Marshall vs. Colorado State - 12/16/17 College Football Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Colorado State Rams (7-5) at Marshall Thundering Herd (7-5)
College Football: Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm (University Stadium)
The Line: Marshall Thundering Herd +5.5 -- Over/Under: 58 See the Latest Odds
The Marshall Thundering Herd and Colorado State Rams will square off at Dreamstyle Stadium in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, November 16th.
The Marshall Thundering Herd finished their season with an overall record of 7-5 while finishing 3rd in the C-USA East division with a 4-4 conference record. Marshall had a great start to their season, starting the year off with a 6-1 record, however, struggled down the stretch losing 4 of their last 5 games. On the season, Marshall averaged 26.3 ppg on 369.8 total yards per game (237.8 passing yds/g; 132.0 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Marshall was led by QB Chase Litton who completed 60.6% of his passes for 23 TD and 12 INT while averaging 237.8 passing yds/g. The main targets for the Thundering Herd and Litton were WR Tyre Brady (5.6 rec/g, 77.7 yds/g, 7 TD), WR Marcel Williams (3.7 rec/g, 46.5 yds/g, 2 TD), Willie Johnson (3.0 rec/g, 36.9 yds/g, 4 TD), and TE Ryan Yurachek (3.9 rec/g, 35.8 yds/g 9 TD). Marshall’s backfield was led by Tyler King (15.2 att/g, 71.4 yds/g, 6 TD) and Keion Davis (13.4 att/g, 55.9 yds/g, 5 TD). Defensively, Marshall held their opponents to an average of 26.0 ppg on 429.0 total yards per game (298.0 passing yds/g, 131.0 rushing yds/g). Marshall forced 15 turnovers on the season and finished the regulation season with an overall turnover margin of -6.
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The Colorado State Rams struggled down the stretch, losing 3 of their last 4 games, however, made it to a bowl game for the 5th consecutive season after finishing the season with a 7-5 record (5-3 Mountain West). On the season, Colorado State averaged 33.8 ppg on 501.0 total yards per game (289.9 passing yds/g; 211.1 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Colorado State was led by WR Michael Gallup who had 7 TD’s on the season while averaging 112.1 receiving yds/g on 7.8 rec/g. The other leading receivers for the Rams have been WR Olabisi Johnson (3.2 rec/g, 43.3 yds/g, 2 TD), Detrich Clark (3.4 rec/g, 41.5 yds/g, 4 TD), and TE Dalton Fackrell (1.7 rec/g, 22.9 yds/g, 6 TD). QB Nick Stevens completed 63.6% of his passes for 27 TD and 10 INT while averaging 289.9 passing yds/g. The Rams backfield was led by the duo of Dalyn Dawkins (18.0 att/g, 112.4 yds/g, 8 TD) and Izzy Matthews (12.2 att/g, 58.3 yds/g, 8 TD). Defensively, Colorado State is allowing their opponents to average 27.5 ppg on 425.8 total yards per game (243.1 passing yds/g; 182.8 rushing yds/g). Colorado State forced 16 turnovers on the season and finished the season with an overall turnover margin of 0.
The Thundering Herd are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 bowl games and 19-6-1 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games. The Rams are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning record, however, are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 bowl games.
Marshall had success early in the season due to a light schedule and that fact that their defense was holding opponents to an average of just 14.2 ppg, however, once they started playing the better competition in the C-USA, the Thundering Herd defense couldn’t keep their success up as in the final 5 weeks of the season, Marshall gave up an average of 26.2 ppg. Colorado State has one of the best receivers in the country in Michael Gallup and was led by their passing offense that ranked 23rd in the country. Marshall picked up only one victory this season against a bowl eligible team (Western Kentucky) and as I think the Rams passing attack will have a good day against the Thundering Herd defense, I’m taking the Rams to cover this spread.