It's conference championship week and there is a heavyweight fight brewing in the Sun Belt Conference. Appalachian State, winners of the Sun Belt East division with a record of 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference hosts the University of Louisiana Lafayette, who won the West Division with a record of 10-2 overall and 7-1 in the conference. Appalachian State is favored by 6.5 points. Kickoff is Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, N.C.
One of UL-Lafayette's two losses this year came against Appalachian State. The Mountaineers beat the Ragin' Cajuns back in week 7 by the score of 17-7. It was in the Ragin' Cajuns own house, which left a bad taste in their mouths. Since then they have rattled off 6 straight wins including a 31-30 squeaker over Louisiana Monroe last week. This will be an even tougher battle for UL-Lafayette.
Appalachian State comes into this game with only one loss on its record. They were defeated by Georgia Southern in week 10 by the score of 24-21. UL-Lafayette beat Georgia Southern on the road. But Appalachian State has some really big wins on its schedule. It beat an SEC team, South Carolina, as well as an ACC team, North Carolina. These are two stellar teams -- this should be a good one.
UL-Lafayette survives against UL-MonroeThe UL-Lafayette Ragin Cajuns finished the regular season with a record of 10-2 overall and 7-1 in the Sun Belt Conference, which was good enough to win the West Division title. One of their two losses this year came against Appalachian State. The Mountaineers beat the Ragin' Cajuns back in week 7 by the score of 17-7. It was in the Ragin' Cajuns own house, which left a bad taste in their mouths. Since then they have rattled off 6 straight wins including a 31-30 squeaker over Louisiana Monroe last week.
Words cannot describe how sorry I am about the way this game ended. I’m sorry to the fans, coaches, my team, and especially the senior class. You all deserved better from me.— Jared Porter (@Jared_Porter98) December 1, 2019
UL-Lafayette's Stevie Artigue kicked a 27-yard field goal with 1:27 left in the fourth quarter to give the Ragin Cajuns the lead. It capped off a nearly 7-minute drive. But Monroe was not done. Monroe quarterback Caleb Evans led the Warhawks down the field, but Jared Porter missed a 35-yard field goal with 6 seconds left that would have been the game-winner. A loss there wouldn't have impacted there the West title, which they had clinched, but might have derailed their momentum. The Cajuns gained 522 total yards in the win, but were outgained as Monroe gained 570. Lafayette quarterback Levi Lewis had 270 yards passing and 3 touchdowns while Ja'Marcus Bradley had 127 receiving yards with a touchdown. Also, Raymond Calais had 107 yards rushing while Elijah Mitchell had 102 yards rushing.
Appalachian State rolls to Sun Belt East TitleThe Appalachian State Mountaineers completed a great regular season with an impressive 48-13 win at Troy. The win improved their record to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the Sun Belt Conference. They beat UL-Lafayette earlier this year in Louisiana 17-7 and now they have them again, but this time at home. Their only loss this year came against Georgia Southern in week 10 where they lost 24-21. Since then, they rattled off 4 wins including one at SEC team South Carolina. The other three were all-conference wins and none of them were close.
In the win at Troy, the Mountaineers were dominant. They outgained Troy 522 yards to 339 and held Troy to just 35 yards rushing. Appalachian State had almost 200 yards rushing, led by Darrynton Evans, who had 82 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Evans has 1,250 yards rushing on the season, which is 17th in the country. Quarterback Zac Thomas had a great game, going 28 for 34 for 326 yards and 4 touchdowns with one pick. Thomas Hennigan caught 11 passes for 140 yards.
Trends are from Covers.com:
- Mountaineers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Mountaineers are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Mountaineers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games after accumulating more than 450 total yards in their previous game.
- Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.
- Mountaineers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games in December.
- Mountaineers are 21-8 ATS in their last 29 games overall.