Toledo (9-3) vs Appalachian State (9-3)
The Camelia Bowl offers another solid early Bowl season matchup between offensive powerhouse Toledo and one of the better defensive teams in Appalachian State. Both teams have significant veteran leadership in key positions and both performed well against other bowl teams with 3-3 records, each suffering a loss to a larger national program.
When Toledo Has The Ball: Logan Woodside is the best quarterback in college that no one has heard of. Woodside quietly was among the most efficient quarterbacks in the league and threw only 9 interceptions in 392 attempts next to 43 touchdowns. On the ground Kareem Hunt ran for almost 1400 yards with Cody Thompson leading the team in receiving with 1170 yards and 10 touchdowns. Pay careful attention to tight end Michael Roberts in the red zone. His 15 touchdowns is good for 6th nationally and is almost double the total of the next highest scoring tight end. Antonius Reed and Kennan Gilchrist are both names to watch on the Mountaineers defensive unit, each had 11 tackles for loss this season. Clifton Duck had 5 interceptions as well.
When Appalachian State Has The Ball: Running back Jalin Moore is the engine that runs the Mountaineers offense. Taylor Lamb is effective in short yardage as a rusher but the team doesn’t have a fully developed passing game. Getting Moore going will be key for Appy State. John Stepec (14 TFL) and Ja’Wuan Woodley (11 TFL) will be busy for Toledo making sure Moore is contained, if not stopped outright.
Analysis: Toledo is -4 in turnover margin this season and Appy State is +8. Other than that the stats heavily favor the Rockets, especially on third down where they convert over 50% of their opportunities while holding their opponents to about 33%. Smaller schools cannot often defend the onslaught that comes from disciplined passing attacks with multiple playmakers as they simply don’t have the available athletes on defense. Toledo has one of 4 solid receiving options, a great running back, and one of the best quarterbacks in college football. Appy state won’t be able to stop the Rockets attack if it is on. Defensively Toledo’s strength lines up with Appy State’s strength so the Mountaineers will likely not be able to move the ball as easily as they will need to.
Toledo 45 App State 27