Ohio vs. Appalachian State Camellia Bowl: Recap, Score, What’s Next

    Ohio vs. Appalachian State Camellia Bowl recap, score and what's next for the Bobcats and Mountaineers.

    December 18, 2015

    Appalachian State vs. Ohio Raycom Media Camellia Bowl recap, score and what’s next for the Mountaineers and Bobcats.

    Raycom Media Camellia Bowl Recap

    Score: Appalachian State 31, Ohio 29

    Prediction: Appalachian State 31, Ohio 23, Line: Appalachian State -9, o/u: 54

    And You Care Because … Appalachian State senior PK Zach Matics missed one field goal all year long, and sprayed his first two makeable field goal attempts on the day, but he came through when he absolutely needed to nailing a chip shot 23-yard field goal as time ran out to give Appalachian State a win in its first ever bowl appearance. Ohio scored 17 points in the final 1:31 of the first half highlighted by a seven-yard A.J. Ouellette run and a 20-yard pick six from Quentin Poling, and the defense came through again with a Jovon Johnson 45-yard fumble return for a score for a 24-7 lead.

    Appalachian State roared back in the fourth as Marcus Cox ran for a 26-yard score and Taylor Lamb threw two scoring passes to Barrett Burns on touchdown passes from 17 and eight yards out to take the lead back. A safety and a field goal gave Ohio the lead late, but ASU was able to go 73 yards in the final moments, helped by a huge run from Lamb, to set up Matics’ game-winner.

    What Else?

    – Appalachian State QB Marcus Cox ran 24 times for 162 yards and a score. Jalin Moore added 96 yards on 13 carries.

    – Ohio RB A.J. Ouellette ran for 14 times for 45 yards and a score. QB JD Sprague completed 14-of-28 passes for 132 yards with two picks, and ran ten times for 35 yards.

    – Total Yards: Appalachian State 427 – Ohio 272

    – Each team turned the ball over three times.

    Game Rating: A-. There were wild swings, lots of crazy plays, and both teams came up with tremendous efforts. Appalachian State played like a team in its first bowl game, and Ohio showed up with a great job of battling through adversity.

    What’s next for Ohio?

    The emergence of A.J. Ouelette for the running game has helped out the offensive cause, and now he’s back to lead the way behind a line that returns three starters but needs to replace Mike McQueen and Mike Lucas on the left side. QB Derrius Vick is done, but JD Sprague turned into the key part of the offense late, Greg Windham will get his chance, and now the both should be ready for a bigger role. Sebastian Smith leads a terrific receiving corps and a passing game that gets back eight of the top nine targets.

    The defense should be dominant with six of the top seven tacklers back and looking terrific on the line with pass rusher Tarell Basham returning on one side and leading tackler Kurt Laseak back on the other. Quintin Poling and Blair Brown are strong linebackers to work around, but veteran Jovon Johnson is gone. Top corner Ian Wells is done on one side and Brett Layton is gone on the other – FS Toran Davis is the only returning starter in the secondary. P Mitch Bonnstetter is done after a rocky year, but PK Josiah Yazdani is a big loss.

    What’s next for Appalachian State?

    RB Marcus Cox isn’t good enough to turn pro early – he should be the Sun Belt Preseason Player of the Year coming off another huge season. He’ll be working behind a decent line that loses just two starters and should be rock-solid on the inside. With Taylor Lamb back at quarterback, the passing game might be able to overcome a rough loss of receivers. Shaedon Meadows is back, but three of the top targets are gone including Malachi Jones.

    The defense that returned loaded gets back six starters on the front seven including leading tackler Eric Boggs and big-hitting John Law at inside linebacker. The loss of end Ronald Blair takes away a key pass rusher, and Doug Middleton was a star in the secondary, the everyone else is back. Nate Norwood has to be a factor in the backfield at one end, while the corner combination of Latrell Gibbs and Mondo Williams should be fantastic. The punting game should be fantastic with Bentlee Crichter back after averaging over 44 yards per boot, but PK Zach Matics is gone after coming up with a huge season and saving a rough bowl game with the game-winning field goal.

    MORE: BOWLNANZA: Bowl game highlights and biggest plays


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