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Herd Upsets #23 Appy State In Huntington

Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 8:12 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Brenden Knox rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown, quarterback Grant Wells came up with back-to-back big plays when Marshall needed them and the Thundering Herd beat No. 23 Appalachian State 17-7 on Saturday.

Marshall (2-0) beat a ranked opponent for the first time since winning at No. 6 Kansas State in 2003. It also was the Thundering Herd’s first win over a ranked opponent at home since 1976.

Appalachian State (1-1) squandered a couple of late opportunities and was held scoreless in the second half.

“For our program, it’s huge,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. “I thought our guys accepted that challenge. I thought the defensive play was special.”

Knox got the edge over Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas in a matchup between two preseason offensive players of the year in their respective conferences.

Wells had a lackluster game but put together consecutive big plays that made the difference. The redshirt freshman threw a 67-yard pass down the middle to a wide open Xavier Gaines to set up Wells' 12-yard scoring run on the next play for a 17-7 lead late in the third quarter.

Wells finished 11 of 25 for 163 yards after throwing four TD passes in his debut two weeks ago, a 59-0 win over Eastern Kentucky.

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