College football bowl season opens up Monday as Appalachian State takes on North Texas in the 2020 Myrtle Beach Bowl. The first game of the college football bowl season features two group of five facing off at Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina.
The Mountaineers come in heavily favored at -21 coming off an 8-3 season, with their only losses coming to ranked Louisiana and Coastal Carolina teams as well as the eventual Conference-USA champs in Marshall. On the other side, North Texas has the distinction of being a losing team participating in a bowl. The Mean Green went 4-5 in a 2020 season shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Date: Monday, Dec. 21 | Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Location: Brooks Stadium, Conway, South Carolina
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WATCH FREE HERE
It might not be exactly how the people who put together the Myrtle Beach Bowl thought this whole thing would start, but this kicks off a speed-round bowl season with an interesting afternoon game that should have a whole lot of high-powered offense.
In a bowl like this, you want lots of O, minimal D – at least that should come from one side – and two teams fired up to be in it. Here you go with the inaugural game.
Appalachian State might not be the powerhouse of previous seasons, but it’s still strong. Its losses? Coastal Carolina, Louisiana, and Marshall – back before Marshall lost its mojo. That’s not bad.
The program has won five straight bowl games since moving up to the FBS world – the last bowl loss was 1955 – and the last three have been relative walks in park. Focus hasn’t been an issue for a program that expects to win these things.
Let’s put it this way – North Texas couldn’t be any worse than it’s been in the three bowl appearances so far under head coach Seth Littrell. The Mean Green was annihilated by Utah State in 2018 New Mexico and lost by 20 in the 2017 New Orleans, and at the very least, you’re going to see points one way or another when they take the field.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Appalachian State looks to keep its perfect postseason record intact. The Mountaineers have won all five of their bowl games since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision before the 2015 season. North Texas hopes to avoid a second straight losing season and break its three-game bowl losing streak.
North Texas QB Austin Aune vs. Appalachian State’s defense. The Mean Green led Conference USA in almost every offensive category, averaging 515 yards and 35.1 points a game. Aune has thrown for 1,650 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Mountaineers ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference in scoring defense by allowing 19.3 points while leading the league in total defense by surrendering fewer than 315 yards per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
North Texas: LB KD Davis leads the team with 70 tackles to go with 5.5 tackles for loss and three sacks.
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He had 14 tackles against Southern Mississippi this year.
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Appalachian State: QB Zac Thomas has thrown for 2,075 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. Thomas, the preseason pick for Sun Belt player of the year, has a career high 11 interceptions this season, almost doubling his total of 12 combined the previous two years.