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Ohio Bobcats vs. Marshall Thundering Herd Prediction, Preview, and Odds
NCAAF: Saturday, September 14, 2019, Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, West Virginia, 6:30 pm EDT
The Marshall Thundering Herd are welcoming the Ohio Bobcats after a disappointing offensive performance in a loss to the Boise State Broncos last week. They are looking for the fifth consecutive win at home while the Bobcats are hoping to avoid the third straight defeat on the road. Both teams opened the season with comfortable victories over the VMI Keydets and Rhode Island Rams but lost away from home the previous weekend. These rivals have met seven times in the last ten years, and Ohio won four of those seven encounters, but the latest one was played on September 2015. Marshall was better in the previous H2H duel at Joan C. Edwards Stadium which was played in 2014.
The Bobcats lost to Pittsburgh after allowing 14 points in the second quarter
The Ohio Bobcats were never up in the 20-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers, mainly because of a poor running game. They collected miserable 35 rushing yards on 29 carries, and yet, running back De ‘Montre Tuggle scored the Bobcats’ only touchdown in the game. Senior quarterback Nathan Rourke completed 15 of his 27 passes for 177 yards as he connected with nine different receivers. Freshman wideout Jerome Buckner had 60 yards on four catches. Ohio’s defense tried everything to stop the Panthers, and they did a relatively good job.
Dylan Conner, Jarren Hampton, and Javon Hagan recorded 10+ tackles, and the defense hurried Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett eight times but had only one sack. Marshall is pretty good against the run early in the season, allowing 105.5 yards per game, which is currently a top 40 defense. Ohio will have to drastically improve their running game if they want to hurt the Thundering Herd but may switch to passing as Marshall has been more lenient to the opposing quarterbacks. However, the Bobcats are barely into top 100 with their passing yards per game (182.5), so it seems that they are going to struggle offensively in this one.
— Ohio Football 🏈 (@OhioFootball) September 10, 2019
Ohio’s head coach Frank Solich wasn’t happy with his team’s performance in a loss to Pittsburgh. “It was a very, very frustrating game for all of us,” Solich said. “When something like this happens to you, all you can do is go back to work.”
The Thundering Herd were held scoreless for three quarters in a loss to Boise State
The Marshall Thundering Herd took a 7-0 lead on the road against the Boise State Broncos as running back Brenden Knox scored a 13-yard touchdown in the games’ opening drive. It was pretty much all from Marshall, who stopped in the offense and finished the tilt with only 172 yards in opposite to the Broncos’ 437. The hosts scored a touchdown in the second and third quarter and secured a 14-7 victory. After experiencing the best game in his career in the opening week, sophomore quarterback Isaiah Green was very bad in this one. He completed ten of 17 passes for just 56 yards and an interception. Knox was the only bright spot in Marshall’s offense as he recorded 71 rushing yards on ten carries. Ohio is not bad when it comes to defending the ground as they allowed 122.0 rushing yards per game thus far. Still, Knox and co. shouldn’t have problems to have another 100+ yard performance, but Marshall should exploit the air because the Bobcats’ secondary is letting 306.0 passing yards per contest. Tavante Beckett and Brandon Drayton recorded 13 tackles apiece (9 solos each), and Marshall’s defense was playing very well actually, so they could have another solid outing against Ohio.
— Fed Scivittaro (@MeshPointScout) September 7, 2019
Marshall’s head coach Doc Holliday was impressed with his defense in this game, but also acknowledged that his offense needs to improve. “Our defense played well, but our offense needs to make more plays,” Holliday said. “I’m proud of the way we played, but not proud that we didn’t win the game.”
Knox will have a lot of work this Saturday after the team dismissed fellow RB Tyler King for an unspecified violation of team rules and policies. King led the team in rushing yards in each of the last two seasons.
- 4-1 ATS in their last five games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game
- 4-1 ATS in their last five vs. MAC opponents
- 4-1 SU in their last five games played on a Saturday
- 2-4 ATS in their last six games
- 1-3 ATS last 4 on the road in this series.
- 19-39-1 ATS in their last 59 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Brenden Knox will be very busy on Saturday and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has 20+ carries against solid Ohio’s ground defense. He will be highly motivated to show why he should be undisputed No. 1 runner on his team, so I expect a big game from a sophomore who already has three rushing touchdowns this season.
Still, the Thundering Herd should turn to Isaiah Green, who will be eager for a bounce-back display after a forgettable game against Boise State. Junior wideout Xavier Gaines can burn Ohio’s weak secondary, and I am backing Marshall to get 200+ passing yards here. The defenses will play a big part in this encounter, but I prefer the home team’s more, and I am backing the Thundering herd to cover -5.5 spread.
Prediction: Marshall Thundering Herd -5.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Both teams had a lot of offensive issues last week, and I don’t think that will drastically change on Saturday. Considering that they are using runners more than receivers so far in the season, I expect to see the ball on the ground often. The total is set at 50.5, and after these teams combined for miserable 17 points in Week 2, I am going with Under. I am going to ignore the fact that Marshall scored 56 and Ohio 41 in the opening week of the year because they played against weak VMI and Rhode Island.
Prediction: Under 50.5 (-110)