Western Kentucky Hilltoppers Football — Analyzing WKU and App State

As a Bowling Green resident and WKU alumna, I want to give a special thanks to App State Athletics and their fans for supporting my community and state during its time of need. Last Saturday’s tornadoes devastated communities, families, and businesses, but your support and generosity brings a light to the darkness.

Day: Saturday, December 18, 2021

Time: 10:00 AM CST

Location: FAU Stadium

Network: ESPN

Betting line: App State -2.5 | O/U: 66.5

History: This will be the sixth meeting between the Hilltoppers and Mountaineers. App State leads the matchup 4-1. The two last faced each other on December 2, 2000 during the Division 1-AA Quarterfinal. They have not met since joining the FBS.

Quarterbacks

With one game left, Zappe is nose-to-nose with tying (and breaking) the nation’s single season passing yards record and single season passing touchdowns record. 289 more yards would put Zappe past Texas Tech’s B.J. Symon’s 5,833 yards in 2003 while 5 more passing touchdowns would put him past LSU’s Joe Burrow’s 60 touchdowns in 2019.

Through thirteen games, WKU’s Bailey Zappe has completed 442-of-639 pass attempts (69.2%) for 5,545 yards, 42650 yards per game, 8.7 yards per pass attempt, and 56 touchdowns as well as 11 interceptions. He ranks #1 in total passing yards, #1 in passing yards per game, #9 in completion percentage, #1 in passing touchdowns, and has the seventh-best passer rating in the nation. Zappe leads all of Conference USA’s statistical passing categories. Of passers with at least 25 deep pass attempts, he ranks #2 in PFF’s Highest passing grades on deep pass attempts (97.0).

During the C-USA Championship game, Zappe completed 36-of-59 pass attempts (61.0%) for 577 yards, 9.7 yards per pass attempt, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Despite some dimes, the receiving corps struggled with dropped balls while the offensive line struggled with miscues that left Zappe in some vulnerable situations.

WKU’s passing game has a success rate of 52.8%, EPA/Pass of 0.281,…

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