The Appalachian State Mountaineers have been one of the more consistently successful programs in the FBS since making the jump up in 2014 and they’ll look to begin yet another fruitful campaign when welcoming the East Carolina Pirates to Boone, NC, to open the 2021 season. The in-state battle at Kidd Brewer Stadium will kick off on Thursday, September 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.
App. State’s four-year streak of winning at least a share of the Sun Belt Conference championship was broken in 2020 with Coastal Carolina overtaking them in the east division. Still, the Mountaineers enjoyed a 9-3 season (notably 3-9 against the spread) that ended with a Myrtle Beach Bowl victory over North Texas. Headlining the list of returnees for the 2021 campaign is running back Camerun Peoples, who broke out for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and enters this one as a Maxwell Award Watch List selection.
The pandemic-shortened 2020 season affected East Carolina’s ability to progress under second-year head coach Mike Houston. The Pirates lost six of their first seven games before ending the year on a positive note with victories over Temple and SMU, whom they were 12.5-point underdogs against heading in. ECU will enter the season opener at Boone being led by junior quarterback Holton Ahlers, who already has two and a half years as a starter under his belt.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Spread: Appalachian State -10.5
Moneyline: East Carolina +300, Appalachian State -400
Opening Spread: Appalachian State -11.5
Opening Total: 62.5
WR Corey Sutton is Probable with a knee injury.
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