Game Time: 3:30 PM, Saturday September 29th 2018
Location: Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone NC
Spread: App State -25.5
Coverage: ESPN+, Appalachian IMG Sports Network
Previous Meeting: App State beat South Alabama 34-27 in 2015
All time record: Series tied 1-1
After sending the Runnin’ Bulldogs of Gardner Webb to the pound last week, Appalachian State will return to FBS action this week and also open Sun Belt play when they welcome the Jaguars of South Alabama to “The Rock”. South Alabama comes in after being dealt a loss in a high scoring affair last week against Memphis.
The spotlight in this matchup will be on the two quarterbacks as Evan Orth and Zac Thomas both have posted very efficient stat lines through the first quarter of the season. To date Orth has went 66/96 passing for 789 yards and 6 touchdowns with only 1 interception. Zac Thomas to date has went 50/67 passing for 750 yards and 6 touchdowns and just 1 interception.
South Alabama has seen some struggles at times in the run game this season and can tend to be more of a pass heavy team but with a true go-to receiver like Jamarius Way, it’s an offense that can bust a big play at any given point. Clifton Duck will likely draw the challenge of covering Way for most of the game and that will be a matchup to keep an eye on during the game.
A key stat to keep in mind is that South Alabama has given up a lot of points in 2018 as their opposition averages 42 points per game. In a game where weather is expected to be clear and with a strong homecoming crowd behind them, the Appalachian State offense could find great success, especially through the air where the Jags have given up nearly 300 yards a game.
This is a game where I feel it goes one of two ways; either App State runs away with a big victory or South Alabama keeps it relatively close. With that said I personally feel the 25.5 point spread is rather large and I don’t think App State covers that margin of victory. Zac Thomas and Evan Orth will duel this game out like many expect but App State will make the extra necessary play or two and get to 1-0 in Sun Belt play.
App State 37-21