NEW ORLEANS – Appalachian State will face the Toledo on Dec. 17 in the 2016 Camellia Bowl at the Crampton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN.
The Sun Belt Conference-Mid-American matchup was announced on Sunday afternoon as the 2016-2017 bowl schedule was unveiled.
App State (9-3, 7-1 Sun Belt) claimed a Sun Belt Championship for the first time in 2016 behind a record-setting defense and the Sun Belt’s top offense during league play. The Mountaineers finished the regular season with back-to-back one sided wins over UL Monroe and New Mexico State, allowing only 94 points in Sun Belt play, the fewest allowed in conference history in an eight-game schedule.
Toledo (9-3, 6-2 MAC) finished second in the MAC West behind Western Michigan to earn the Camellia Bowl berth. The Rockets have wins over Arkansas State and Fresno State.
The Camellia Bowl will feature two of college football’s active rushing leaders in App’s Marcus Cox (4,960 career yards) who needs 40 yards for 5,000. Toledo’s Kareem Hunt has 4,825 career yards and will also be chasing 5,000 yards.
The bowl berth is the second in as many seasons for App State, both in the Camellia Bowl. App went 11-2 last season and claimed a 31-29 win over Ohio on a last season field goal in the 2015 Camellia Bowl. App rallied from a 24-7 deficit to set a Sun Belt record for wins in a season (11) and became the first team to win a bowl game in their first FBS bowl eligible season.
The Sun Belt regular season was completed on Saturday. All-conference awards will be released on Wednesday afternoon. A bowl practice schedule, media availability, and bowl travel plans for the Apps will be announced on Monday.
PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES
App State Head Coach, Scott Satterfield
“Very excited to be going bowling for our second straight year, and it's the third year in a row we're bowl eligible. That's exciting for our program, our players, our fans. Going back to the Camellia Bowl, we had a great experience last year going to our first bowl game. It was new to everyone, and I thought they treated us great down there. The city was great to us, and Johnny (Williams) running the bowl really did a first-class job of setting us up with a lot of different things.”
On facing Toledo…
Going back, I think most of our staff and players will be accustomed to what's going to happen there. Playing a different opponent, another MAC school, but a team in Toledo that I'm pretty familiar with. I'm familiar with their coach, Jason Candle, we were on the same staff together that one year we were there.
On bowl and opponent preference…
I really didn't have any preference, to be honest, because I don't have any control over it. None of us do, so the things I can't control, I don't really worry about. We've always been that way here. The hand we're dealt, we deal with it and attack it.
On what’s different from a season ago…
For me, it doesn't matter. For me, it's all about going there and getting a win. It's been a good week to heal up. We're actually in better shape now then we were in this time last year. i remember coming out of the South Alabama game last year and we were really beat up. That would have been like yesterday since we had to play the last week of the season. We're in better shape physically. We should be well rested and very healthy.
App State Director of Athletics, Doug Gillin
“We'll draw better in Montgomery than maybe we would have in New Orleans, even though there's a lot of excitement in playing in the first-pick bowl, not necessarily the championship bowl. I think our fan base is excited about anywhere. I think we'll travel well. A lot of folks that I've talked to over the last couple days have said, if we got to Camellia, we're still going. I think if you look at our history, Chattanooga three years in a row, some of the folks I talked to, more people went every year. Now, the Camelia second year in a row, we're familiar with that, a lot of folks can get there in 7-hour drive. I think we'll draw really, really well. As (Scott Satterfield) said, I continue to be amazed and grateful for the fan support Appalachian State has and I expect us to draw as well as we did last year.”