College Football Free Pick of the Week by Paul Stone

Paul Stone has over two decades of experience as a bettor and handicapper. He is a winner of multiple Las Vegas handicapping contests and his work has appeared in various media outlets including the Las Vegas-Review Journal and ESPN Insider. Follow Paul on Twitter@paulstonesports or e-mail him at

APPALACHIAN STATE +3.5 over Miami (Fla.) 

Appalachian State is perhaps best known for its mammoth 2007 upset of Michigan at the Big House. More recently, the Mountaineers went toe-to-toe with SEC East division favorite Tennessee two weeks ago before losing, 20-13, in overtime in both teams’ season opener in Knoxville.

Saturday’s showcase against Miami (Fla.) is clearly one of the most highly-anticipated home games in Appalachian State’s football history. Kidd Brewer Stadium, dubbed “The Rock,” typically accommodates 24,050 fans, but officials expect around 35,000 to attend Saturday’s spectacle, thanks in part to the addition of field level seating and having students attend at no charge and stand on a hill inside the facility.

Appalachian State is only in its third season of FBS membership and to attract a program of Miami’s pedigree to the small mountain community of Boone, N.C. (population of approximately 18,000) is quite an accomplishment in itself. But do not be lulled into thinking the Mountaineers are simply glad to have the opportunity – they are looking to seize it and fire another shot heard round the college football world.

The Appalachian State Mountaineers no Longer Pushovers

The Appalachian State Mountaineers no Longer Pushovers….and Their Logo is Pretty Cool Isn’t it?

Miami (Fla.) has been hit hard by injuries and suspensions since the spring, especially on defense, and appear ripe for the picking. Mountaineer tailback Marcus Cox is known to NFL scouts, if not casual college fans, and quarterback Taylor Lamb is experienced and no stranger to the big stage. Plus the Mountaineers competed on even terms with Tennessee in the trenches, so they will not be bullied by their more storied visitors from South Beach.

Take Appalachian State plus the 3.5 points and look for the Mountaineers to possibly pull off another program-defining upset.

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