Appalachian State vs. New Mexico State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins the game between the Mountaineers and Aggies.
Appalachian State vs. New Mexico State Game Preview
When: Saturday, November 26 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, NM
Although Appalachian State can still win a share of the Sun Belt Conference title, this week in Las Cruces is about taking care of business and keeping alive the possibility of a second straight 10-win season. The Mountaineers rebounded from their most difficult loss of 2016, to then-league-leader Troy in the final minute, by hammering Louisiana-Monroe last Saturday, 42-17. New Mexico State is coming off a victory as well, racing past Texas State, 50-10. It was the third win of the fall for the Aggies, who’ve been hamstrung all year by the inability to break through on the road.
What To Know About Appalachian State
All three of the Mountaineers’ losses have been to teams that have been ranked at one time this year, Tennessee, Miami and Troy. Appalachian State can beat teams with offense or defense, which makes it such a tricky opponent to navigate. The ground game is cranking out 234 yards a game, fueled by Jalin Moore and Marcus Cox. And the defense also tops the Sun Belt at 18 points and 334 yards per game. Despite the three losses, there’s not a single glaring flaw dogging this team as the regular season comes to an end.
What to Know About New Mexico State
The Aggies are coming off their best game of the season, jumping all over Texas State in the rout. Fourth-year coach Doug Martin, in particular, hopes to finish strong so that he can make a case to return for a fifth year. The defense is a liability, giving up almost 40 points per game. The offense, though, played to its potential against the Bobcats. Star running back Larry Rose III rushed for 123 yards and nimble quarterback Tyler Rogers accounted for 274 yards and four scores, three through the air. New Mexico State will need similar production from the backfield to stay with the Mountaineers Saturday.
Offense: Appalachian State. The ground game is deep and outstanding, while quarterback Taylor Lamb does a solid job of managing the game and taking advantage of man coverages.
Defense: Appalachian State. The Mountaineers give up very little ground, beginning with linemen Tee Sims and Dezmin Reed and linebackers Kennan Gilchrist and Eric Boggs in the front seven.
Special Teams: Appalachian State. Las Cruces is home to one of the worst FBS special teams units, allowing five return touchdowns so far in 2016.
Coaching: Appalachian State. Scott Satterfield has won 19 games over the last two seasons, successfully guiding the Mountaineers from the FCS into one of the top Group of Five programs.
Intangibles: New Mexico State. The Aggies have been a very different team in Las Cruces, winning three of four on home soil, and only losing by three to Georgia Southern.
Matchup To Watch
Rose vs. Boggs and Gilchrist
Rose is New Mexico State’s best player, and he’ll need to play like it for the Aggies to compete for 60 minutes. He’s gone over 100 yards in consecutive games, but could hit a wall in Boggs, Gilchrist and the rest of an Appalachian State D allowing just 124 yards a game on the ground.
Appalachian State vs. New Mexico State Betting Odds
Spread: Appalachian State -17
Over/Under: No line as of post
Appalachian State vs. New Mexico State Prediction
The Mountaineers got back on track last week, which will continue Saturday in Las Cruces. The Aggies lack the defensive stoppers to slow down the tandem of Moore and Cox out of the backfield. And when linebackers Rodney Butler and Terrill Hanks press up to stack the box, Lamb will hurt New Mexico State with his arm. Plus, after busting out a week ago, Rose, Rogers and the Aggie offense are about to run headlong into an immovable object decked in black and gold.
Appalachian State vs. New Mexico State Score Prediction: Appalachian State 40, New Mexico State 19