HUNTINGTON — Marshall will officially host a nationally ranked opponent at Joan C. Edwards Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The latest Associated Press top 25 poll had Appalachian State tied at No. 23 following their opening 35-20 win over Charlotte on Saturday. Marshall also earned two points in the Associated Press poll, based on their 59-0 win over Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 5.
The Mountaineers finished 13-1 in 2019 and were nationally ranked at season’s end, which had them on the radar already coming into the 2020 season.
Saturday’s matchup against Marshall marks the third consecutive Conference USA opponent for the Mountaineers, who ended last year with a 31-17 win over UAB in the New Orleans Bowl.
They then opened up 2020 with a 35-20 win over Charlotte in Boone, North Carolina, in a game that went down to the final minutes.
Charlotte got a turnover deep in Appalachian State territory, trailing 28-20, but was not able to get into the end zone. The Mountaineers took over and used a tough ground attack to earn a late scoring drive that netted the two-score win.
Marshall was a late addition to the Appalachian State schedule after each team lost non-conference games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Associated Press Poll was released on Sunday afternoon, giving a good look at teams who are playing football in the fall.
The original AP poll featured all FBS teams, but with several conferences opting out of play, the newest poll gives a better indication of where teams are among those actively playing.
Clemson was No. 1 in Sunday’s poll, followed by Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia and Florida.
Other notable teams included Cincinnati at No. 13, Louisville at No. 18 and Kentucky at No. 23. West Virginia received 81 points, which was second-most among teams in the ‘Others Receiving Votes’ category.
The last time Marshall hosted a ranked opponent at Joan C. Edwards Stadium was on Sept. 24, 2016 when Louisville visited Huntington. The Cardinals won 59-28.
Marshall’s last win over a ranked opponent came on Sept. 20, 2003, when the Herd went to Manhattan, Kansas, and topped Kansas State, 27-20.
Marshall and Appalachian State are former Southern Conference rivals. This will be the 23rd meeting between the programs.
Appalachian State leads the all-time series, 14-8. It is the first meeting between the teams since 2002.