Appalachian State won the 2019 New Orleans Bowl 31-17 over the UAB Blazers. The Mountaineers were led by Zac Thomas’ two passing touchdowns. He threw for 142 yards on 13-24 passing.
2019 New Orleans Bowl Recap
UAB jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on two touchdown passes from Tyler Johnston III. That would be the only two touchdowns the Blazers would have in the game. The rest of the way, UAB would only amount for a field goal. Running back Spencer Brown rushed for 39 yards on 14 carries. Appalachian State’s defense only allowed 40 total rushing yards. The Blazers were two for three on fourth down.
Despite the low rushing totals, the Blazers still achieved nearly 300 passing yards. But, once App State started rolling in the second quarter, UAB’s inability to stop the Mountaineers’ attack was what settled them in. UAB also committed three turnovers, one of which Appalachian State would score on.
Both teams are 3-of-14 on third down in the game. But, the game wasn’t close after the first half. When the Mountaineers went up early in the third quarter, that was it. UAB never stood a chance at efficiently moving the ball after that.
2019 New Orleans Bowl Champions: Appalachian State Mountaineers
The 2019 New Orleans Bowl champion Appalachian State Mountaineers clicked on the offensive side. Thomas only passed for 142 yards. However, Darrynton Evans rushed for 157 yards and one touchdown.
The Mountaineers defense led the way by only allowing 40 rushing yards to UAB. The Blazers faced a tough challenge in their attempt to run the ball. Appalachian State is solid in stopping the run. That statistic proved factual this past Saturday night. Evans turned a fumble on a fourth down into a 31-yard touchdown. App State scored on another fourth down when Thomas Herrigan caught a pass that was nearly intercepted.
Appalachian State scored 31 unanswered points to earn the victory in the 2019 New Orleans Bowl. Their main factor was Darrynton Evans and his 157 yards from the backfield.
Appalachian State finished the 2019 season with a program record 13 wins. Their lone loss came to Georgia Southern in the regular season. Their two wins over North Carolina and South Carolina paved the way to their Top 25 ranking. The Mountaineers are the first Sun Belt school to finish in the Top 25.
For the Blazers, they finish with a 9-5 record. Yet another strong season from head coach Bill Clark and the UAB Blazers. Clark has turned it around in Birmingham after the program shut down a few years back.
Mountaineers Will Continue Success
The 2019 New Orleans Bowl was one for the ages. UAB had an early lead on one of the best Group of Five teams in the country. But, Appalachian State would prevail in the second half to win 31-17.
The win for Appalachian State solidifies what the program is trying to become; one of the better Group of Five teams, the Mountaineers have taken the country by storm. The 2019 Sun Belt and New Orleans Bowl Champions aren’t finished yet. They’re just getting started. Despite losing coach Eli Drinkwitz to Missouri, this program will continue to be on the rise for years.