Ohio (8-4, MAC) vs. Appalachian St. (10-2, Sun Belt), 5:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)

Line: Appalachian St. by 7-1/2

Series Record: First meeting.


A win would give Ohio its highest victory total since 2012. Three-time FCS champion Appalachian State is seeking to make its first FBS bowl trip a successful one.


Appalachian State's running game vs. Ohio's defense. The Mountaineers are averaging 268.8 rushing yards per game, sixth nationally. Ohio is allowing 157 yards an outing on the ground but a healthy 4.8 yards per carry. Marcus Cox leads the way for Appalachian State with 1,261 yards and eight touchdowns.


Ohio: QB J.D. Sprague will start for the third straight game after stepping in when Derrius Vick injured an ankle. Sprague led the Bobcats to wins over Ball State and Northern Illinois. Coach Frank Solich didn't rule out Vick seeing action, too.

Appalachian St.: DL Ronald Blair is the Sun Belt defensive player of the year after racking up 18 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks.


Ohio is making its sixth bowl trip in seven seasons and ninth overall, posting a 2-6 postseason record. ... Appalachian State got its first FBS bowl bid after getting snubbed despite going 7-5 in 2014. A 6-6 Ohio team also didn't get a postseason invitation last season... This is the 35th bowl game for Solich as a player or coach. ... The Bobcats have won three straight games after losing five in a row. The Mountaineers' only losses came to No. 1 Clemson and Sun Belt champion Arkansas State.