Hilltoppers Accept Bid to Play App State in 2021 RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU Football has accepted a bid to play in the 2021 RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl on Saturday, December 18, where the Hilltoppers (8-5) will face App State (10-3) of the Sun Belt Conference. Kickoff at FAU Stadium is set for 10 a.m. CT and will be aired nationally on ESPN.
This will be WKU’s second appearance in the Boca Raton Bowl, as the Hilltoppers previously claimed a 51-31 victory over Memphis on December 20, 2016.
This will be WKU’s eighth bowl game in the past 10 seasons and the 31st postseason contest in program history. The Hilltoppers are 4-3 in their previous seven FBS bowl games and 18-12 all-time in postseason contests. WKU’s four FBS bowl wins were over Central Michigan [Bahamas Bowl; 2014], South Florida [Miami Beach Bowl; 2015], Memphis [Boca Raton Bowl; 2016] and Western Michigan [First Responder Bowl; 2019].
WKU quarterback Bailey Zappe is 442-of 639 passing (69.2%) for 5,545 yards, with 56 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season. The all-time single-season FBS yardage record is 5,833 by Texas Tech’s B.J. Symons during his 14-game 2003 season, while the single-season FBS touchdown record is 60 by LSU’s Joe Burrow during his 15-game 2019 campaign. A performance by Zappe of 289 passing yards and five touchdowns in the Hilltoppers’ bowl game would eclipse both marks.
Meanwhile, wide receiver Jerreth Sterns has 137 receptions for 1,718 yards and 14 touchdowns on the year. Former Hilltopper wide receiver Taywan Taylor set the single-season program receiving yard (1,730) and touchdown (17) marks during the 14-game 2016 campaign. His averages of 10.54 receptions and 132.2 yards per game lead all FBS receivers by 2.09 and 9.32, respectively, while his 14 scores are tied for third in the nation.
Historically, WKU and App State have played five times (1972, 1973, 1984, 1985 and 2000) and the Mountaineers boast a 4-1 record. The Hilltoppers’ lone victory in the series was a 42-7 game on September 8, 1973. The most recent contest between WKU and App State was in the second round of the NCAA I-AA Playoffs on December 2, 2000, as the Mountaineers advanced with a 17-14 win in Houchens-Smith Stadium.
Since making the move to the FBS level in 2014, App State has posted at least seven victories in all eight seasons, making for an 80-23 cumulative record. The Mountaineers made a bowl game in six consecutive years and have won all six, including three straight over Conference USA opponents Middle Tennessee [New Orleans Bowl; 2018], UAB [New Orleans Bowl; 2019] and North Texas [Myrtle Beach Bowl; 2020].
The 2021 RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl will provide a first-class experience to the student-athletes, coaches and support staff, institutional administrators, alumni and fans of the annual participating institutions; will be a quality partner to its affiliated conferences, organizations and sponsors; and will conduct a one-of-a-kind event in its immediate community. Fans are encouraged to follow the 2021 RoofClaim.com Boca Raton Bowl on Twitter and Facebook at @BocaBowl.