Marshall vs. Connecticut - 12/26/15 College Football St. Petersburg Bowl Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Connecticut Huskies (6-6) at Marshall Thundering Herd (9-3)
College Football: Saturday, December 26, 2015 at 11:00 am (Tropicana Field)
The Line: Marshall Thundering Herd -4.5 -- Over/Under: 43 See the Latest Odds
The Connecticut Huskies and Marshall Thundering Herd will square off in the St. Petersburg Bowl on Saturday, December 26th in College Football action.
The Connecticut Huskies finished the regular season with a 6-6 record and finished in a tie for third place in the AAC-East standings with a 4-4 conference record. Connecticut won three of their last four games including an impressive 20-17 victory over the 19th ranked Houston Cougars. The Huskies had a tough schedule this year as they suffered losses to Missouri, Navy, BYU, Cincinnati, and Temple. Offensively, Connecticut averaged just 17.8 ppg on 318.4 total yards per game (193.8 passing, 124.6 rushing). Leading the way for the Huskies was RB Arkeel Newsome who had 6 rushing TD’s while averaging 63.33 rushing yds/game. Newsome also was a major threat catching the ball out of the backfield as he was 2nd on the team in receptions and had 2 TD’s while averaging 36.0 receiving yds/game. QB Bryant Shirreffs completed 60.3% of his passes for 9 TD & 7 INT while averaging 181.1 passing yds/game. Shirreffs can also get it down with his legs as he had 3 TD’s and averaged 38.91rushing yds/game. Leading the way at the WR position for the Huskies was Noel Thomas who had 3 TD and averaging 59.9 yds/game. Defensively, Connecticut held opponents to an average of 19.8 ppg on 352.3 yards per game (186.9 passing, 165.3 rushing). CB Jamar Summers had 7 INT on the season for the Huskies and Connecticut ended the season with a turnover margin of 9.
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The Marshall Thundering Herd finished the season with a 9-3 record overall and a 6-2 conference record, earning them a tie with Middle Tennessee State in the C-USA East standings. Marshall kicked off the season with a solid victory against the Purdue Boilermakers, however, struggled down the stretch losing two of their last three games against Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky. Offensively, Marshall averaged 32.6 ppg on 401.3 total yards per game (232.6 passing, 168.8 rushing). Leading the way for the Thundering Herd was QB Chase Litton who completed 59.3% of his passes for 22 TD & 7 INT while averaging 238.7 yds/game. Leasing the way for the Marshall receivers were WR Davonte Allen (58.0 yds/game, 5 TD), WR Deandre Reaves (51.4 yds/game, 4 TD), and TE Ryan Yurachek (30.1 yds/game, 8 TD). The Thundering Herd rushing attack is led by Devon Johnson (79.29 yds/game, 5 TD) and Remi Watson (44.22 yds/game, 5 TD). Defensively, Marshall is holding their opponents to an average of 18.4 ppg on 372.8 total yards per game (201.2 passing, 171.6 rushing). Marshall forced their opponents to commit 27 turnovers on the season and had a turnover margin of 4.
The Huskies are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. C-USA opponents however, just 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 non-conference games. The Thundering Herd are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 bowl games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Connecticut had a tough schedule this year and although they struggled on offense, they had an outstanding defense that made the Huskies competitive. Marshall had a successful year and has to be happy with the progress made by freshman QB Chase Litton who had the tough duty of replacing Rakeem Cato who had an outstanding career with the Thundering Herd. Marshall’s offense isn’t as dynamic as it was last season, however, it’s still an above average offense that should be able to score a few points on the Huskies and as I don’t think Marshall will have any problem containing the Connecticut offense, I’m taking Marshall to cover this spread.