Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic Prediction, Game Preview

    Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic prediction and game preview. The Thundering Herd look to improve to 6-1 as they travel to south Florida to take on the Owls.

    October 13, 2015

    The Marshall Thundering Herd (5-1) hits the road for the first time in three weeks to play the Florida Atlantic Owls (1-4). Check out the Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic prediction and game preview.

    Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic Game Preview


    Date: Saturday, October 17
    Game Time: 10:00 ET
    Venue: FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida
    Network: Fox Sports 1

    Follow and/or Contact @Rich Cirminiello

    Why You Need To Care

    The defending league champs won’t relinquish their crown without putting up a fight this fall. Marshall, forgotten after a Week 2 loss to Ohio and backfield injuries, has rallied to four consecutive wins. And the latest over up-and-coming Southern Miss, 31-10, sent a statement to the rest of Conference USA. Florida Atlantic, on the other hand, will need to pick itself up after blowing a fourth-quarter lead in a one-point loss to Rice.

    Why Marshall Will Win

    If there was any debate about the league’s best defense, the Herd ended it last Friday. Southern Miss was rolling when it arrived in Huntington, yet ended up allowing 17 quarterback hurries, 15 pass breakups, four fumble recoveries and four sacks to Marshall. The Herd is flying to the ball, led by speedy DE Gary Thompson.

    Why Florida Atlantic Will Win

    Marshall is winning, sure. But it’s an incomplete team still struggling to move the ball consistently with rookie Chase Litton under center. The Herd has turned the ball over 15 times and ranks 110th nationally in yards per play. And the Owls are stingy on defense, led by DT Trevon Coley, allowing less than four yards a carry and picking off more passes than touchdowns allowed.

    Player Who Matters

    As Marshall awaits the return of QB Michael Birdsong, RB Devon Johnson is back after missing time with his own injury. He was rusty against Southern Miss, running for 82 yards and a score, but the Herd is hopeful he can recapture his old bulldozing form. Johnson’s absence also helped Tony Pittman develop into a capable backup off the bench.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    As the Marshall offense hunts for consistency and big plays, the defense will continue to lead the charge. The Herd will neutralize the dual-threat ability of FAU QB Jaquez Johnson, forcing him to go up top more than he’s accustomed. Marshall’s Johnson, Devon, will deliver a workmanlike 100 yards to help wear down the Owl D.

    Marshall vs. Florida Atlantic Prediction

    Final Score: Marshall 31, Florida Atlantic 20, Line: Marshall -6.5, o/u: 53.5
    Must See Rating: 5: Trojan War, 1: The Muppets … 1.5

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 6


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