Herd has statistical advantages to beat Memphis
HUNTINGTON -- Given last week's loss and the way Marshall University's football team has squandered other opportunities at victory, no one associated with the Thundering Herd can take any game for granted.
Not players, not coaches, not fans.
However, if Marshall comes out and does what it needs to do on Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, this contest should be a get-well game for the Herd.
Memphis (1-7, 1-3 Conference USA) and Marshall (3-4, 2-2) meet at 2 p.m.
Statistically, the numbers are staggering in favor of the Herd.
Marshall's offense is averaging nearly double the yards per game and exceeds double the points per game of Memphis.
To put it in a bit of perspective, Marshall's passing average on the year (378.5 yards) is nearly 100 yards more than the Tigers' total offensive output per game (286.5).
Memphis' high-mark in points was 30 in a Sept. 15 loss to Middle Tennessee State, 48-30.
Marshall has failed to reach 30 points just twice -- albeit both times at home in Sept. 15 loss to Ohio (27-24) and last week while losing to UCF (54-17).
In its two C-USA road games Memphis scored a total of 20 points in a 41-7 defeat at East Carolina and a 44-13 loss at SMU. The Tigers also fumbled the ball away four times total in those two losses while allowing the opposing quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards in both games.
For a Marshall offense that struggled to get on track last week against UCF, Memphis might be the perfect remedy.
There will be mismatches on the outside for wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Antavious Wilson, provided they secure the catch first. Tommy Shuler will also be able to take advantage of play in the slot.
And the running back trio of Kevin Grooms, Steward Butler and Remi Watson will have opportunities to gash the Tigers.
It all adds up to a simple concept.
If the Herd shows up ready to play at a high level it could turn into a get-well game. But, the Herd has to show up ready to play. That's been easier said than done at times this season.