Boca Raton Bowl

Boca Raton Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Appalachian State

Wait does that really mean "rat's mouth" in Spanish?

Nicky G
Nicky G

Location: FAU Stadium (Boca Raton, Fla.)

Time: Dec. 18, 11 a.m. EST on ESPN

Teams: Western Kentucky (8–5) versus Appalachian State (10–3)

Line: Appalachian State -2.5


Across the entirety of bowls the season, there may not be a better war of mascots than the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky (8-5) and the Mountaineers of Appalachian State (10-3).

But an even better storyline lurks behind all the muskets and coonskin caps: WKU has one of the best passing offenses in the country, led by Bailey Zappe's insane 5,545 passing yards, and App State has one of the stingiest pass defenses with Steven Jones Jr.'s five interceptions on the year.

This is WKU's 9th trip to a bowl since joining the FBS in 2009 — and seven in the last eight years. They last won in 2019 versus Western Michigan but they got their hilltops handed to 'em last year versus Georgia State (another Sun Belt powerhouse). App State may be out for blood after losing their last game. They've handily won every bowl they've been invited to in the last 6 years.

Our Pick

If the Mountaineers thought the Ragin' Cajuns' passing offense was tough (they lost twice to Lousiana-LaFayette), they're in for a world of hurt against the high-flyin' WKU's offense and Zappe.

Still, can't help but feel the football gods are with the Mountaineers here, and they'll not only win, and they'll not only cover the spread (-2.5), they'll also keep that impressive bowl winning streak alive and well. Call it a soft spot for hard-nosed defenses but the Mountaineers will reign again as king of the hill.

The Score: App State wins and covers, 31-27

The Actual Score: Western Kentucky 59, Appalachian State 38


Nicky G

Dad of 3. WVian by birth. ATX for now.