• Paul Compton

Camellia Bowl: Appalachian St. vs Ohio

This game is an intriguing match up, and the outcome could vary dramatically. App St. was a statistically dominant team for most of the season, but they showed some vulnerability down the stretch against teams as weak as Troy and Southern Alabama, and were trounced by Arkansas State. App St. has a great running game which they favor offensively, but also a rather good passing game with QB Taylor Lamb that makes them very difficult to defend. Ohio's defense had an injury-riddled year that resulted in them having a bottom 10 rush defense. That puts them at a big disadvantage against App St.'s run attack, though Ohio did finish the regular season with a strong game of run defense versus a fading and also injured NIU offense. Ohio against the pass has been about average, though they were better in the first half of the season than the second. For App St. it wasn't the offense that let them down in their close games and losses -- it was their defense. They are vulnerable against the pass, though they didn't let any teams significantly exceed their usual ypp average this year. Ohio started the year with Vick as their starting QB, as he put up better stats than Sprague when not injured last year, from what I recall. Vick failed to put up very good passing or running numbers, though, and Ohio's offense played much better down the stretch when Sprague took over at QB. Sprague is a better downfield passer (with the subsequent lower completion %, though) and ran for a much higher ypc average than Vick. Sprague, though, was injured in Ohio's final game but is now listed as probable. I'm showing value on APP St. in this game, as I did in just about every game in the second half of the season (which pretty much resulted in a wash, I think), and I even bumped up Ohio's projections a decent amount for this game, as they should be healthier than they've been in quite some time for the game.