App State’s smart game was a bad beat for punters

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The bettors who had Appalachian State -7.5 points were very unhappy with the end of the Mountaineers’ game against Marshall.

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

Noel’s decision was smart – and the right one from a football standpoint. Appalachian State took the ball by one with three minutes to get into its own 10. The offensive line started opening huge holes for Noel and he took advantage. It only took four Christmas races at App State to reach the Marshall 27.

After Noel broke that 41-yard run to enter Marshall’s territory, Marshall called his final timeout and spelled out the game plan. Marshall (2-2) needed App State to score to get the ball back with a tie and overtime chance.

As App State handed him over to Noel at 1:30 am left, Marshall’s players made no attempt to tackle him. He realized this and went down to 5. Marshall’s strategy was thwarted. And that was also the case with the bets of those who had the mountaineers minus the points.

Appalachian State simply ran out of time from there and got the win.

While the gap was affected by Noel’s play, the total was not. App State pushed the total above / below 59 with a field goal with 5:45 to go. If the total had been three points higher, Noel’s clever play would have ruined two outcomes for punters.


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