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No. 25 Appalachian State puts ranking on the line tonight

By The Associated Press

No. 25 Appalachian State (5-1, 3-0 Sun Belt) at Georgia Southern (6-1, 3-0), Thursday, 7:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

Line: Appalachian State by 10½.

Series record: App State leads 19-13-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

The Mountaineers entered the Top 25 this week for the first time in school history, and they’ll put their ranking on the line in a game that will help decide the Sun Belt’s East Division leader. Troy is 4-0 in the division.

KEY MATCHUP

App State QB Zac Thomas vs. Georgia Southern cornerbacks Monquavion Brinson and Kindle Vildor. Brinson and Vildor, who are juniors, have combined for 10 career interceptions. Brinson has a team-leading 46 tackles with an interception this year. Vildor has two interceptions and 31 stops. Led by Thomas, the Mountaineers average 211 yards passing and 265 yards rushing per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

App State: Sophomore RB Darrynton Evans averages 7.0 yards per carry and has taken the role as lead runner after senior Jalin Moore suffered a season-ending ankle injury on Oct. 9. In only his second career start, Evans had 183 yards rushing and 203 all-purpose yards in last week’s 27-17 victory over Louisiana.

Georgia Southern: QB Shai Werts’ dual-threat skills are a good fit for the Eagles’ option attack. He leads Georgia Southern with 542 yards rushing and nine touchdowns and has passed for 491 yards with four scores and no interceptions.

FACTS & FIGURES

The rivalry began in 1932. Since 1982, when Georgia Southern relaunched its program, the Mountaineers lead series 16-11, including three straight wins and six of last seven. … This will be fifth straight game in the series played on a Thursday night. … The two former Southern Conference rivals combined to win nine FCS (Division I-AA) national championships. … Georgia Southern lost to No. 2 Clemson 38-7 on Sept. 15. … App State has won five straight since opening with a 45-38 overtime loss at No. 17 Penn State. … The Eagles are bowl eligible for the second time in school history. … Troy made a one-week appearance in the 2016 Top 25 at No. 25 as the only other Sun Belt team to be included in the AP poll.

More AP college football: http://collegefootball.ap.org/salisburypost/

http://collegefootball.ap.org/salisburypost/poll/

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