Marshall vs. North Texas prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Thundering Herd and Mean Green on Saturday in Denton, TX.
Marshall vs. North Texas Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 8 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Apogee Stadium, Denton, TX
TV Broadcast: N/A
The Thundering Herd (1-3, 0-0 Conference USA) went into Pittsburgh last week and fell behind by four touchdowns, but Doc Holliday’s squad never quit. The Panthers scored a 54-yard touchdown with 1:04 remaining and pulled away for a 43-27 win, but Marshall had pulled to within 30-27. This week marks the first Conference USA game for Marshall.
Meanwhile, the Mean Green (2-3, 1-1) are coming off a 30-13 home loss to Middle Tennessee last week, as they allowed Brent Stockstill to pass for 295 yards with a pair of touchdowns. North Texas was able to execute an early 17-play drive that resulted in a touchdown, but it was held scoreless on its next nine possessions. It had to punt eight times and had six three-and-outs.
In last season’s 30-13 win over the Mean Green, Marshall quarterback Chase Litton threw for 189 yards and a touchdown, completing 19 of 34 passes in the process. Hyleck Foster ran for 105 yards and a score and Remi Watson added 83 yards and another touchdown.
What To Know About Marshall
Quarterback Chase Litton returned to action after missing the loss to Louisville, and he threw for 240 yards with two touchdowns and an interception against the Panthers. Michael Clark caught four passes for 147 yards, including an 83-yard score, and Holliday has to feel good about his team battling through adversity against a Power Five team. Despite being down big, the Herd continued to fight, which is a good sign entering league play. Marshall remains a contender for a division and conference crown.
What to Know About North Texas
Freshman Mason Fine is a nice offensive piece for first-year head coach Seth Littrell. The quarterback was offered a spot with Oklahoma as a preferred walk-on, but he chose to honor his verbal commitment to play on scholarship at North Texas. In the loss to Middle Tennessee last week, he threw for 303 yards and a touchdown on 33-of-54 passing, but he was held in check on the ground. He’s a very young player, and the offense is a work in progress. But he’s a player that Littrell can build around.
Offense: Marshall. Litton can move the ball through the air with relative ease, but he has to be better at protecting the football. Twelve players have caught at least one pass this season.
Defense: Marshall. Holliday’s squad is allowing only 360.0 yards per game, while Littrell’s squad is allowing 502.6 yards per contest.
Special Teams: Marshall. The Herd possess one of the best special teams efficiency ratings in C-USA.
Coaching: Marshall. Holliday has an unblemished record in his four bowl appearances at the school.
Intangibles: Marshall. The Herd can take a lot away from the effort last week against Pitt.
Matchup To Watch
Marshall ground game vs. North Texas’ 3-3-5 defense
Keion Davis had 68 rushing yards on 12 carries, while Anthony Anderson added 56 yards on 13 carries against Pitt. Both scored touchdowns in the second half. Marshall likes to throw the football, but the ground game needs to be effective to open up the passing attack. That’s when Litton is most effective. North Texas is allowing 224.2 yards per game on the ground, which ranks in the bottom 20 in the nation. It could be a long day for that defense if Marshall finds running lanes.
Spread: Marshall -11
Marshall vs. North Texas Prediction
The Thundering Herd should be able to move the ball effectively both on the ground and through the air. I think the dual-threat Fine will be able to put together a complete game, both as a passer and runner, which would be big for this young offense. But Marshall has too much firepower and wins its league opener.
Marshall vs. North Texas Score Prediction: Marshall 40, North Texas 23