Pair of conference runners-up to meet in Boca Raton Bowl

Appalachian State, Western Kentucky played for Sun Belt, C-USA titles
Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) runs against UTSA during the first half of an...
Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe (4) runs against UTSA during the first half of an NCAA college football game in the Conference USA Championship, Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)(AP)
Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST
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Western Kentucky will face off against Appalachian State in the eighth annual Boca Raton Bowl.

The game will be played Dec. 18 at 11 a.m. at FAU Stadium on the campus of Florida Atlantic University.

Both teams lost their respective conference championship games.

"We will have an opportunity to see history made in our game this year," Boca Raton Bowl executive director Doug Mosley said. "Western Kentucky comes into this game with the nation's top passing quarterback in Bailey Zappe and he will be looking to set new NCAA single-season passing records in this game. On the other hand, Appalachian State has one of the best pass defenses in the nation. This matchup is going to amazing to watch unfold."

The two teams have not previously met.

Appalachian State (10-3) has not lost in its previous six bowl game appearances.

Western Kentucky (8-5) played in the 2016 Boca Raton Bowl, defeating Memphis 51-31.

The Mountaineers are No. 2 nationally with 109 tackles for loss while also ranking in the top 20 in scoring defense (No. 16, 19.3 points), total defense (No. 18, 325.5 yards), pass efficiency defense (No. 12, 114.7), interceptions (No. 10, 15), defensive touchdowns (No. 6, four), red zone defense (No. 15, 73.7 percent) and rushing defense (No. 19, 118.8).

Two of Appalachian State's three losses came against No. 16 Louisiana, including a 24-16 loss in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game.

The Hilltoppers, on the other hand, are 7-1 in their last eight games since their 1-4 start to the season.

Western Kentucky ranks second nationally with a 43.1 scoring average. The Hilltoppers also have a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Jerreth Sterns (137 catches for 1,718 yards and 14 touchdowns) and Mitchell Tinsley (80 catches for 1,299 and 12 scores).

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