The Five Spot: No. 3 — 3.8

August 7, 2015 by Derek Redd

See that number in the heading? That’s the yards per carry Marshall’s defense allowed last season, which ranked 33rd in the FBS.

See that guy in the video? He’s a big reason why that number was so low.

Last year, I asked James Rouse what was the most a team dedicated to stopping him. He said that, on his first snap against Ohio, he was triple-teamed. When an opposing team must put that much effort into stopping one guy, everyone else on the defensive line should have a lot of room to wreak havoc.

But he’s not there anymore.

That’s not saying there isn’t talent on the roster. DT Jarquez Samuel was a preseason all-C-USA pick and DE Gary Thompson was a former C-USA all-freshman pick. But losing a guy that can command triple teams is significant.

And that yards-per-carry average is important, too. A strong D-line allows linebackers to run free and the secondary to take calculated risks that, more often than not, work out. That strength now must come in numbers, and that includes Marshall’s reserves.

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