Marshall @

Appalachian State

Thu, Sep 23
4:30 PM Pacific
Rotation: 303
Odds: Appalachian State -7, Total: 59

Game Analysis

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1-Star Best Bet – *OVER (58.5) – APPALACHIAN ST (-7) 39   Marshall  28

Marshall is running their offense at a very fast pace this season and all 3 of the Thundering Herd’s games have gone over the total. Second-year quarterback Grant Wells is leading an offense that has averaged 7.6 yards per play with the starters in the game and while they won’t score 44 points in this game (their season average thus far) against a decent Appalachian State defense, the fast pace will also give the Mountaineers’ efficient attack more possessions in which to score.

App State quarterback Chase Brice seems to have finally found a system that suits his talent. Brice was a highly recruited quarterback out of high school that couldn’t get past the backup role at Clemson and then struggled at Duke by forcing passes into tight windows with a receiving corps that couldn’t get open consistently. Appalachian has come good receivers for Brice to work with and thus far he’s averaged 8.3 yards per pass play (against teams that would allow 7.7 yppp to an average QB) with 70% completions and just 2 interceptions, which was an issue at Duke last season. Marshall’s defense under the new coaching staff isn’t as good as it was last season and perhaps the fast pace the offense runs leads to that unit wearing down a bit, as they looked tired in giving up the lead to ECU last week. The Pirates were the first decent offense they faced (although still worse than average) and the Herd allowed 42 points on 563 yards at 6.3 yards per play in that loss.

I already mentioned how well, and how fast (3.0 plays per minute of possession) that the Marshal offense is playing, and Appalachian State’s defense is overrated in my estimation. The Mountaineers have 10 returning starters on defense but the one that is gone was their most important player on that unit last season – CB Shemar Jean-Charles. Jean-Charles broke up 17 passes last season, which is nearly impossible to replace. Appalachian allowed just 47.9% completions and broke up 20% of attempted passes last season but the Mountaineers have allowed 58.2% completions this season and have broken up just 12% of passes thrown in their first 3 games despite facing a sub-par collection of quarterbacks (only Miami’s King is better than average, and he’s struggled this season). Appalachian’s pass defense still rates as 0.4 yards per pass play better than average but the Mounties are still having issues defending the run (5.6 yprp allowed to ECU and Miami) after being 0.4 yards per rushing play worse than average last season. I project a modest 5.5 yards per play for Marshall in this game, but they should tally over 400 yards of offense given the number of plays that they’ll run.

Appalachian State’s offense has a more significant advantage, and the Mounties are projected to gain around 500 yards at 6.4 yppl against a Marshall defense that is not nearly as good as it was last season (I rate that unit at 0.4 yppl worse than average after being 0.4 yppl better than average under the former coaching staff).

Overall, I expect a combined 6.0 yards per play in this game and for the teams to combine for 155 plays, which should be enough to push this game over a total that is only 3 points more than the season average total points for the nation. The Over is a 1-Star Best Bet at 59 points or less (Strong Opinion up to 60.5).

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Marshall
  • Appalachian State


  • Run Plays 35.0 42.3
  • Run Yards 190.0 223.0
  • YPRP 5.4 5.3


  • Pass Comp 29.0 16.7
  • Pass Att 43.7 32.7
  • Comp % 66.4% 51.0%
  • Pass Yards 412.0 187.3
  • Sacks 0.7 5.7
  • Sack Yards 5.0 31.0
  • Sack % 1.5% 14.8%
  • Pass Plays 44.3 38.3
  • Net Pass Yards 407.0 156.3
  • YPPP 9.2 4.1


  • Total Plays 79.3 80.7
  • Total Yards 597.0 379.3
  • YPPL 7.5 4.7


  • Int 2.0 0.7
  • Int % 4.6% 2.1%
  • Fumbles 1.0 1.0
  • Turnovers 3.0 1.7
  • Points 43.7 19.7
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