South Alabama Jaguars at Appalachian State Mountaineers – Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, College Football, Football

The South Alabama Jaguars (+25) will clash with their SBC nemesis Appalachian State Mountaineers at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Fans can tune in to the action on ESPN+ and this afternoon game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Betting Preview: Appalachian State Mountaineers vs. South Alabama Jaguars

South Alabama is a heavy live dog here and is currently receiving 25 points by oddsmakers. The over/under for this game has not yet been released. There will likely be some good live betting opportunities in the showdown.

The line for this matchup first opened at -23.

The Jaguars have gained 0.0 units so far in 2018 and are 2-1-1 against the spread (ATS). The team’s posted an Over-Under record of 4-0.

The Mountaineers are up 1.0 unit for moneyline bettors this season. They’re 3-0 ATS and have an O/U record of 3-0.

The Jaguars are 1-3 straight up (SU), including 1-0 SU against conference opponents. The Mountaineers are 2-1 SU overall and 0-0 SU in conference play.

The Jags hope to get back on track after a 52-35 loss to Memphis last weekTheir defense allowed the Tigers to eat up the clock by rushing for 271 yards on 46 attempts, including five rush TDs. Darrell Henderson was unmatched for the Tigers in that one with 188 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 22 attempts, along with 34 yards on two catches. On the offensive side, Evan Orth completed 24-of-32 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns. Tra Minter (35 yards on 14 rush attempts, one TD) led the running attack in the loss. Jamarius Way (10 receptions, 185 yards, one TD) and Kawaan Baker (four catches, 49 yards, one TD) handled the receiving duties.

The Appalachian State Mountaineers enter this one after just earning a big 72-7 win over Gardner-Webb. The team’s defense did its part in the victory, limiting the Runnin’ Bulldogs to only 126 passing yards and 34 rushing yards. Jonathan Blackmon had a good outing in the loss for Gardner-Webb, posting 57 yards on nine catches. As a group, the Mountaineers collectively completed 20-of-27 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Zac Thomas went 11-for-15 for 185 yards and one touchdown while Peyton Derrick was seven-of-seven for 68 yards and one touchdown. D’Andre Hicks (150 rushing yards on 11 attempts, one TD) and Camerun Peoples (53 yards on nine carries) handled the ground game in the win as Dominique Heath (four receptions, 111 yards, two TDs) and Corey Sutton (four catches, 39 yards) led the pass-catching attack.

South Alabama has run the ball on 54.0 percent of its offensive possessions this year while Appalachian State has a rush percentage of 59.7 percent. The Jaguars have produced 129.5 rush yards per game and have eight touchdowns via handoffs this year. The Mountaineers are putting up 243.3 rushing yards per game and have nine total rush TDs.

It appears that the Mountaineers could hold an advantage in all aspects of the ground game. Their backfield has logged 6.1 yards per carry while their defense is allowing 2.9 YPC to opponents. The Jaguars have rushed for 3.6 yards per carry while allowing a YPC of 4.3 to opponents.

The Jags offense has tallied 213.3 yards per game through the air overall and has seven passing scores so far. The Mountaineers have produced 282.3 pass yards per outing and also have seven total pass TDs.

On the defensive side of the ball, South Alabama has allowed 206.0 rush yards and 292.0 pass yards per game. The Appalachian State defense has given up 154.3 yards per game to opposing passers and 111.3 yards per game to opposing runners. The Mountaineers are allowing an adjusted net yards per pass attempt (ANY/A) of only 3.23 to opposing QBs, while the Jaguars have given up a 6.44 ANY/A.

Offensively, Orth is up to 523 passing yards on the year. He’s connected on 42-of-63 attempts with four scores through the air and one interception. Orth has a sparkling 8.01 adjusted net yards per pass attempt overall, although that number is 10.69 over the last two games.

Jamarius Way, Kawaan Baker and Tra Minter have collectively accounted for 550 total yards and seven touchdowns over the last two outings.

In the other locker room, Zac Thomas has completed 36-of-53 passes for 455 yards, three TDs and one INT. Thomas’ ANY/A sits at 7.68 for the year and 16.75 over his last two games.

We’re looking for the Mountaineers to control tempo by pounding the defense with their running backs. In addition to Corey Sutton (126 receiving yards this season), Jalin Moore (207 rush yards, three rush TDs) and D’Andre Hicks (150 rush yards, one rush TD) have been significant focal points in the Mountaineers’ recent offensive strategies.

These two SBC foes did not get a chance to face one another last year.

South Alabama Jaguars at Appalachian State Mountaineers NCAA Prediction

SU Winner: Appalachian State, ATS Winner: South Alabama

Team Betting Trends

  • The South Alabama defensive unit has 11 sacks on the year while Appalachian State has six.
  • The Appalachian State offense has lost two fumbles in 2018 while the South Alabama offense has lost seven.
  • The Jaguars offense has registered three pass plays of 40 yards or more, while the Mountaineers have accounted for two such plays.
  • The South Alabama defense has allowed four pass plays of 40+ yards, while Appalachian State has given up one such play.
  • The South Alabama offense has created three rushing plays of 20 or more yards, while Appalachian State has created five such run.
  • The Jaguars defense has allowed seven rushing plays of 20 yards or more, while the Mountaineers have given up one such run.
  • Appalachian State was favored by 43 points in its previous match and the O/U going into it was 56. The over cashed and Appalachian State covered in that 72-7 win over Gardner-Webb.
  • Over its last three matchups, Appalachian State is 3-0 ATS and the over cashed in each of those three.
  • Over its last three contests, South Alabama is 1-1-1 ATS and the over cashed in each of those three.
  • South Alabama was favored by 32 points in its last game and the O/U was 66. The over cashed and South Alabama failed to cover in the 52-35 defeat to Memphis.
  • South Alabama has averaged 3.5 yards per carry over its last two contests.
  • Appalachian State has averaged 6.9 yards per carry over its last two.