Hello Herd fans!
Marshall is favored in this contest, which surprises me — especially after Southern Mississippi dropped 66 on a team that gave up 14 to the Herd. The Herd eked out 7 in its last game, though Texas-San Antonio’s defense is just a weeeeeeeee bit better than that of Charlotte.
Southern Miss isn’t scoring 66 on Saturday. Ito Smith will get his 150, and that number will work in MU’s favor.
Remember, the Herd conceivably could have beaten FAU, even with Devin Singletary gaining 275 from scrimmage. When you stripped away everything else, the contest came down to 4 interceptions. That’s not luck, however — FAU’s secondary won the head-to-head matchup with MU’s passing game, fair and square.
The Eagles will move the ball, but I am banking on MU’s red-zone defense this time around. The Herd has given up only 14 TDs in 33 invasions of the 20-yard line, a ratio that much better then the rest of the league (official stats count FGs as a positive for the offense, which is usually not the case). The Herd hasn’t given up a red-zone TD in about 110 minutes, dating back to the early minutes of the Western Kentucky game.
That leaves the head-shaking offense. Will it run the ball at all? Will it commit penalties on third down? Will Chase Litton throw to the other team some more? Will the play-calling make anybody happy? (That’s an easy one: no.)
I’ll slap the smiley face on here and tell you the Herd has scored at least 20 in 9 of 11 games. Chuckle at that if you will, but that will be enough to get the job done Saturday afternoon.
MARSHALL 20, SOUTHERN MISS 16