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Appalachian State, Toledo shift south to Mobile

Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield (left) and Toledo coach Jason Candle pose with the Dollar General Bowl trophy on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. (

Appalachian State has been a full-fledged member of the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision for three seasons, and the Mountaineers have earned a bowl bid in each of them.

ASU’s first two postseasons in NCAA FBS were spent in Montgomery for the Camellia Bowl. This season, the Mountaineers made it all the way down Interstate 65.

Appalachian State and Toledo arrived in Mobile on Tuesday to begin final preparations for their meeting in the Dollar General Bowl at 6 p.m. CST Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

"We’re very excited on behalf of Appalachian State, really for our student-athletes and our alumni, all those who are supportive of our school," ASU coach Scott Satterfield said on Tuesday night. "Not too long ago, we were playing for national championships at the FCS level. We ended up winning three of those, and then made the transition to FBS. It’s been a very successful transition and one that we are very excited about being able to play in the postseason bowls.

"Now for us to get to come to Mobile and experience what this city has to offer — for us, we were here two years ago playing South Alabama, which is in our conference, so we got to spend a short time here, basically one day Friday and Saturday. But we’re excited about having a whole week to be here, Tuesday all the way through Saturday, and to experience this whole city and the hospitality that Mobile is going to show us and already has shown us in this process."

In last year’s Camellia Bowl, Appalachian State edged Toledo 31-28, so Saturday’s Dollar General Bowl is a postseason rematch, this time between the Sun Belt Conference co-champion and the Mid-American Conference champion.

The Rockets have become bowl regulars, too. Saturday’s bowl will be their seventh in eight seasons. Those bowl trips included a 63-44 victory over Arkansas State in Mobile on Jan. 4, 2015. Toledo’s 16 bowl appearances also include a 45-13 victory over UTEP in Mobile on Dec. 21, 2005.

Toledo coach Jason Candle comes to the Port City after signing a contract extension through the 2023 season on Friday. He said playing in Alabama adds a little extra to the Rockets’ bowl trip.

"(I) respect the heck out the deep tradition and how the state of Alabama appreciates football," Candle said on Tuesday night. "You’re talking Bear Bryant, Ladd-Peebles Stadium here, the Iron Bowl, the Senior Bowl, so many great things that make our great game so special. So we’re excited to play in the game."

The coaches spoke briefly at a welcome-to-Mobile press conference at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, where the teams were treated to a shrimp boil to kick off their stay.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson welcomed the teams and presented a key to the city to each school’s athletic director — Doug Gillin of Appalachian State and Mike O’Brien of Toledo.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson (center) presents keys to the city to Toledo athletic director Mike O’Brien (right) and Appalachian State athletic director Doug Gillin on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Mark Inabinett/minabinett@al.com

The teams will be involved in several activities off the field during their time in Mobile, including some that are open to fans.

Former Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops will be the speaker for the USO Mayor’s Luncheon at noon Friday at the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center. Tickets cost $30 per person and $300 for tables of 10. They can be purchased online and by calling the Dollar General Bowl office at 251-635-0011.

The This is Alabama Street Party at Bienville Square kicks off downtown festivities at 5 p.m. Friday. The Greer’s Markets/This is Alabama Mardi Gras parade rolls at 6:30 p.m. Friday, and the This is Alabama Pep Rally will follow at 7:30 at Bienville Square.

Game day will include the free Wind Creek Fan Fest at 3 p.m. in the Ladd-Peebles Stadium’s east parking lot. The Piggly Wiggly VIP Buffet, with tickets for $15, also starts at 3, and the free iHeart Radio Concert featuring Holli Mosley follows at 3:30.

Tickets for the Dollar General Bowl cost $15 for end-zone seats and $45 for sideline seats. Tickets for the game can be purchased online or by calling 251-635-0011.

Coaches Jason Candle (right) of Toledo and Scott Satterfield of Appalachian State chat before the start of a press conference on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Mark Inabinett/minabinett@al.com

Mark Inabinett is a sports reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @AMarkG1.

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