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Marshall Thundering Herd vs North Texas Mean Green Preview

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Both teams are struggling, but only one of those is a surprise. Who comes out on top?

NCAA Football: North Texas at Marshall
Marshall torched the Mean Green last year in Huntington, 30-13. Will this year at least be competitive?
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Start Time: 7 p.m. EST / 6 p.m. CST

Location: Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX

TV/Streaming: CUSA.tv

Radio: Mean Green Radio Network, or Herdzone.com

Live Stats: CBS Gametracker

Betting Line: Marshall -10, O/U 69.5

Series Record: Marshall leads, 2-0


Marshall:

(Joe Nida, Marshall writer)

Marshall travels to Denton on a three game losing streak. After failing to finish a rally against Pitt, they finished their non-conference schedule with only one win. In a campaign to continue a 10 win season streak, 1-3 is not the way Marshall wanted to start conference play. This places them in a position where every game is vital. How the Herd stacks up against the rest of C-USA is hard to judge since two of Marshall’s losses came at the hands of ACC teams.

The University of North Texas will be able to provide a good benchmark for the team to see how they can expect to fare for the remainder of the season. The defense has given up 492 yards a game. They’ve let teams throw over 1,200 yards on the season. Marshall has to find a way to cover the secondary against Mason Fine who has thrown for over 750 yards this season.

Chase Litton will be back to lead the offense this week. He’s averaging 321 passing yards a game, which gives him the fourth highest average in the country. He’s connected for 12 touchdowns. The duo of Michael Clark and Josh Knight lead the team in receiving touchdowns totaling 7 touchdowns between them.

Marshall’s key to the game will definitely be getting their defense to make stops. If the defense can keep UNT out of the end zone and Chase Litton can shake off his rough start against Pitt, the Herd should end their losing streak and start conference play on a strong note.

North Texas:

(Adam Woodyard, North Texas writer)

Compared to 2015, North Texas is having a spectacular season, but that was a very low bar to begin with, and the Thundering Herd aren’t giving out points for effort. If you’re only as good as your most recent season, then Marshall is still a force to be reckoned with, and North Texas is, well, North Texas.

The Mean Green struggled against Rice but were able to pull out a win, and while they lost last week to Middle Tennessee, it was by no means the blowout one would have expected as the game itself much closer than the final score would imply. We cannot say enough good things about the Mean Green defense after last week; with the exception of a few rookie mistakes, they held Brent Stockstill to, well, at least fewer yards than normal.

Which brings us to Chase Litton. Not having a great season so far, expect the Mean Green to give him fits as they similarly go after him in yet another home game in Denton. Far from being one-sided, this will be another fun game to watch, as Mason Fine continues to impress and put up big yardage. But while UNT is effectively building from scratch this year, Marshall is building from very recent success.

Verdict:

(Joe)

Final Score: Marshall 31, UNT 24

(Adam)

Final Score: Marshall 33, UNT 28