Hello, Herd fans!
It is time to begin Marshall’s 13th league season in Conference USA with the Thundering Herd’s second trip to Charlotte. In 2015, the Herd strung up the 49ers 31-3 at the half, then won 34-10 after a very blah second half.
Last year, a veteran 49ers squad came to Huntington and gave Herd fans indigestion, stealing a 27-24 win at Edwards Stadium. There is the starting point of this prediction.
The Herd will have some trouble with QB Hasaan Klugh, who scored the go-ahead TD last year, and blossoming RB Benny LeMay, maybe to the point of giving up 100 yards to each. If it’s just 100 and not much more, that’s fine.
Why? Because I have no faith in Charlotte’s passing attack. Watch to see if the 49ers pick up any third downs with 7 or more yards to go.
Expect more wrinkles in Greg Adkins’ second game as offensive coordinator, but I’m not sure it matters. The 49ers hit Florida International with surprises in the first half, then went to sleep after halftime and lost by a point.
The 49ers lost a LOT of players on both sides, and it will show in this game. So will Marshall’s much-improved athletic ability, plus the return of MLB Juwon Young. I can’t think of a better game to make his Herd debut, and I don’t think rust will be much of a factor.
I look for a repeat of the 2015 game. Just remember, if your guys lead by 28 at the half, it doesn’t mean they win by 56.