AR-150929867
( TJ Lawhon, Gazette Mail)

Coming off of an excellent performance against Norfolk State, Chase Litton and the Thundering Herd look to get a win on the road against MAC foe Kent State. Last week Litton had 270 yards and four touchdowns on 24 of 31 passes. This week he hopes to do the same, but the Kent State defense is going to prove to be a much harder test.

What you can expect..

Unfortunately, lots of rain and wet ball play. The weather calls for some not so nice weather as these two teams face off, and it may give an advantage to Kent State. The more Marshall has to run, the better of the Golden Flashes are.

That being said, you can probably expect a few more dropped passes and maybe another fumble or two.

In a game that was already going to be defensively dominated, the rain isn’t going to help spark any offense. Both teams come into the game with arguably the best defenses in their conferences, respectively. Offense may not be a huge part of the game until the second-half adjustments come into play.

Marshall’s Three Keys to Success:

  1. Offensive Line – If Litton wants to see the same success, he’s going to need plenty of time to throw. The Golden Flashes have kept opposing defenses to just 132 yards passing per game. On the other end of the spectrum, they’ve also only allowed 1.9 yards per carry. The Herd O-Line is going to have to play big and create some opportunities for both the passing and the ground game.
  2. Special Teams – Last week against Norfolk, it seemed like Marshall could not hold onto the football during punt returns. This week, Deandre Reaves will be taking Hyleck Fosters spot with some or maybe even all of those duties. The Herd has to protect the football. Marshall has also seen a lot of great plays from punter Tyler Williams this season. He’s hit 60 yards on a pair of punts, and if he can keep switching the field like that, the Kent State offense is going to have a long day.
  3. Secondary – With the loss of safety AJ Leggett, some new faces could be seen today as the game goes on. Whoever gets their chance needs to come in and play strong. Kent State QB Colin Reardon has only completed 46% of his passes on the season, and something tells me those Herd DB’s can take huge advantage of that. It may be a little bit of hopeful thinking, but we’ll probably see another pick-six today.

Kent State’s Three Keys to Success:

  1. Better Quarterback Play – As I previously stated, QB Colin Reardon has only completed 46% of his passes on the season. When you’re playing against the Marshall defense, it’s gonna take a lot more than that. If Marshall can focus on just stopping the run game, Kent State will be doomed from the start. They’ll need to improve the passing game today.
  2. Stop Rockhead – The Golden Flashes have allowed just 1.9 yards per carry on the season, and if they can keep that up today, it’ll put a lot of pressure on the true freshman quarterback.
  3. Get Pressure on Litton – Chase Litton is coming off of a great game, so expectations will be very high coming into today. The defense has made 28.5 tackles for loss on the season. Again, that will need to continue today if they want to startle Litton and the rest of the Herd O-Line.

My Prediction:

Marshall’s offense and defense are going to be too much at the end of the day. Kent State’s offense is one of the worst in the country, and that won’t change today. I expect Litton to make one or two mistakes that’ll keep the Flashes in the game early, but not for long. Marshall 34, Kent State 13.

Casey Mosrie covers the Thundering Herd for MyFantasySportsTalk, you can follow the site on Twitter @MyFntsySprtsTlk

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