AP NEWS

No. 23 Appalachian State hosts Texas State

November 21, 2019 GMT
1 of 4
South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski is sacked by Appalachian State linebacker Jordan Fehr (59) in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Dwayne McLemore/The State via AP)
1 of 4
South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski is sacked by Appalachian State linebacker Jordan Fehr (59) in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Columbia, S.C., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Dwayne McLemore/The State via AP)

Texas State (3-7, 2-4 Sun Belt) at No. 23 Appalachian State (9-1, 5-1, No. 24 CFP), Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EST (ESPN+).

Line: Appalachian State by 29 1/2.

Series record: Appalachian State leads 4-0

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Mountaineers can secure the division title and earn a berth in the Sun Belt Conference championship game with a win and a Georgia Southern (4-2 in conference) loss. Appalachian State’s only loss is to Georgia Southern.

KEY MATCHUP

Appalachian State QB Zac Thomas vs. Texas State’s defense: The junior QB has 3,999 career yards passing and is coming off a four-touchdown performance against Georgia State. App State had won 17 straight games with Thomas as the team’s primary quarterback before the Oct. 31 loss to Georgia Southern and is 19-3 overall as a starter. The Bobcats have struggled defensively, allowing 33 ½ points per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Texas State: WR Hutch White has a team-high 58 receptions for 544 yards and two touchdowns.

Appalachian State: RB Darrynton Evans ranks 11th nationally in all-purpose yards per game (140.6), fifth in runs of 50-plus yards (three), ninth in kick return average (28.9), 23rd in yards rushing per game (101.4) and 34th in points per game (8.4). He’s one of 19 players nationally with at least 14 overall TDs.

FACTS & FIGURES

Appalachian State is one of six teams with nine-plus wins in each of the last five seasons, with the others being Alabama, Boise State, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma. ... The Mountaineers are also the first Sun Belt team to start a season 9-1 since the league was established as an FBS member in 2001. ... Junior Darrynton Evans has 3,984 career all-purpose yards. ... A winner of three straight Sun Belt titles, App State is 39-7 in league play since joining the Sun Belt in 2014. ... The Mountaineers are 39-5 in their last 44 league games (after an 0-2 start) and 40-5 in their last 45 games against Sun Belt teams.

___

More AP college football: http://apnews.com/tag/Collegefootball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25