Northern Illinois Huskies (11-2) at Marshall Thundering Herd (12-1)
|Date & Time||Tuesday December 23, 2014, 6:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Marshall Thundering Herd -10 -- Over/Under: 65
The Marshall Thundering Herd and Northern Illinois Huskies play Tuesday in the Boca Raton Bowl at FAU Football Stadium.
The Marshall Thundering Herd won the C-USA and play in their third bowl in four years. Rakeem Cato is completing 58.5 percent of his passes for 37 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Cato has nine touchdowns and five picks in his last two games, and Marshall has 47 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Tommy Shuler and Davonte Allen have combined for close to 1,500 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns while Deon-Tay McManus has six of his 24 receptions in his last two games. Marshall’s ground game is averaging 6.9 yards per carry, as Devon Johnson leads the way with 1,636 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns. Defensively, the Marshall Thundering Herd are allowing 20.8 points, 351.8 yards, and they’ve forced 35 sacks and 22 turnovers. Neville Hewitt leads Marshall with 114 tackles and Arnold Blackmon has 13.5 tackles for loss.
The Northern Illinois Huskies won the MAC and are playing in their seventh straight bowl game. Drew Hare is completing 59.9 percent of his passes for 17 touchdowns and two interceptions. Hare has six total touchdowns and one pick in his last two games, and Northern Illinois has 23 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Da'Ron Brown and Juwan Brescacin have combined for more than 1,400 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns while Aregeros Turner has seven of his 33 receptions in his last two games. Northern Illinois’ ground game is averaging 5.2 yards per carry, as Cameron Stingily leads the way with 895 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Defensively, the Northern Illinois Huskies are allowing 23.6 points, 382.9 yards, and have forced 30 sacks and 24 turnovers. Marlon Moore leads the Huskies with 93 tackles and Jason Meehan has 9.5 tackles for loss.
The Thundering Herd are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 non-conference games and 8-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Huskies are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 bowl games and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
I have to question how motivated Marshall is to be playing in this game. Not to mention the Thundering Herd have really been playing shaky ball the last few weeks. The physical style of the Huskies and playmaking ability of Hare will give NIU a chance to win this game outright. Give me the 10 points just to make sure.