Appalachian State vs. Louisiana-Monroe prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Mountaineers and Warhawks.
Appalachian State vs. Louisiana-Monroe Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 19 – 2:30 p.m. ET
Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone, NC
Who are these teams? Appalachian State and Louisiana-Monroe sort of flipped the script in Week 11, the latter winning back-to-back games for the first time since the beginning of 2014 and the former losing for just the third time all year. The Mountaineer loss was a crushing one, to Troy in the waning moments to decide who’d capture the Sun Belt Conference pole position. App State will need to clear its head in a hurry, because the Warhawks are suddenly dangerous. Behind a backfield of underclassmen, Caleb Evans and Thomas Koufie, who were buried on the depth chart all year, 4-6 ULM has defeated South Alabama and Georgia State to remain mathematically alive for bowl-eligibility.
What To Know About Appalachian State
The Mountaineers have as much talent as anyone in the league, and the balance of offense and defense to frustrate opponents. Since the passing game features a lot of dink-and-dunk, most of the big plays come from backs Jalin Moore and Marcus Cox. Appalachian State is second in the league in rushing, but third-down conversions have vexed this team. The D is very sound at every level, heading the Sun Belt in total defense. Led by rookie sensation cornerback Clifton Duck, the Mountaineers also flash a big-play penchant, ranking No. 2 nationally with 17 picks.
What to Know About Louisiana-Monroe
Matt Viator might be turning the corner in his first year with the Warhawks. And even if a bowl game isn’t the eventual prize, this finish is something the team can build upon in 2017. These last two wins have been directly attributable to Koufie and Evans, who’ve provided a tangible spark to the attack. Evans threw three touchdown passes two weeks ago, while Koufie rushed for five scores and 201 yards this past weekend in Georgia Dome. Production is particularly important for a team surrendering almost 40 points per game and experiencing breakdowns at all levels.
Offense: Appalachian State. Sure, ULM has made strides here, but the Mountaineers are superior on the ground and at the point of attack.
Defense: Appalachian State. A lopsided advantage for the team that collapse the pocket from myriad angles with Tee Sims, Dezmin Reed and Caleb Fuller.
Special Teams: Appalachian State. While the kicking game is just fair, the Mountaineers get a spark in the return game from Darrynton Evans and Jaquil Capel.
Coaching: Appalachian State. Underrated head coaching matchup, with Scott Satterfield grading slightly higher than Viator.
Intangibles: Louisiana-Monroe. The Warhawks are confident and hungry to reach six wins. The Mountaineers could be dragging their feet a little after last week’s demoralizing defeat.
Matchup To Watch
Koufie vs. Appalachian State linebackers Eric Boggs and Kennan Gilchrist
Although it’s only been a couple of games, the Warhawks are starting to believe they have a feature back to build an offense around for the next two years. Koufie will face his stiffest test to date, a stout front seven led by Boggs and Gilchrist that’s yielding just 113 rushing yards per game.
Appalachian State vs. Louisiana-Monroe Betting Odds
Spread: Appalachian State -27.5
Over/Under: No line as of post
Appalachian State vs. Louisiana-Monroe Prediction
The Mountaineers will need to be careful this week. They’re coming off a crushing defeat and the Warhawks are playing fast and loose. Fortunately for the host, this will be a very tough assignment for Evans, who’s still in his first year. Appalachian State will stack the box to stop Koufie, forcing Evans to make plays to keep the chains moving. On offense, the Mountaineers will unleash Moore and Cox on a defense that remains a liability despite the team’s mini-uptick in November.
Appalachian State vs. Louisiana-Monroe Score Prediction: Appalachian State 37, Louisiana-Monroe 13