Miami (11-2) defeated Toledo, 23-14, in the Mid-American Conference Championship Game Saturday.
Miami quarterback Aveon Smith, the Offensive Player of the Game with 208 all-purpose yards in Miami’s MAC Championship triumph, is 5-0 as a starter this season. Rashad Amos leads Miami with 895 rushing yards (5.1 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns.
Matt Salopek was named MAC Defensive Player of the Year and also earned Defensive Player of the Game in Saturday’s title game. Salopek is averaging double-digit tackles (134 in 13 games played) and ranks seventh in the nation in total tackles. He has produced 8.5 tackles for loss this year, including three sacks.
Graham Nicholson is 26-for-27 on field goals this season and was tabbed the conference’s Special Teams Player of the Year and the special teams player of the game Saturday. The Lou Groza Award Finalist leads the nation in made field goals and will break the program record for most makes in a year with his next successful field goal.
Appalachian State (8-5) won its final five regular-season games before falling to Troy 49-23 in the Sun Belt Championship Game on Saturday. App State quarterback Joey Aguilar has thrown for a school-record 3,546 yards this season, which ranks ninth in FBS, and has a program-record 33 touchdowns through the air. He is tied with Michael Penix Jr. for third in the nation in touchdown passes (behind Jayden Daniels and Bo Nix). Defensive standout Andrew Parker Jr. leads the Mountaineers with 108 tackles. App State is 6-1 in bowl games since moving to the FBS level in 2014.
Saturday, Dec. 16
Miami vs. Appalachian State, 3:30 p.m., ABC