ODU could be the trickiest game for Marshall

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I’m not sure if you’ve “heard” but Marshall is expected to go undefeated this season en route to hosting the C-USA Championship game in Huntington.

Phil Steele has them ranked #19, playing Auburn in the Orange Bowl and going 12-0 as well in the regular season.

They have a quarterback (Rakeem Cato) who you can bet on to win the Heisman Trophy.  They have a receiver (Tommy Shuler) who caught 106 passes out of the slot and a running back (Steward Butler) who nearly averaged nine yards per carry.

Don’t even get me started about their defense.

Marshall has a soft schedule.  In the non-conference they open at Miami-OH, host Rhode Island and Ohio then play at Akron.  They should be 4-0.

In conference play they get all of the tough games at home (Rice, FAU, MTSU and WKU) where they crushed C-USA competition last season.  On the road they play fairly weak competition in FIU, Southern Miss and UAB.  The lower rung C-USA schools.

Marshall travels to Norfolk to play ODU on October 4th.  Marshall will be undefeated and nationally ranked.  ODU could ruin their season.

Is ODU ready to compete with a top 25 team?  Probably not.

While Marshall has an extremely soft schedule, ODU will have really challenged themselves leading up to this game.  The Monarchs will have played at NC State, at Rice and hosted Middle Tennessee eight days before.

The Monarchs could either be energized after an amazing start to the season or in desperate need of a win.  Either way, Marshall is the game circled on the calendar.

Marshall will be coming off of a bye.  Last season the Herd were 1-1 off of a bye.  They handled UTSA 34-10 at home but fell 51-49 at Middle Tennessee.  That’s the type of score and circumstance where ODU would have a fighting chance.

ODU likes to get the game going in a hectic manner.  They were able to create that type of atmosphere on the road against East Carolina and Pitt last season, only to have costly second half mistakes end their chance for an upset.  Maybe this time at home with a year of experience under their belt they could catch lightning in a bottle against the Herd.

Expect upwards of 100 total points to be scored in this game, hopefully ODU gets their share of them.

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  • gpsuperg

    ODU can certainly pull a shocker on the Herd if the Monarchs win this game. I think three things will determine who wins this game: 1) QB mistakes 2) Ability to stop the run 3) Special teams.

    I can see Cato and Heinicke playing excellent games but mistakes happen and that could be a deciding factor. Obviously, Marshall knows that ODU will prepare to stop the aerial attack of Cato and that’s why I see stopping the run as an important task for the Monarchs. Forcing Cato to be the sole offensive machine of Marshall will be imperative for ODU. If the game is close in the 4th I think a field goal or punt return (Liberty flashback) will allow either team to gain the upper-hand and win the game.

    Go Monarchs!!

  • ODU AGGIE

    I think in most every aspect of the game, Marshall will have the advantage except in quarterback play where it will be a wash. If I am correct, it is only the intangibles that will allow ODU to pull out an upset.
    An away game for Marshall: I don’t know why they consistently have trouble winning away games, but they do.
    A home game for ODU: The Monarchs win something like 80% of their home games, and this is not the ODU homecoming (if you get my drift), and the 12th Monarchs will be at their best.
    The hype for an undefeated season: This puts additional pressure on Marshall while motivating the Monarchs.
    The hype for the Heisman trophy. Cato is considered a viable Heisman candidate while Heinicke is (at least at this point) only a Norfolk thought. The pressure to perform is on Cato every game, while Heinicke has nothing to lose in the battle of the conference’s two best quarterbacks.
    Luck: Somebody has to have the good luck — the ball that bounces just right for the Monarchs, the field goal that just clears the bar, the score that comes back for the holding call. Hey, it’s Foreman Field, and the Monarchs have already had their “fourth and twenty-three.” Now it’s Marshall’s turn.

    • ODUBleedBlue

      I like it! All ODU needs is for the game to be close entering the fourth. Both teams will be spent at that point.