Bad beats: App State purposely doesn't score late against Marshall and fails to cover the spread

·2 min read

Bettors who had Appalachian State -7.5 points were very unhappy with the way the Mountaineers' game ended against Marshall.

App State (3-1) beat the Thundering Herd 31-30 in an entertaining Thursday night matchup. That result could have been 38-30, but Appalachian State RB Nate Noel chose to go down before the goal line instead of scoring a touchdown. 

Noel's move was smart — and the right one from a football perspective. Appalachian State got the ball up by one with three minutes to go inside its own 10. The offensive line started opening huge holes for Noel and he took advantage. It took App State just four Noel runs to get to the Marshall 27.

After Noel broke that 41-yard run to get into Marshall territory, Marshall called its final timeout and made the game plan clear. Marshall (2-2) needed App State to score to get the ball back with a chance of a tie and overtime.

As App State handed it off to Noel again with 1:30 left, Marshall players made no attempt to tackle him. He realized that and went down at the 5. Marshall’s strategy was thwarted. And so were the bets of those who had the Mountaineers minus the points.

Appalachian State simply ran out the clock from there and secured the win. 

While the spread was impacted by Noel's play, the total was not. App State pushed the total over the over/under of 59 with a go-ahead field goal with 5:45 to go. Had the total been three points higher, then Noel's smart play would have ruined two outcomes for bettors.