Marshall vs. Appalachian State – College Football (September 23, 2021)

By Dan Vasta in College Football
| September 22, 2021 5:16 am PDT

These two teams are both 2-1 and have lofty expectations heading into this week four college football matchup.

Appalachian State is one of the few exceptional squads in the Sun Belt. After suffering a close loss to Miami, they bounced back with a 44-10 victory over Elon.

The Mountaineers have the goods to control the line of scrimmage and run the ball with authority. They have been at their best over the years when their running game is dominant.

Marshall is coming off a disappointing loss to ECU. They led by three scores entering the fourth quarter and allowed the Pirates to score three touchdowns on top of an onside kick.

The improbability for the Thundering Herd to lose that game was tough to digest. Marshall dominated for three quarters and lost it in the fourth quarter. Some teams have struggled to gain momentum after suffering a loss like such.

The Mountaineers will challenge them at the line of scrimmage in this nationally televised game.

It is now time to further discuss this matchup by looking at the latest odds at the top college football betting sites.

Marshall vs. Appalachian State Odds

Marshall (+7.5)-112
Appalachian State (-7.5)-108
Marshall to Win+245
Appalachian State to Win-290
Over 56-115
Under 56-105

Appalachian State comes into Thursday’s tilt as a 7.5-point favorite at BetUs.

They’ve gone 3-3-1 at home when they are favored by 11 points or fewer, so the ATS followers can’t hate on them going into this one.

These two have plenty of history in recent memory. The Thundering Herd are 9-14 all-time against the Mountaineers. Marshall has won three in a row, but that goes back to 1996.

The Thundering Herd have gone 5-1 in their past six on the road against the spread (7.5 points or fewer). Marshall has covered in six of their past seven road games as an underdog regardless of the point spread.

Marshall and Appalachian State is a pivotal non-conference matchup that needs further dissection. Here are the latest keys to victory for both of these squads.

Why Marshall Wins

The Thundering Herd has a quarterback in Grant Wells. The fanbase doesn’t know what to expect out of him as he has shown lots of good and bad games over the years.

Wells is coming off a career game. Check out his numbers.

  • 433 passing yards
  • 1 TD
  • 2 INT
  • 153 passer rating

Wells has not been able to take care of the ball, but the program is nearly unstoppable when he avoid costly mistakes.

The speed at wide receiver is remarkable, and most teams won’t be able to defend Marshall. There were four passing options last week that posted 60-plus yards. That made it even more challenging to limit.

Looking at last season, Marshall lost their final three games. Wells barely threw for 500 yards and averaged under 200 in those final three. The team couldn’t rush the ball, either.

In the seven wins, Wells averaged about 240 yards a game and threw for 16 passing touchdowns along the way. Marshall has enough weapons on the offensive attack to spread out the Mountaineers secondary. Corey Gammage and Talik Keaton have been putting together a solid season thus far.

Gammage has the size to take a few slants to the house at 6-4, 220-pounds. Marshall has also been one of the better programs in C-USA, and they have the athletes on offense to outscore Appalachian State in a potential shootout.

The top reason to love the chances of the Herd is running back Rasheen Ali.

Ali ran for a single-best 189 yards to go along with three scores. Ali ran downhill and sprinkled in explosive plays against ECU last week. If Marshall is a balanced offensive attack, they can pull this upset off.

Why Appalachian State Wins

The Mountaineers have hit the jackpot with former Duke and Clemson quarterback Chase Brice. The quarterback has thrown for 458 yards thus far in the season, and the best is yet to come.

To see what he’s capable of, take a trip down memory lane and check out his breakout game with Duke last year.

Brice has been enough of a runner to make defenses think twice about the run-pass option.

The backfield has been remarkable with Nate Noel and Camerun Peeples. Peeples ran for over 300 yards in their bowl victory last season, and the stud back is dynamic.

The Mountaineers enter the week as the sixth-leading rushing attack in the FBS. They have averaged 264.9 rushing yards per game, and they have dominated the line of scrimmage thus far. They should win the Sun Belt and will be a dark horse for the NY6 bowls.

Their defense is No. 18 in total defense, allowing only 328.8 yards per game.

They have allowed the ninth fewest passing yards per game at 177.9, and they should force a few ill-advised throws by Wells. Winning the turnover battle will benefit the rushing attack and lead to another home victory.

Marshall vs. Appalachian State Prediction

Thursday night primetime games are always fun. These are two of the better teams in the Group of Five. Both quarterbacks are fully capable of winning this game with the strength of their arms.

Both defenses have been respectable, but the Mountaineers have been able to limit the explosive plays. App State is capable of running the table from here on out.

This matchup is one where Marshall is not going to keep up. The Mountaineers won’t let this opportunity slip by, so mark them down as the winner.

Marshall vs. Appalachian State Pick

The Mountaineers are the pick here.

One could take the money line for App State, but there is better value on them to cover the spread. They could become one of the teams to beat in the Group of Five.

Lighting up the scoreboard has been a trend for this program, and this will be another game they will have the opportunity to do so.

Take the Mountaineers and lay the points against the Thundering Herd.

Pick
  • Appalachian State (-7.5)
    -110

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