The Marshall Thundering Herd head on the road to battle the North Texas Mean Green in a C-USA clash on Friday night. The Thundering Herd found the win column with a much-needed home win against Old Dominion last week. The Mean Green were clobbered by Missouri last week, marking their fourth straight defeat. This is the first meeting between these rivals since 2016 in a game North Texas won 38-21.
Marshall Snaps Three-Game Slide
The Marshall Thundering Herd are looking to climb back over the .500 mark. The Herd thwarted a tough three-game losing streak with a 20-13 overtime home win over Old Dominion last week in a tilt that had Marshall favored by a whopping 21.5 points. Marshall was the subject of three narrow defeats in their losing streak including a one-point loss to Appalachian State. They have covered in only two of their six games.
Grant Wells is producing big numbers but is prone to mistakes. The freshman QB has tallied over 300 yards four times this season and has amassed 2000 passing yards along with an 8:9 TD to INT ratio. He should put up big numbers against a subpar UNT defense.
Rasheen Ali is having a terrific season. The freshman RB will see about 20 carries per game and is tough to contain, registering over 100 yards on two occasions. Ali has 566 yards on the year. Marshall’s top WR Corey Gammage has made at least six catches in five of six games for a total of 515 yards. The Herd offense is by far their top strength. They scored 38 points in a narrow loss to ECU in week three.
STORY: Marshall scored twice on its final three plays and rallied to beat ODU in OT on Homecoming.— Marshall Football (@HerdFB) October 9, 2021
Wells: 30-46, 299 yards, 2 TD
Ahmed: 7 catches, 77 yards, TD
Gray: 11 tackles
Alston: 1.5 sacks
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The Marshall defense came through with their best effort of the season last week, allowing only 315 total yards. The pass defense is stellar, ranking 17th overall while the rush defense is an issue, coming in at 119th in the FBS. The Thundering Herd are scoring an average of 34.8 points, placing them 33rd in the country. They are holding foes to 22.8 points, good for 51st.
North Texas Tagged with Fourth Straight Defeat
The North Texas Mean Green are looking to avoid a fifth consecutive loss. They opened the season with a victory against non-FBS opponent Northwestern State and have since dropped four in a row. The Mean Green were somewhat competitive in the 48-35 road loss to Missouri last week, covering the 18.5 point spread. UNT has covered the points in three of their five clashes.
Jace Ruder was benched in favor of Austin Aune last week. Aune was outstanding in the defeat, registering over 300 passing yards with four touchdowns. The junior QB has collected 518 passing yards accompanied by a 5:2 TD to INT ratio on the season. UNT will run more than pass. DeAndre Torrey has recorded over 100 yards in two of his five performances and has 610 yards on an average of 5.9 yards per rush on the year.
Roderic Burns is the Mean Green top target in the air. The junior has made at least five catches in four of five games and has 363 receiving yards. The UNT offense has relied heavily on the running game however last week’s effort by QB Aune should help going forward.
The Mean Green defense has been terrible. They have allowed over 40 points in two out of their last three clashes including an ugly defeat to UAB. The pass defense is decent, placing 50th in the FBS however the rush defense is 116th overall. North Texas is scoring an average of 22.8 points, ranking them 106th in the FBS. They are squandering an average of 32.2 points, pegging them 106th overall.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
North Texas is back at home and the offense has gained confidence after scoring a solid 35 points against Missouri of the SEC last week. Marshall had trouble defeating an Old Dominion team that owns a 1-5 record. They needed OT to beat them by a 20-13 score last week. This is a large spread for the Herd to cover on the road.
Furthermore, North Texas has a strong running game led by DeAndre Torrey with over 600 yards. Marshall’s rush defense is poor, ranking down at 119th in the FBS. That alone is enough to go with North Texas. Also, Marshall prefers to pass frequently and the Mean Green are holding foes to only 213 passing yards per game.
Full-Game Total Pick
This should be a defensive battle. The Mean Green are a low-scoring team that relies on their RB’s to generate offense. They have scored 17 or fewer points in three of their four games against FBS opponents this season. It’s no surprise the under has cashed in four of their five games.
In addition, Marshall only managed 13 points in regulation before scoring another seven in overtime last week against a subpar Old Dominion defense. Herd QB Grant Wells has tossed eight touchdowns but has nine interceptions, and as mentioned, he is up against a decent secondary.
Full-Game Prop Bet
The over on the North Texas team total is worth a look. QB Austin Aune registered over 300 yards with four touchdowns last week and I expect his momentum to carry forward into this one. UNT RB DeAndre Torrey is terrific as well and is averaging a stellar 5.2 yards per carry.
Half-Time Prop Prediction
I like the under on the first-quarter total. North Texas is commonly starting very slow. They are averaging a measly 0.8 points in the first quarter this season which is the lowest in the FBS. Marshall hasn’t been all that productive early on either, posting 6.6 points in the first quarter.