Marshall Thundering Herd Vs. Miami (Ohio) Redhawks Free Pick 8/31/13

Marshall Thundering Herd Vs. Miami (Ohio) Redhawks Free Pick 8/31/13
2013-08-31 06:00:00 EDT

The Miami (Ohio) Redhawks and the Marshall Thundering Herd open the 2013 season at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Miami (Ohio) struggled in 2012 because points weren’t easy to come by but they were for the opposition. The Redhawks get eight back on an offense that averaged 387 yards and 23 points but were one dimensional with a pass heavy attack that was top 25 material at just under 300 yards. The flip side was their inability to run at 88 yards per contest, so where does that lead this team with Zac Dysert taking almost 3,500 passing yards with him? That’s a wait and see scenario with Austin Boucher attemting just 13 passes in 2012 and several new comers certain to get a look. Nick Harwell left the team leaving Dawan Scott (57-851) as the top receiver back and with leading rushers Jamire Westbrook and Spencer Treadwell averaging less then four yards per carry the question is where is the production coming from. All signs point to a bigger year from the offense because the defensive side of the ball lost bodies and gave up 241 yards on the ground and 35 points.

In 2012 Marshall was a team with a losing record despite averaging 534 yards and 41 points behind Rakeem Cato and the nation’s best passing attack that put up 365 yards per contest. The reason was the defense couldn’t stop a leak with opponents amassing 458 yards and 43 points in any manner they chose. It will be business as usual for the offense with Cato bringing back 4,200 passing yards and top receiver Tommy Shuler (110-1138) to play catch with. The ground game of the Thundering Herd wasn’t publicized but with Kevin Grooms (121-737) and Steward Butler (101-500), Marshall could and did run the ball when they preferred. As for the defense this unit gets seven players back and the hope is a year of experience mixed with a few new faces means improvement. This another area where I need to see it to believe it because this unit was a train wreck in 2012.

This is a big spread for an unproven Marshall defense as already mentioned, but it could end up being the Thundering Herd just out score the Redhawks. Very difficult to lay the points and I’d be more inclined to go with the Marshall team total when released so for a pick I’ll thitem this out there for now…

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Carolyn Shelby's Free Pick:
Marshall -17
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