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Appalachian State vs. Louisiana Lafayette Preview & No Action

October 12, 2016 | Posted By Freddy Wills

This game has a lot going on in it after both teams have not played since October 1st.  The college football odds in this game are 10 points to the home team and the total is 48.5.  To be honest I lean towards the over because of the pace of the Rajin Cajuns.  I also originally leaned towards Lafayette, but after looking at this game deeper it’s a definite pass for me.

The running game is the key…

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One of the first things I like to look at always is what teams do int he running game to control the game.  Both of these times enjoy running first and have more success winning when they are able to effectively run the ball.

Lafayette comes into this game running the ball 56% of the time while Appalachian State run the ball 64.48% of the time.  In wins Laf. averages 6.26 yards per carry, but in losses they averaged 2.78.  They have an elite running back in Elijah Mcguire who is averaging 5.17 yards per carry and Appalachian State has Marcus Cox who has been hurt and likely won’t play in this game.

Appalachian State’s Run Defense (67th allowing 4.3 YPC)

They are known for their defense coming into the season, but they have struggled at times stopping the run ranking 67th allowing 4.3 yards per carry.  The good news is they get to face a one dimensional offense that can not throw the ball which we will get to later.  I can see Appalachian State shutting this offense down despite having issues stopping the run in the past.  They have faced some good rushing offenses along the way ranking 63rd, 29th, 30th, 60th, 109th.  Lafayette comes into this game ranking 102nd.

Lafayette’s Rushing Offense (102nd 3.6 YPC)

The Rajin Cajuns do not have a dual threat QB like in years past, but Mcguire has still performed.  However, facing a veteran defense like App State in this situation does not look good.  This offense has faced Boise State ranked 33rd in run defense, and another team ranked 29th.  However against the two poor rushing defenses on their list ranking 113th and 114th in South Alabama and New Mexico State they just did not impress me enough to make me comfortable backing them here today.

Lafayette’s Rushing Defense (9th, 2.9 YPC)

On paper this looks like a very tough match up for Appalachian State especially if they don’t have their star RB Marcus Cox.  However, a closer look reveals that they have not faced a very good list of rushing offenses ranking 58th, 127th, 87th, and 98th.  I think they are good, but I don’t think they can completely stop this offense.

Appalachian State’s Rushing Offense

They have averaged nearly 2 more yards per carry in their wins than their losses at 5.21 compared to 3.41.  App State gave Tennessee a scare to open the season and since then everyone has sort of forgotten about them after they got blown out against Miami.  They have faced some top defenses and 3 of 5 of those defenses held Appalachian State under what they typically allow.  For me that’s a bit of a red flag.  I know Tennessee which held App State .32 yards under what they typically give up is not surprising since they are a power 5 school, but Tennessee has struggled with major injuries on defense which has caused their defense to not look so great ranking 74th vs. the run when they were much better in week 1.

You have to pass at some point.. 

You have to get some kind of passing game going and although it looks like an even battle in this category it certainly is not.

Lafayette Passing Offense vs. App State Passing Defense.

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Anthony Jennings, yes that Anthony Jennings is Lafayette’s QB and while he has not been terrible he’s certainly not a mobile QB.  He was actually benched for Jalen Nixon, who is now hurt so the job is certainly Jennings, but I don’t know what that would do to my confidence.  Jennings has decent number, but far too many interceptions already with six.  He goes up against App State who ranks 40th in pass defense.  Jennings and his receivers have gone up against 2 top 50 passing defenses already this season, but there are no signs of them being able to create balance with the running game.  They have also faced 96th and 92nd ranked passing defenses and again they haven’t been able to really help the offense.

App State’s passing defense is pretty impressive when you consider they played 3 top 50 passing offenses and played better than anyone against Tennessee.  That’s right App State held Joshua Dobbs to a 115 QB rating.  Virginia Tech, Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M all allowed a much higher QB rating so I can’t be too comfortable backing Jennings and this offense.

App State’s passing offenses vs. Lafayette’s passing defense:

Here is the major mismatch and I think the extra time gives App State enough to come up with a very effective game plan.  Lafayette is ranked 116th vs. the pass.  Taylor Lamb off a great season a year ago and has struggled this year early with a revamped group of WR.  He’s also faced 3 top 50 defenses and the only time he faced someone out of the top 60 they put up 45 points in a game at Akron who actually please very similar to Lafayette.  I can see Lamb having a big day here on the road as the chemistry really has to start settling in for him and the receiving corp.

Turnovers:

As many of you know this is a category I am going to have my eye on even more than ever.  I have not been lucky in this category at all with -31 turnover margin on the season on the sides I have backed and a 43% fumble recovery rate.  Some of that is luck and a lot of that is things I simply can not control.  Appalachian State is +5 in turnover margin and rank 45th at 55% fumble recovery rate.  Isn’t that amazing the fact that 55% fumble recovery rate puts you 45th in the country and that rate seems a little lucky.  Lafayette is ranked 61st at 50% fumble recovery rate, but are -3 in turnover margin on the season.

Bet at 5dimes