Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#121 Appalachian State -4.5 vs.
#122 Marshall 57
Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 1:30pm EDT
Written by Scott Reichel

This Saturday, there will be a college football matchup between two undefeated teams as the Appalachian State Mountaineers travel to Joan C. Edwards Stadium to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd. This game will be taking place at 1:30 P.M. EST and it will be the second game of the season for both teams.

Appalachian State Looks To Remain Ranked

The Appalachian State Mountaineers entered this season with a lot of pressure following a 13 win campaign in 2019. So far this season, the Mountaineers look up to the task as they won the season opener by 15 points at home. As a result, Appalachian State was rewarded with a spot in the AP Top 25. However, the Mountaineers can easily become unranked once again with a loss in this game on Saturday. Now, Appalachian State will be looking for another solid performance in this hostile environment with the hopes of potentially moving up in the rankings.

Leading the Mountaineers offensively is senior quarterback Zac Thomas who was okay in the first game of the season as he had 204 passing yards along with one passing touchdown. However, he also had one interception while completing just 14 passes so he will be looking for a better performance in this road game.

Appalachian State's defense will be led by sophomore linebacker Brendan Harrington who was very solid in the first game of the season as he recorded two solo tackles along with one interception. Last season, Harrington was a non-factor as he only recorded seven solo tackles along with zero interceptions so he has made tremendous strides during the offseason.

Marshall Looks To Potentially Enter The Top 25

The Marshall Thundering Herd entered this season with the hopes of building off of a successful 2019 campaign in which they won eight games despite failing to win a bowl game. The Thundering Herd were hoping to compete for a Conference USA title with a ton of talent returning from last year's team and it appears that they should be a really good football team based on their performance in the season opener. Marshall managed to defeat FCS opponent Eastern Kentucky at home by 59 points in its first game of the season and it will now be looking for another dominating performance on Saturday. In addition, this is a ranked opponent so one can legitimately argue that Marshall could receive a spot in the AP Top 25 if it is able to pull off this upset at home.

Leading the Thundering Herd offensively is junior running back Brenden Knox who was pretty good in the first game of the season as he had 85 rushing yards along with one rushing touchdown. However, his performance was not that impressive when one remembers that he had 1,387 rushing yards in 2019 so he will be looking for a much better performance on Saturday.

Marshall's defense will be led by senior safety Nazeeh Johnson who was fantastic in the first game of the season as he recorded six tackles along with one interception. Johnson recorded exactly one interception in each of his first three seasons with the program so he will be looking to set a new career-high on Saturday.

Best Bets for this Game

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Even though Appalachian State is ranked and Marshall is not, I think that these two teams are extremely closer than what the oddsmakers suggest. Appalachian State struggled for awhile against a mediocre at best Charlotte team in its first game of the season while Marshall won its season opener at home by 59 points so I think that Thundering Herd might be in better form at this point in time. Plus, this will be Appalachian State's first road game of the season so I expect it to struggle a bit in this hostile environment. Give me the home team as a result.

Prediction: Marshall +4.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Both teams have extremely underrated offenses so I think that this total is a bit too low. Appalachian State has a very experienced quarterback and a solid running game so I can see the Mountaineers scoring at least 28 points in this game. At the same time, Marshall has a mobile quarterback along with an elite ground game so I can see it scoring at least 31 points in this game. As a result, I expect this game to finish somewhere in the realm of 31-30 so I think that there is a lot of value with the over in this spot.

Prediction: Over 59

Half-Time Side Pick

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Marshall might be unranked at the moment but one can easily argue that it might be one of the best 25 teams in the country after its phenomenal performance in the first game of the season. Although that was against an FCS school, Marshall still showcased its high quality offense and its underrated defense so I think that it should be able to keep this game close for at least the first 30 minutes of this game at home. Plus, Marshall is allowing fans at its home games so I can see Appalachian State getting off to a bit of a slow start. Give me the home team.

Prediction: Marshall 1H +2.5
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Written By Scott Reichel

Scott Reichel is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate with an insane passion for sports. His commitment to endlessly researching statistics helps separate him from other handicappers with regard to MLB, NBA, NCAAB, NCAAF, NHL and NFL coverage. Scott also shares his passion for sports on StatSalt's YouTube page where he does a daily show called Scott's Selections.