Marshall vs. FIU prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Thundering Herd and Golden Panthers on Saturday in Miami, FL.
Marshall vs. FIU Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 19 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: FIU Stadium, Miami, FL
The Thundering Herd (3-7, 2-4 Conference USA) cruised to victory last week at home against Middle Tennessee, as Chase Litton threw for four touchdowns and Anthony Anderson ran in another score in a 42-17 win. Trailing 17-14 at halftime, Doc Holliday’s squad took the lead for good in the third quarter and then rattled off 21 more unanswered points in the final quarter of play. Litton completed 21 of 37 passes for 246 yards.
Meanwhile, the Golden Panthers (3-7, 3-3) are coming off of a bye week after being overwhelmed the previous outing at Western Kentucky, as Anthony Wales ran for 111 yards and four touchdowns in a 49-21 win. But there is excitement around the program, as FIU has landed Butch Davis to be its next head football coach. The former ESPN TV analyst has received a five-year deal to revitalize the program.
During last year’s meeting in Huntington, Litton threw three scoring passes and Remi Watson ran for two as Marshall cruised to a 52-0 shutout. The game was played on the 45th anniversary of the charter flight crash that killed 75 people involved with the Marshall football team following a 17-14 loss to East Carolina.
What To Know About Marshall
A week after the Thundering Herd were overwhelmed on the road against Old Dominion, Holliday’s bunch bounced back in a big way in the win over the Blue Raiders. Litton had a big day, and he has now been interception-free over his last three games, not throwing one since the contest against Charlotte on Oct. 22. Litton and Co. have shown that they can be prolific on offense when they are not plagued by turnovers and other mistakes. Defensively, Marshall has been porous both against the pass and run, but last week it held Middle Tennessee to just 283 yards.
What to Know About FIU
Davis met with his new program for the first time on Tuesday and mentioned programs such as Boise State and Central Florida—Group of Five schools that have enjoyed bids to major bowl games in the past. His message was, “Why not us?” He has a tough rebuild on the horizon, but he has a successful track record in the college game and should be able to clean up in the fertile recruiting soils of the Sunshine State. This will be the fifth consecutive season that the Golden Panthers miss a bowl game, but don’t expect that poor stretch to continue under a coach who went 51-20 at Miami from 1995 to 2000 at a program that was decimated by sanctions and scholarship losses.
Offense: Even. Inconsistency has plagued both units throughout the season.
Defense: Even. Both units are very generous to opposing offenses.
Special Teams: FIU. Marshall’s Amoreto Curraj is just 4-of-9 on field goals and has missed two extra points this season.
Coaching: Marshall. It has been a rough year for Holliday, but FIU is still operating under interim head coach Ron Cooper.
Intangibles: Even. Marshall is coming off of a win, but there is newfound energy at FIU even though Davis has not really taken over the team quite yet.
Matchup To Watch
FIU quarterbacks vs. The turnover factor
We don’t know yet whether Maurice Alexander (14 of 23 through the air for 129 yards and two interceptions versus Western Kentucky) or Christian Alexander (8-of-11 passing for 81 yards and two touchdowns) will start at quarterback for FIU. Whoever is under center will have to protect the football, because Marshall is capable of putting up points in bunches—when the Herd themselves protect the ball. FIU won’t be able to win a shootout, though, if Marshall plays up to its capability.
Spread: Marshall -2.5
Marshall vs. FIU Prediction
There will be a lot of excitement in Miami with Davis coming aboard. A late Litton interception will set up an FIU score deep into the fourth quarter to help the Golden Panthers slip by at home.
Marshall vs. FIU Score Prediction: FIU 30, Marshall 27