Marshall Thundering Herd (7-5; 8-4 ATS; 5-7 O/U) vs. Colorado State Rams (7-8; 4-8 ATS; 6-6 O/U)
The Colorado State Rams will collide with the Marshall Thundering Herd in the New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, December 16th from Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque, NM. Marshall posted a 7-5 record and went 4-4 in C-USA play, while Colorado State also went 7-5 on the season with a 5-3 mark in MWC action. There is no previous meeting between these two teams.
Marshall Enters New Mexico Bowl on Two Game Skid
The Marshall Thundering Herd head into the New Mexico Bowl on a two-game losing streak which included a narrow 28-27 defeat to Southern Mississippi in their previous action. Marshall features a strong passing game led by QB Chase Litton. The junior quarterback had some outstanding performances this season and finished the season with 2853 passing yards with a 23:12 TD to INT ratio. Litton threw at least one touchdown pass in all but two games this season. Marshall’s biggest threat in the air goes to Tyre Brady. The junior wide receiver missed the last two games of the regular season for undisclosed reasons and is questionable for this contest. Brady collected 777 receiving yards with seven touchdowns in ten games played. The Thundering Herd go with the duo of Tyler King and Keion Davis on the ground. King has notched 714 yards, and is averaging 4.7 yards per carry, and Davis has tallied 671 rushing yards.
The Marshall defense is their greatest strength and they were able to shut down several opponents this season. Their rush defense is tremendous, and their pass defense was also very effective. They will be tested in a big way by a potent Rams offense. Marshall was 6-1 through their first seven games, but lost five out of their last six games to close the regular season.
Rams Head Into Bowl on Winning Note
The Colorado State Rams will be playing in their fifth straight bowl game, and will be aiming for their first bowl win since the 2013 season. The Rams snapped a three game skid with a win an easy 42-14 win over San Jose State in their regular season finale. Colorado State features a potent offensive attack highlighted by QB Nick Stevens. The senior quarterback had a tremendous season, racking up 3479 passing yards with a 27:10 TD to INT ratio. Stevens had a streak of four consecutive games without throwing an interception this season. The Rams feature a dangerous running game led by Dalyn Dawkins who has accumulated 1349 rushing yards on the season. The senior running back was unstoppable down the stretch, rushing for over 100 yards in seven out of his last eight games, and averaged a dazzling 6.2 yards per carry. Watch for Michael Gallup in this one as he has great chemistry with QB Nick Stevens. The senior wide receiver has collected 1345 receiving yards with seven touchdowns.
The Colorado State defense will give up points and it has been their weakness throughout the season. They struggled against some of the high-scoring teams this season, and face a tough task against Marshall’s passing game. The Rams longest winning streak this season was four games, and they proceeded to lose three of their final four games of the regular season.
The Marshall Thundering Herd are:
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 bowl games.
- 5-0 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games.
- 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.
The Colorado State Rams are:
- 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- 0-5-1 ATS in their last 6 neutral site games.
- 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games after recording more than 200 rushing yards in their previous game.
I am taking the points with Marshall in this contest. Marshall is very strong defensively, and they have been effective against both the run and pass this season, so they should keep this one very close. They are only allowing an average of 125 rushing yards per game, ranking them 19th in the Country, so they should contain the Rams running game, and their pass defense is also solid. Furthermore, Colorado State does not own a strong pass defense as they are conceding an average of 243 passing yards per game, so I anticipate a strong performance from Marshall QB Chase Litton. Marshall is only allowing an average of 19.2 points per game, and I am confident they are the play in this one.
Pick: Marshall Thundering Herd
Marshall should move the ball with success against a subpar defense and Colorado State is strong enough offensively to crack the Marshall defense. While I do expect Marshall to contain the Rams offense, Colorado State still features a a potent offense, plus the over is 7-1 in Marshall’s last eight non-conference games. In addition, the Herd have shown the ability to put up big points against weaker defensive opponents, and the Rams are allowing an average of 427 total yards per game, plus the over is 4-1 in the Rams last five games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game.