Marshall vs. Old Dominion prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Thundering Herd and Monarchs on Saturday in Norfolk, VA.
Marshall vs. Old Dominion Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 5 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, VA
TV Broadcast: N/A
The Thundering Herd (2-6, 1-3 Conference USA) fell to Southern Mississippi last week on the road, as Nick Mullens threw for a touchdown and broke a school passing record in a 24-14 victory. Ito Smith ran for 140 yards and two scores for the Golden Eagles, while Chase Litton threw for 166 yards and a score for Marshall.
Meanwhile, the Monarchs (5-3, 3-1) received two touchdown passes from David Washington and two scoring runs from Ray Lawry in a 31-21 victory over UTEP in El Paso last Saturday night. Washington was 14 of 22 through the air for 262 yards, and Lawry had 131 yards rushing on 17 carries.
In last year’s meeting in Huntington, Litton threw two touchdown passes to lead Marshall to a 27-7 victory. He went 21-of-35 passing for 212 yards, while Tony Pittman ran for 127 yards and a score on 32 carries.
What To Know About Marshall
The Thundering Herd followed up a bad home loss to Charlotte with a setback last week to Southern Miss. Behind Litton, this is an offense that can be prolific and put up points. But it has been too inconsistent and plagued by turnovers and other mistakes. Defensively, Doc Holliday’s squad has been porous both against the pass and run, which makes taking care of the football an even bigger priority on offense. It has not been your older brother’s typical Marshall squad, as the Herd have struggled all season.
What to Know About Old Dominion
The Monarchs bounced back from a blowout loss to Western Kentucky, which broke their three-game win streak, by getting strong efforts from Washington and Lawry last Saturday. Bobby Wilder’s squad inched closer to a postseason berth with the win, which would be a big step for the program just a few years after entering C-USA. UTEP star running back Aaron Jones was held in check last week, which was ODU’s biggest priority coming in. The Monarchs were simply overwhelmed by Western Kentucky’s prolific offense the week prior, so it was big for the team to get back on track. ODU was effective on the ground with its 30 rushes, while Washington was efficient through the air.
Offense: Old Dominion. The Monarchs have a much better ground game, out-gaining Marshall 175.3 to 106.3 yards per game.
Defense: Old Dominion. Both units aren’t great, but Marshall’s defense has leaks all over.
Special Teams: Old Dominion. Overall, the Monarchs have improved special teams depth, which has helped their punt and kickoff return units.
Coaching: Old Dominion. Marshall’s Holliday has done wonderful things at the school, but Wilder has just one losing season in his eight years at Old Dominion. He also has the Monarchs primed to earn a postseason berth.
Intangibles: Old Dominion. The Monarchs are thirsty for a bowl bid.
Matchup To Watch
Old Dominion rushing attack vs. Marshall run defense
Lawry had a big day against Marshall in last year’s contest, rushing for 160 yards and the team’s lone touchdown on 29 carries. But the Monarchs had below-average quarterback play, which shouldn’t be the case against Marshall this time around, as Washington will pose problems for the Herd secondary. Lawry is averaging 6.3 yards per carry this year, and along with Cox should find plenty of room to run against this Marshall defense. Expect Washington to then take shots down the field once the run game is established. The rushing combo has worked in unison very well, while Washington has been able to find success in most every game this season (outside of the loss at Appalachian State).
Spread: Old Dominion -6
Marshall vs. Old Dominion Prediction
This is a very balanced Old Dominion offense, and its defensive deficiencies won’t be exposed too much against a Marshall team that is enduring a tough year. ODU gets the win and moves to 4-1 in league play.
Marshall vs. Old Dominion Score Prediction: Old Dominion 34, Marshall 27