Last Updated on December 3, 2023 4:45 pm
BOONE, N.C. — App State is going bowling again, this time with the program's first postseason visit to Orlando, Fla., for the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 16.
Champions of the Sun Belt Conference's East Division, the Mountaineers will face MAC champion Miami (Ohio) at 3:30 p.m. in UCF's FBC Mortgage Stadium. The game, which will be televised by ABC, will be the first football meeting between App State (8-5) and the RedHawks (11-2).
“Orlando is a great destination for the App State football team and our passionate Mountaineer fan base,” App State Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said. “Thank you to Alan Gooch and his team for the invitation. We are thrilled to represent Appalachian State University and the Sun Belt Conference in the Cure Bowl.”
“We are excited to play in the Cure Bowl against Miami (Ohio),” App State head coach Shawn Clark said. “Our team kept digging all season. We have battled through adversity, and we won the Sun Belt East division. We will be proud to travel to Orlando and represent our university and one of the best conferences in America.”
Information on ticket availability will be finalized in the coming days.
The inaugural Cure Bowl was held in 2015, and the game shines a spotlight on the fight against breast cancer. By the time the 2022 game was complete, the Orlando Sports Foundation had donated more than $4.1 million to cancer research.
After making its FBS debut in 2014, App State set a record by earning a bowl berth in each of its first seven postseason-eligible seasons. The Mountaineers also made history by winning their first six bowl games, with victories in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The Mountaineers closed the regular season with five straight victories and trailed 21-17 entering the fourth quarter of the Sun Belt Championship Game against Troy before falling 49-23. Joey Aguilar increased his season total to a school-record 3,546 passing yards, and he is tied for third place nationally with 33 touchdown passes.
After the winning streak began with a 48-38 win against Southern Miss, the Mountaineers' defense allowed just 15.3 points per 60 minutes and picked off eight passes during the last four games of the regular season — all victories against bowl-bound teams.
App State started its record-breaking bowl streak with three wins against MAC teams, counting victories against Ohio and Toledo in the 2015 and 2016 Camellia Bowls and Toledo again in the 2017 Dollar General Bowl.
Coached by Chuck Martin, the RedHawks opened the season with a 38-3 loss to the Miami Hurricanes and went 7-1 in league play with the only loss coming against Toledo (21-17). One highlight of the regular season was a 31-24 overtime win against Big 12 newcomer Cincinnati, and Miami rebounded to win 23-14 against Toledo in the MAC title game.
Rashad Amos has rushed for 895 yards with 13 touchdowns this season to lead Miami's offense, and the defense ranks seventh nationally by allowing 16.2 points per game. The RedHawks give up only 197.2 passing yards per game.
Orlando joins Montgomery, Mobile, New Orleans, Conway and Boca Raton as cities to host an App State bowl game. FBC Mortgage Stadium opened in 2007 and has a seating capacity of approximately 45,000.