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The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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Mountaineers prepare for bowl game showdown against RedHawks

Junior+quarterback+Joey+Aguilar+hands+the+ball+off+to+redshirt+freshman+running+back+Kanye+Roberts+during+App+States+43-28+win+over+ECU+Sept.+16.
Max Sanborn
Junior quarterback Joey Aguilar hands the ball off to redshirt freshman running back Kanye Roberts during App State’s 43-28 win over ECU Sept. 16.

Since head coach Shawn Clark took over for the Mountaineers in late 2019, he immediately was thrown into the storm. Hired on Dec. 13, 2019, Clark made his head coaching debut eight days after his introductory press conference, leading the Mountaineers to a 31-17 victory against UAB in the 2019 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. 

Four years later, Clark finds himself in a similar position with another chance to win a bowl game. With a 8-5 record, the Mountaineers are paired up against the Miami (OH) RedHawks in the Cure Bowl in Orlando, Florida. 

The RedHawks hold a 11-2 overall record and 7-1 record in the MAC. The MAC features teams such as Ohio, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Akron and more. 

Miami of Ohio lost to the Miami Hurricanes  38-3, in their first game of the season. Since starting 0-1, the RedHawks beat teams by the likes of Cincinnati, Kent State, Ohio and Akron. Their one conference loss came against Toledo, who the RedHawks ultimately beat in their conference championship 23-14. 

A key player for the RedHawks is sophomore running back Rashad Amos. Amos, originally from Fayetteville, Georgia, ran for seven yards in 2022 before jumping onto the scene this season, rushing for 895 yards and 12 touchdowns. 

Along with Amos, Miami of Ohio features Ty Wise, a junior defensive end originally from Carmel, Indiana. Wise collected seven sacks this season, and recently announced he will be staying next season with the RedHawks.

“Not only have I received a first-class education, but I also have received some of the best coaching, personal development, and support that an athlete can ask for,” Wise said. “With that being said, I will be returning to Miami for my final year. Go RedHawks.”

As for the Mountaineers, the Black and Gold are playing in their eighth bowl game since 2015. The Mountaineers were successful in all of their previous bowl games, except in 2021 where App State lost 59-38 to Western Kentucky. Last season, App State missed a bowl game for the first time since entering the FBS. 

App State will be without star junior running back Nate Noel as he entered the NCAA transfer portal. Noel totaled 3,076 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns throughout his Mountaineer career, and earned First-Team All Sun Belt in 2021. Along with Noel, Dashaun Davis, Seth Williams, Donovan Spellman, Coen Sutton, Jake Mann, James Edwards and Tony Harris will be entering the transfer portal and will not be playing in the bowl game. Star junior returner Milan Tucker will also be entering the transfer portal, but will play in the bowl game. 

The game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. The game will be broadcasted on ABC. 

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About the Contributors
Kurt Zottl, Reporter
Kurt Zottl (he/him) is a junior electronic media/broadcasting major from Waxhaw, NC. This is his third year writing for The Appalachian.
Max Sanborn, Photographer
Max Sanborn (he/him) is a sophomore Commercial Photography Major, from Indian trail, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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