Appalachian State quarterback Chase Brice, center, looks for an open teammate as he is guarded by offensive lineman Isaiah Helms (68) and offensive lineman Baer Hunter (51) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Miami, Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
- Appalachian State host Marshall in a prime time Thursday night matchup on ESPN at 7:30pm EST
- The Mountaineers are coming off three consecutive losses in the rivalry game between the two schools
- Read below for odds, a breakdown of how the game will play out and best bets for Thursday night
It’s rivalry time on ESPN when Appalachian State (2-1) hosts Marshall (2-1) at 7:30pm EST on Thursday night. This is the second game in as many season after the rivalry had been on hiatus since 1996.
Last season, the Thundering Herd knocked off a ranked App State team in Huntington on CBS by the score of 17-7.
The Mountaineers are a 7-point favorite this season, a number that hasn’t changed since posted. At the time of publishing, App State was receiving around 65% of the betting tickets.
Marshall vs Appalachian State Odds
|Marshall||+7 (-110)||+240||U 58.5 (-110)|
|App State||-7 (-110)||-305||O 58.5 (-110)|
Odds from DraftKings on Sep 21st
Trends may be something less relied upon during a rivalry game, but there are a few to keep in mind. All three identified favor the Thundering Herd in this one:
- In its last ten road non-conference games, Marshall is 8-2 ATS
- In it’s last ten games as a road underdog, Marshall is also 8-2 ATS
- Marshall has won three consecutive road games
Questions in the Marshall Secondary
The questions for the Herd coming into last weekend’s tilt with East Carolina was simple. They wanted to know how legit their defense was. The competition had been nothing to write home about early, but the defense impressed. Their front seven was living in opposing backfields. In fact, through two games, Marshall’s defense had ranked in the top five of College Football in tackles for a loss.
— Marshall Football (@HerdFB) September 19, 2021
After one game against decent competition, they found out the answer – it wasn’t exactly what they had hoped for. They left the game with more questions about their defense than they came in to the game with.
The Pirates rallied to defeat them 42-38 but it was in the manner of which they did it that said the most. They torched them through the air for 368 yards and two touchdowns. They posted an impressive 1.53 explosiveness rate and had a 40% success rate on passing downs.
Marshall’s secondary got exposed in every sense of the word. The defensive backs posted an anemic havoc rating of 0.035. Havoc rating measures everything from tackles for a loss to passes deflected. This number was their lowest of the season. Marshall’s defensive backs deflected (or defended) one single East Carolina pass.
Explosive Offensive Attack Leads the Way for App State
There aren’t many teams in College Football that have completed more than one pass for 40+ yards and 50+ yards. That number shrinks even more when you look at Group of Five teams. The Mountaineers are one of those teams.
Transfer QB Chase Brice leads the way of an explosive offense. He boasts an impressive 8.7 yards per attempt. That places him in the top 25 of players that have played as least three games.
Chase Brice is BALLIN right now: 18-24 246 2 TD 🔥🔥🔥
App State up 27-9 💪🏾 pic.twitter.com/AganFIrtwt
— Talks With T-Time Podcast (@TalkWithTTimeP1) September 3, 2021
Even in defeat against Miami, App State posted a solid 1.1 explosiveness rate. They were productive on standard downs with a success rate of over 50%.
Luckily, in this game we have a common opponent in East Carolina. The Mountaineers defeated them to the tune of 33-19. They, once again, had a solid explosiveness rate and generally got what they wanted on offense.
Yet, instead of attacking through the air, App State found much more success on the ground. Running Back Nate Noel shredded the Pirates on the ground. He accomplished that feat to the tune of 126 yards on just 15 carries. That included a long run of 46 yards in the second half, after Noel had worn down the opposing offense.
Appalachian State is the better team here. The best illustration of that is what the teams have already done when they played East Carolina. Even when you look further, you’ll see that the Marshall issues in their secondary are a big problem.
Thursday night. Longtime rival. National TV.
— App State Football (@AppState_FB) September 20, 2021
Some are hesitant to lay points in a rivalry game due to the typical competitive nature of the games. But take a look at the series history between the two schools here. Three straight games in the series have been won by more than seven points. Marshall has won three straight of those. If App State is given a chance to pile on points, they won’t hesitate.
With all that said, there are opportunities to cash in on this in multiple ways. I’ll look to do that. I’ll play Appalachian State -7 alone as a straight play. I’ll also parlay the total with some help on the spread as a separate play.
- The Picks: Appalachian State -7 (-110), Parlay Appalachian State -6 + Total over 58 (bought point, +215)
Writer, podcaster, and long-time Sports Handicapper. Chris’ work has been featured in websites such as SBNation, 247sports among others. He currently co host a podcast called “What High School Did You Go To?” that focuses on the University of Louisville athletics as well as College Sports as a whole