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Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Marshall Thundering Herd Free Pick 9/21/13

Marshall Thundering Herd (2-1) at Virginia Tech Hokies (2-1)

NCAAF Football: Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm (Lane Stadium)

The Line: Virginia Tech Hokies -11 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


The Marshall Thundering Herd travel to Virginia Tech to play the Hokies on Saturday.

Marshall dropped to 2-1 on the season after losing to Ohio University, 34-31, on Saturday. Marshall blew out their inferior opponents in the first two weeks, but had trouble slowing down the Ohio offense and turned the ball over 4 times in this contest. The Marshall defense only allowed 335 total yards of offense, with only 60 rushing yards. However, with the great field position Ohio got after 4 Marshall turnovers, the Thundering Herd had trouble keeping Ohio out of the end zone. Ohio was able to convert 11 of 19 3rd down conversions and controlled the clock for the entire second half once they had the lead. The Thundering Herd out gained Ohio, finishing with 482 yards of total offense, 366 thru the air and 116 on the ground. QB Cato completed 30 of 45 passes for 366 yards with one touchdown and an interception. RB Grooms carried the ball 15 times for 35 yards and a touchdown. WR Shuler and WR Hoskins combined for 13 catches for 176 yards and a touchdown against Ohio. The Marshall offense will face its toughest test of the year against arguably one of the best defenses in the country in Virginia Tech this weekend.

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Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Marshall Thundering Herd Free Pick 9/21/13

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Virginia Tech Hokies improved to 2-1 on the year after beating East Carolina 15-10 on Saturday. Virginia Tech won with their defense again, holding a good East Carolina offense to only 204 total yards of offense. The Hokies only allowed 46 rushing yards and forced 3 turnovers in the win. East Carolina converted only 3 of 11 3rd down conversions. The Virginia Tech offense was good at best, finishing with 311 total yards of offense, but only 53 rushing yards. QB Thomas completed 23 of 43 passes for 258 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. RB Edmunds carried the ball 21 times for 42 yards, while WR Knowles caught 8 balls for 99 yards and a touchdown. The Hokies controlled the clock and only turned the ball over once, but could not capitalize on East Carolina’s three miscues. The Virginia Tech defense is outstanding this year and will have to maintain their dominance against a good Marshall offense this week. Thomas is still the biggest problem for the Hokies offense in my opinion and if he can improve from week to week Virginia Tech has a chance of being great this season.

Marshall is 1-5-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss. The under is 3-0-1 in the Hokies last 4 non-conference games.

Virginia Tech has won all four of their recent meetings with Marshall dating back to 2002. Those four wins have come by 20, 42, 27, and 26 points. I do not think this game will be a blow out because the Virginia Tech offense has not shown the ability to put up more than 20 points against a good opponent. Marshall has a dangerous offense, but will have a tough time scoring in Blacksburg. I think this game will be low scoring and I will take the points with Marshall in what I think could be a close game down to the end.

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