Result: Western Kentucky beat App State 59-38. Bailey Zappe completed 33 of 47 passes for 422 yards and six touchdowns in the win. Noah Whittington rushed for 150 yards and a score and Kye Robichaux added 67 yards and a score. Jerreth Sterns led Hilltoppers receivers with 13 receptions for 184 yards and three touchdowns.
The second day of bowl season begins with an early matchup between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and Appalachian State Mountaineers. If there is a better way to start the day than waking up to the Boca Raton Bowl on a Saturday morning, I have yet to experience it.
Western Kentucky (8-5, 7-1 Conference USA) came up short in the conference championship game in a 49-41 loss to the UTSA Roadrunners, but the Hilltoppers closed out their regular season on a seven-game winning streak. Houston Baptist transfer Bailey Zappe put up insane numbers with 5,545 passing yards with 56 touchdown passes - both of which lead the country by a significant margin.
Appalachian State (10-3, 7-1 Sun Belt) also lost their conference title game as they lost to the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns 24-16. The Mountaineers won six consecutive regular season games to reach the Sun Belt Championship. Appalachian State has a top-40 offense in yards per play against FBS opponents, and they rank No. 17 in that category defensively.
Western Kentucky vs. Appalachian State: 2021 Boca Raton Bowl TV info
Game date: Saturday, December 18th
Game time: 11:00 a.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Appalachian State is a 2.5-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook including -135 moneyline odds, making Western Kentucky a +115 underdog.