What issues does the Herd have to work through to be successful on Saturday?
This will be a big test for the Herd because it is the first time this season the team will play in back-to-back weeks. It is the second consecutive road contest, which is taxing enough, but it is also the team’s first flight trip. That means another unusual scenario to get used to for all involved. Marshall must maintain its mental poise amidst distractions to continue its success against a Louisiana Tech team who has won eight straight road games.
Louisiana Tech has platooned two quarterbacks all season with Luke Anthony and Aaron Allen. Who gets the nod on Saturday?
Honestly, they are the same style quarterback, so it’s an enigma why the two are each platooning. Perhaps head coach Skip Holtz wants both with game experience in case of COVID-19 related issues. However, Luke Anthony has shown more effectiveness in the passing game and has 10 touchdown passes in four games. If there is a place where the Herd can be susceptible, it is by air. Look for Anthony to get more of the run on Saturday.
As you look at this contest, what positional group has the spotlight on it this week?
In this matchup, it is Louisiana Tech’s offensive line. UTEP held Louisiana Tech to just 210 yards of total offense, which included a stretch following the opening drive in which the Bulldogs amassed just 135 yards on 60 plays. UTEP got consistent pressure on the quarterback all night, which will be something Marshall looks to do as well. If the Bulldogs can give quarterbacks time, they have a chance. If not, Marshall will use its pressure to make life tough on La. Tech.
For Marshall, what is the aspect that you are looking forward to seeing the most?
It will be Marshall quarterback Grant Wells going up against a team that likes to zone in the passing game a lot. Wells’ patience in letting things develop will be key against a defense that is allowing 300 yards per game. It is likely the Bulldogs try to keep everything underneath, so knowing when to take shots and when to take chunks is critical. Wells could also utilize his feet more in this one.
What is the X-factor for this game?
That will be determined by the team who is able to maintain its fast start. Both teams have seen success on their first drives of the game in 2020 with Marshall scoring touchdowns on all three of its opening drives and Louisiana Tech also putting up touchdowns in each first quarter this season. Marshall has not trailed yet in 2020, so a fast start has been its best friend.