough three weeks for the Warhawks as they’ve gone from being undefeated in league play to a possible 3-9 season. However, the offense has been doing its part this season as ULM is averaging 35.1 points per game. Caleb Evans is giving this team some really solid quarterback play as the sophomore has thrown nine touchdowns and is averaging over eight yards per attempt.
Evans might be a better rusher than he is passer as he leads the Warhawks in rushing and is averaging six yards per carry if you take out sacks. The sophomore has scored nine touchdowns on the ground this season.
In the receiving department, the Warhawks are getting excellent play from Xavier Brown, Marcus Green, RJ Turner, and Brian Williams. Each player is averaging at least 13 yards per catch and this might be the Sun Belt’s best receiver group outside of Arkansas State.
Defense has been the issue for this team as once again the Warhawks are among the worst in the FBS. Opponents are averaging 37 points per game and and four foes have scored above that in games this year. Opponents are averaging 6.8 yards per play as the Warhawks can’t stop the pass or the run. With their inability to force turnovers, this defense is just not giving this team any chances at victories.
Special teams play remains solid as Marcus Green is one of the best kick returners in the country.
ULM is just in a major slide at the moment as they cannot stop anyone and they are putting a ton of pressure on their offense. Now they’ll be hosting Appalahcian State at the worst time possible. The Mountaineers are fresh off a loss and seem to be poised to play their best game of the season.
The Mountaineers will score points. Will Caleb Evans and ULM be able to keep up?
Aikman: Appalachian State 42, ULM 27
Adam: Appalachian State 38, ULM 30