Bowl rundown: App State looks to stay perfect in bowls; Charlotte in postseason for first time

Quarterback Zac Thomas leads Appalachian State’s high-powered offense, which ranks first in the Sun Belt Conference with 41 points per game. (Brian Blanco / AP Photo)

Return trip to New Orleans Bowl for Mountaineers

Appalachian State won its second straight Sun Belt Conference championship game, capping off the self-proclaimed “best regular season in state history.” The team’s ambitious social media post cited its 12 regular season wins as evidence. App knocked off UNC at Kenan in a signature win, then followed that up with a win over South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The reward for those regular season heroics, however, had to be a bit of a letdown. For the second straight year, App will head to the New Orleans Bowl. Their five-year bowl run, with a 53-12 record, has earned the Mountaineers trips to two Camilla Bowls, a Dollar General Bowl and two New Orleans Bowls.

The game kicks off at 9 p.m. on Dec. 21 on ESPN. The opponent will be UAB, which went 9-4 but got demolished by FAU in the Conference USA championship game, 49-6.

The party continues for 49ers

After four straight losing seasons since joining FBS, the Charlotte 49ers changed head coaches in the offseason, replacing the only coach the program had had — Brad Lambert — with Will Healy. The 34-year-old Healy, who was the second-youngest coach in college football when hired, brought energy and excitement to Charlotte.

After a 2-5 start, Healy and the Niners found their footing and finished the season on a five-game winning streak, earning the first bowl bid in program history. The team celebrated in a wild party that included Healy dancing shirtless while wearing the mascot head.

Charlotte will face Buffalo in the Bahamas Bowl on Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. on ESPN.

The Bulls finished 7-5 and enter the bowl on a two-game winning streak.