In Ann Arbor, Happy Valley, Chapel Hill, and Miami Beach, they know all about App State, which is priced as a large underdog at Texas A&M on Saturday, according to Week 2 college football odds.
On Sept. 1, 2007, the Mountaineers introduced themselves to big-time college football with a 34-32 victory over the fifth-ranked Wolverines in the Big House. The two-time I-AA (now FCS) national champions were 33-point underdogs at Michigan.
No, we’re not projecting such an upset here. Not that it’d be such an uppercut, as App State is getting half as many points on oddsboards as it did in Ann Arbor. Instead, we see fireworks. Many points, early and often.
App State vs. Texas A&M Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline
NCAAF · Thu (8/31) @ 8:00pm ET
|Huntington Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota|
Appalachian State Mountaineers
That victory over Michigan rocked college football. Remember quarterback Armanti Edwards and wideout CoCo Hillary?
Jerry Moore, the former Baylor receiver who captained its 1960 Gator Bowl squad, would coach App State for five more seasons, retiring with three I-AA crowns and a 215-87 record in Boone, NC.
He left a fine blueprint in the office, as the Mountaineers recorded only one losing season in nine years without Moore at the helm.
In fact, locals are accustomed to double-digit-victory campaigns and bowl success; they were 6-0 in those marquee matchups until last season when App State lost to Western Kentucky, 59-38, in the Boca Raton Bowl.
That score and last week’s 63-61 zany defeat to North Carolina — which had the guts to play a game in Boone inside Appy’s Kidd Brewer Stadium — shows that Mountaineers games can resemble hoops tilts.
Chase Brice, a 6-foot-3 senior, riddled the Heels secondary for 361 yards (six touchdowns with one pick) while completing 25 of 36 attempts. Appy gains 0.744 points per play, the ninth-best rate in the nation.
Nine times last season, App State put up at least 30 points on the scoreboard, busting the 40-point barrier five times. The previous year, it hit 30 seven times, which it accomplished 10 times in the prior campaign.
The point is that points are in the Mountaineers’ DNA. They have lost 45-38 at Penn State, won 34-31 at North Carolina, lost 25-23 at Miami, lost 45-10 against the Hurricanes at home, and lost at Michigan 52-14 in 2014.
Again, we prognosticate no major upset here. A&M is way too good across the board on both sides of the ball.
The position is that App State can muster at least two touchdowns, and the Aggies will take care of the rest for the Over cover. Should the Mountaineers muster more offense, the Over will be a no-sweat triumph.
Texas A&M Aggies
One highly respected bettor’s set of power ratings has the Aggies among a second-tier group (with Michigan, North Carolina State, and Notre Dame) that might be able to contend with The Big Four: Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, and Clemson.
Playing before nearly 103,000 on its own, Kyle Field also tends to bring out the best in A&M, or did you forget about last season’s 41-38 victory over then-No. 1 Alabama?
On Kyle’s Tifway 419 Bermuda Grass, the Aggies have averaged 36 points in their past three seasons (44 in 2018).
Haynes King, a 6-3 redshirt freshman who beat out the talented 6-5 Max Johnson in practice, has shown he deserves to start at quarterback. King is eighth in the country with a fabulous 11.7 yards-per-attempt average.
We beat the heck out of this stat, only because it isn’t minor. NFL scouts salivate over QBs with such a double-digit average (which is why it’s wise to keep an eye on Coastal Carolina’s Grayson McCall, who might record such a figure for a third consecutive season in 2022).
King is 20-for-31 for 364 yards, three TDs, and two picks this year. His main target has been 5-10 junior Ainias Smith, who nabbed six passes for 164 yards and two TDs in a 31-0 belting of Sam Houston State.
King might have a field day against App State, which allowed UNC QB Drake Maye to go 24-for-36 for 352 yards, four TDs, and no picks. Maye also took off on a dozen runs for 76 yards.
On six dashes against Sam Houston, King gained 35 yards. That extra dimension figures to keep drives alive, further punishing the Mountaineers. If Appy isn’t careful, the Aggies will cover this total themselves.
A&M allowed Sam Houston only 91 passing yards on 28 attempts (only 198 total yards). A year ago, the Aggies averaged 150 more yards of total offense than their foes at home.
Appalachian State vs. Texas A&M Sports Betting Recommendation & Pick
Even before graduating to FBS status in 2014, Appalachian State had made a name for itself, due to that 2007 upending of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
App State is quality, a sticky team, and third-year head coach Shawn Clark fits perfectly into the template that Jerry Moore put a career into constructing. It is a known quantity, so no program will ever take it lightly.
Count on A&M being very prepared for this one, and it might hit half a hundred all by itself.
Our Pick: Over 53.5 (-110)
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