As we get ready for tonight’s showdown between the Marshall Thundering Herd and the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, fans should be excited to see two teams with similar strengths square off in Caesar’s Superdome. The Cajuns are the favorite, with DraftKings listing Michael Desormeaux’s team as -4 with the O/U set at 55.5.
These are the names that will be especially critical to this game’s excitement in the Big Easy.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.
Grant Wells, QB - Marshall
Going back to last season, Wells has struggled in late-season “high pressure games.” The Herd finished the 2020 season with three straight losses where Wells accumulated five interceptions and just two touchdowns. Now, with a new coach and a stellar supporting cast, Wells finished his last three games of the regular season with five touchdowns and just one interception despite the Herd dropping two of those contests.
Wells was hit hard and subsequently exited the game with an upper body injury in the Herd’s contest against Western Kentucky. Wells seems good to go, but it might be something to keep an eye on as he leads his team into battle against a Louisiana defense that is 11th nationally in scoring defense.
Montrell Johnson, RB - Louisiana
Johnson, a New Orleans native, was this season’s Sun Belt Conference freshman of the year after racking up 776 yards and 11 touchdowns.
During the season, Johnson split a decent amount of the rushing workload with 2020 All-American Chris Smith, who will miss this game with a knee injury. Expect Johnson to be the feature back for the Cajuns on Saturday night.
With the increased carry count for Johnson, we’ll likely get a sneak peak of one of the main pieces for the Sun Belt Champions in the coming years.
Abraham Beauplan, LB - Marshall
This season, Marshall had C-USA’s best scoring defense with 22.8 points allowed per game. The Herd defense also had an impressive 38 sacks this season A huge reason for that was the aggressive play of their pass rush, led by linebacker Abraham Beauplan out of Boynton Beach. Beauplan led the team in tackles with 104 (third most in Conference USA), which averages out to 8.67 per game.
Beauplan has fantastic motor and seems to find himself wherever the defense needs him to be to make the play. Expect the 6’2” junior to continue to do so as the Herd go for Charles Huff’s first bowl win as a head coach.