Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#315 Louisiana Tech 56 vs.
#316 Marshall -6.5
Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala

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#315 Louisiana Tech University
#316 Marshall University
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It’s a crossover matchup between a pair of top teams in Conference USA in the Mountaineer State. The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are on the road as they make the trip to face the Marshall Thundering Herd Friday night. Louisiana Tech comes in off a 52-17 demolition of North Texas at home Saturday night in their last game. Marshall had last week off: they defeated Rice 20-7 on the road in their previous contest on November 2. The Thundering Herd won the only previous meeting, taking a 26-23 win in the Conference USA title game on December 6, 2014.

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs Seek to Remain Unbeaten in Conference Play

Louisiana Tech rolled over North Texas to pick up their eighth straight victory in their last game Saturday. The Bulldogs are 5-0 in conference play and lead the West Division of Conference USA. Louisiana Tech trailed 3-0 early on before ripping off 45 unanswered points to take full control of the game. The Bulldogs rolled up a 542-339 edge in total offense, racked up 37 first downs while allowing 16 and controlled the time of possession by a 39:04 to 20:56 margin. Louisiana Tech forced four turnovers, including a pick-six, while turning the ball over twice in the game.

The Bulldogs are putting up an average of 292.1 yards per game through the air (23rd in the nation) while adding 187 yards per contest on the ground (42nd in the country) this season. Louisiana Tech is 13th in the FBS in scoring offense with 38.1 points per game while the team is 40th in scoring defense as they allow 22.6 points per contest. J’Mar Smith is the force under center: he is 198 of 314 passing for 2,483 yards with 14 touchdowns and four interceptions while adding 226 rushing yards plus two scores. Aaron Allen is eight of nine for 114 yards with a touchdown plus an interception while Westin Elliott is three of eight for 32 yards with three interceptions this season. Israel Tucker is third on the team with 45 carries for 224 yards on the ground plus two scores this season. Jaqwis Dancy contributes 44 carries for 207 yards plus two scores while Justin Henderson chips in 109 carries for a team-high 712 yards plus 14 scores. Cee Jay Powell has hauled in a team-leading 40 receptions for 457 yards and a score. Griffin Hebert (22 catches, 385 yards, four TD), Smoke Harris (29 receptions, 207 yards, TD) and Adrian Hardy (39 receptions, 482 yards, TD) are solid targets in the passing game. Bailey Hale has hit all 43 extra point attempts and 12 of 14 field goal tries with a long of 50.

Marshall Thundering Herd Look to Stay Hot

Marshall had a bye week last week but dropped Rice two weeks ago for their fourth straight victory. The Thundering Herd knows if they win out, they would play in the Conference USA title game as they own the tie-breaker over Florida Atlantic via a 45-30 win over the Owls. Marshall erased a 7-3 deficit in the second quarter by holding Rice scoreless over the final 40 minutes to earn the victory. The Thundering Herd racked up a 391-231 edge in total offense, held an 18-16 advantage in first downs and controlled the clock 33:08 to 26:52 in the game. Neither team turned the ball over but Marshall held Rice to three of 12 on third-down and zero of three on fourth down in the game.

The Thundering Herd is 75th in the nation in passing offense as they average 224.7 yards per game and tied for 32nd in rushing with an average of 201.2 yards per contest. Marshall is 82nd in the FBS in scoring offense as they put up 26.2 points per game and sit in the middle of the pack in scoring defense as they are 45th by allowing 24 points per contest. Isaiah Green is 151 of 250 passing for 1,876 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions while ranking third on the team with 242 rushing yards and two scores. Alex Thomson is six of seven for 102 yards plus a score while Jackson White completed both his passes for 11 yards. Brenden Knox leads the ground game for Marshall with 164 carries for 933 yards plus eight scores while Sheldon Evans is next in line with 76 carries for 242 yards and two scores. Tight end Xavier Gaines is second on the team with 23 receptions for 276 yards plus two scores. Armani Levias (team-high 39 receptions, 442 yards, three TD) and Brec Thompson (17 catches, 314 yards) are next in line. Justin Rohrwasser is 25 of 26 on extra points and has hit 13 of 14 field goal attempts with a long of 53 this season.

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This one is going to be a big game with plenty hanging in the balance as far as division leads in Conference USA goes. Louisiana Tech has rolled to eight straight wins after losing their opener to Texas. The Bulldogs are clicking offensively and they are a team that you can’t focus on just one facet with: if you take away the pass, they’ll run it down your throat. If you try to stop the run, Smith will beat you with his arm. Marshall is a good team but their defense doesn’t make big plays. That’s something you need against the Bulldogs. Louisiana Tech is rolling and Skip Holtz’s group gets the victory on the road to make it nine straight wins.

Prediction: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs +2.5

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Both teams have been fairly prolific offensively this season. Louisiana Tech has hung at least 35 points in six of their last seven games and at least 42 in five of their last six. The Bulldogs have scored 42 or more points in each of their last four games, all contests that they prevailed in by at least 15 points. Marshall has put up at least 31 points in four games this season. The Thundering Herd has been solid defensively of late but can they find a way to rein in the Louisiana Tech attack?

The over is 7-2 in the Bulldogs' last 9 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game and 14-5 in their last 19 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. Marshall has seen the over go 6-0 in their last 6 games following a bye week, 5-0 in their last five at home and 6-1 in their last seven against teams with a winning record. Given the way Louisiana Tech can put points on the board, this one should end up over the number.

Prediction: Over 56
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.