Appalachian State beat UAB 31-17 to win the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Five thoughts and analysis of the win, and what it all means.
New Orleans Bowl: 5 Things That Matter
Final Score: Appalachian State 31, UAB 17
CFN Prediction: Appalachian State 41, UAB 23
Line: Appalachian State -16.5, o/u: 48
5. It took a little while, but …
That’s not how Appalachian State wanted to start this thing out after a few weeks of coaching turmoil – more on that in a moment.
UAB came out sharp, Tyler Johnson threw two quick touchdown passes against a Mountaineer defense that didn’t come out of the locker room, and the defending New Orleans Bowl and Sun Belt champ dug itself a 14-0 hole.
ASU settled in, it took over the game midway through the second quarter, and it was able to control things the rest of the way – even when it was 17 all in the third – but it took a bit too long to find the part of the game plan that worked, helped by a big moment or two …
Give UAB credit for getting a great game from the defense on third downs and for slowing down the ASU explosion, but three turnovers and eight penalties were a problem.
Appalachian State didn’t give the ball away, but 11 penalties hurt, even for a team that’s used to getting flagged close to seven times per game.
It wasn’t exactly slow and steady winning the race, but the 261 rushing yards were able to stabilize things after getting down. And …