Date: Saturday, December 2
Time: 4 PM ET
Radio: The Varsity Network
Location: Veterans Memorial Stadium - Troy, AL
Betting Line: Troy -6.5
The defending SBC champion Troy Trojans had a little bit of a shaky start to the season, losing two of their first three. Since then, however, they’ve roared back to form.
Running back Kimani Vidal has proven to be one of the nation’s top running backs, even being named as a semifinalist for the Doak Walker award. Vidal averages 112.4 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry this season. Quarterback Gunnar Watson has also shown immense improvement in 2023, throwing 26 touchdowns and just five interceptions.
Defensively, the Trojans are led by defensive end Javon Solomon. Solomon has 14 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 2023. Linebacker/End Richard Jibunor has also contributed 16 tackles for loss and nine sacks.
App State Preview
The Mountaineers have probably induced a few heart attacks in the Boone area this year. Six of their games were decided by one score. Fortunately for Shawn Clark and company, they found their footing down the stretch, winning their last five games to clinch the SBC East.
App State average 35.8 points per game - the second-most in the SBC. The backfield combo of Nate Noel and Joey Aguilar have been particularly potent, averaging 177 yards on the ground and 278.7 through the air. Also, a point of pride for Shawn Clark, App State’s o-line has allowed just 15 sacks all year.
Defensively, the Mountaineers lead the league in interceptions with 15. Tyrek Funderburk has intercepted four passes, taking two back for touchdowns.
Both these teams take a lot of pride in winning the line of scrimmage. If you like smash-mouth football, this is the game for you. App State are no stranger to close games and this will likely be another one. Vegas has Troy as a touchdown favorite, which is a perfectly reasonable expectation for the end result of this game.