Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#405 UL Monroe 65 vs.
#406 Appalachian State -15.5
Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 3:30pm EDT
Kidd Brewer Stadium, Boone
Written by Chris Kubala

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#405 University of Louisiana at Monroe
#406 Appalachian State University
3-3
5-0
2-4
4-1
3-3
3-2
30
40
34
24

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The division leaders from the Sun Belt take the field for bragging rights up in the Tar Heel State. The UL Monroe Warhawks are on the road as they travel to face the #24 Appalachian State Mountaineers Saturday afternoon. UL Monroe picked up a 24-14 win on the road over Texas State in their previous contest last Thursday. Appalachian State earned a 17-7 win over Louisiana in a rematch of last season’s Sun Belt title game last Saturday in their last contest. The Mountaineers have won three of the four previous meetings, including a 52-45 road victory in the most recent matchup on November 4, 2017.

UL Monroe Warhawks Look for Road Victory

UL Monroe picked up a tough win over Texas State on the road to remain unbeaten in conference play. The Warhawks now try to take down the only other remaining unbeaten team in Sun Belt action in this contest. UL Monroe never trailed to Texas State: they led 14-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter and didn’t let the Bobcats closer than three the rest of the way. The Warhawks held a 429-338 edge in total offense, picked up 24 first downs while allowing 15 and owned a 33:06 to 26:54 advantage in time of possession. Both teams turned the ball over twice in the contest.

The Warhawks are 64th in the nation in passing offense as they average 245.3 yards per game through the air and 28th in the nation in rushing by picking up 217.5 yards per contest. UL Monroe is 58th in the nation in scoring offense as they average 30.3 points per contest while they stand a dismal 116th in scoring defense by allowing 34.8 points per game this year. Caleb Evans is 119 of 195 passing for 1,397 yards with 10 touchdowns and four interceptions while ranking second on the season with 341 yards and five scores on the ground. Colby Suits is four of 11 for 42 yards and an interception while Josh Pederson hit his lone pass for 33 yards. Josh Johnson leads the team in rushing with 106 carries for 712 yards plus six touchdowns: Isaiah Phillips (28 carries, 102 yards) and Austin Vaughn (22 carries, 84 yards, two TD) are next in line. Markis McCray (24 receptions, 298 yards, TD) and Josh Pederson (24 catches, 288 yards, five TD) are the top two targets in the passing game. Xavier Brown (15 catches, 187 yards, two TD) and Jonathan Hodoh (14 receptions, 170 yards, two TD) are secondary options. Jared Porter is 11 of 12 on extra points and four of six on field goals with a long of 35 this season. Jacob Meeks is nine of 10 on extra points and two of three on field goals with a long of 40.

Appalachian State Mountaineers Trying to Remain Unbeaten

Appalachian State had a defensive struggle against Louisiana but responded with a victory to remain unbeaten on the year. The Mountaineers, who moved into the rankings with the win, now look to remain unbeaten on the year here. Appalachian State didn’t trail in the game and took the lead for good midway through the third quarter. Leading 10-7, the Mountaineers dominated the clock, going on a 19 play, 97-yard drive that chewed up 10:11 off the clock for the clinching score with 1:55 to play. Appalachian State held a 343-254 edge in total offense, picked up 21 first downs while allowing 16 and had a 34:38 to 25:22 advantage in time of possession. Neither team turned the ball over in the contest.

The Mountaineers enter this game 102nd in the nation in passing offense as they average 193.2 yards per game through the air and 25th in the nation by running for 218.8 yards per game. Appalachian State is 10th in the FBS in scoring offense with 41 points per game and 56th in scoring defense as they allow 24.6 points per contest. Zac Thomas is 80 of 113 passing for 949 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions: he adds 166 rushing yards and three scores on the ground. Jacob Huesman is one of two for 17 yards. Darrynton Evans leads the team with 89 carries for 540 yards with nine touchdowns while Daetrick Harrington (33 carries, 178 yards, TD) and Marcus Williams Jr. (29 carries, 128 yards, two TD) are solid options on the ground. Thomas Hennigan leads the team with 25 receptions for 305 yards and two scores. Malik Williams (23 catches, 277 yards, TD) and Corey Xavier Sutton (14 grabs, 192 yards, TD) are good secondary targets. Chandler Staton has hit all 28 extra-point attempts and three of four field goal tries with a long of 43 this season.

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This one is going to be a big matchup between the last two teams without a loss in Sun Belt play. UL Monroe has some awful defensive numbers though they are inflated by a 72-20 road loss to Iowa State last month. The big problem for the Warhawks in this one is the fact that they get gashed on the ground. UL Monroe gives up 5.7 yards per carry and 228.8 yards per game on the ground. The Warhawks gave up more than 200 yards on the ground in each of their first five games before putting together a better showing against Texas State. Still, Appalachian State is one of the top teams in the country on the ground: that, coupled with being at home, gives the upper hand to the Mountaineers.

Prediction: Appalachian State Mountaineers -15

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UL Monroe has rebounded nicely after being thrashed by Iowa State in Ames last month. The Warhawks are 2-0 in conference play but this is clearly their steepest challenge in the Sun Belt. Even after coach Scott Satterfield took the Louisville job, the team hasn't missed a beat under Eli Drinkwitz. The Mountaineers had hung at least 34 points in each of their first four games before last week's defensive struggle with Louisiana. On the plus side, the defense gave up only seven points for the second time this season: they had allowed 109 points in their three previous games. Can the Mountaineers' defense step up again in this contest?

The under is 4-0 in the Warhawks' last four games on fieldturf, 5-0 in their last five conference games, 5-1 in their last 6 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game and 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Appalachian State has seen the under go 5-2 in their last 7 conference games. While the Mountaineers can score a truckload of points, this one likely is more of a struggle on both sides. Look for this one to end up under the total.

Prediction: Under 65
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.