college football picks Marshall at Bowling Green 9-18-10

September 18, 2010


DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 18th, 7:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Doyt Perry Stadium (24,000) — Bowling Green, Ohio. Television: None. Home Record: Marshall 0-1, BGSU 0-2. Away Record: Marshall 0-1, BGSU 0-0. Neutral Record: Marshall 0-0, BGSU 0-0. Conference Record: Marshall 0-0, BGSU 0-0. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 20-8.

GAME NOTES: Two teams in search of their first victory in 2010 will collide at Doyt Perry Stadium, when the Bowling Green Falcons host the Marshall Thundering Herd in a non-league affair.

Marshall was torn apart by Ohio State in its season-opener, falling to the second ranked Buckeyes, 45-7 in Columbus. Coach Doc Holliday was denied his first victory at Marshall when his team squandered a 15-point fourth quarter lead to eventually fall to West Virginia, 24-21 in overtime, this past weekend.

The Falcons also opened their season with two straight setbacks, beginning the year with a 30-27 loss to Troy on the road. BGSU remained on the road this past weekend, and also remained in the loss column, as Tulsa defeated coach Dave Clawson’s crew, 33-20.

In terms of the all-time series between the two schools, the Falcons own a 20-8 lead over Marshall, but the Thundering Herd defeated BGSU this past season by a 17-10 margin.

The Thundering Herd were clearly overmatched in their opener against Ohio State, but the offense put forth a better showing against West Virginia this past weekend.

After posting just 199 total yards against the Buckeyes, coach Holliday’s gang finished against WVU with 364 total yards. Quarterback Brian Anderson had a strong showing in the setback, throwing for 229 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-29 efficiency.

Nine different players caught a pass against the Mountaineers, while Aaron Dobson hauled in four receptions for 120 yards, but most of his work was done on a 96-yard touchdown pass and catch.

The ground game, which totaled just 44 yards in the loss to OSU, found some running room against West Virginia, especially Martin Ward, who led the Herd on the ground with 101 yards on 9.2 yards per attempt.

Marshall’s defense put forth a strong effort for three quarters in its recent contest, but unfortunately for the Thundering Herd, football is a four-quarter game.

Coach Holliday’s Herd took a 21-6 lead into the final frame, but the defense was unable to stop a determined West Virginia squad and allowed 15 points over the final 15 minutes, eventually falling in overtime.

Marshall surrendered 280 rushing yards in its loss to Ohio State, and the struggles against the run continued against the Mountaineers, as Noel Devine and company rumbled for 153 yards on 42 carries.

Stopping the run is clearly a problem, but defending that pass has not come easy for this unit either, as the Herd were also torched for 316 yards against WVU. Because of their inability to stop WVU’s offense, the Herd allowed the Mountaineers to convert on 8-of-18 third down chances and 5-of-6 red zone opportunities.

Matt Schilz’s first two games as the quarterback for Bowling Green has been a roller coaster ride. After struggling against Troy the sophomore had another tough outing in the team’s recent setback to Tulsa.

Against the Golden Hurricane, Schilz threw for 262 yards, but also tossed three interceptions and was sacked five times. Despite Schilz’s woes wideout Kamar Jorden has proved to be a dangerous weapon, hauling in 23 passes for 179 yards in two games.

The lack of a consistent rushing attack has also hurt Schilz, as the Falcons are averaging just 74.5 ypg. In the loss to Tulsa Willie Geter tallied 50 yards and one score, but as a whole the Falcons rumbled for a mere 41 yards on 25 attempts.

It is still early in the season but the Falcon defense looks down right awful. After allowing 475 yards and 30 points in a loss to Troy, the defense put forth another poor showing in the setback to Tulsa.

Against the Golden Hurricane, the Falcons had no answers for a dangerous passing attack, and coach Clawson’s crew was torched for 356 yards and two scores. On top of that, the front line for BGSU could not contain Tulsa’s ground game, allowing 190 yards on 4.8 yards per carry.

Bowling Green did force two turnovers in the contest, but surrendered 31 first downs and allowed Tulsa to convert on 4-of-5 red zone chances.

The Falcons will have a chance to get their ground game working this weekend against a Marshall squad that has struggled against the run. If BGSU can find success on the ground, look for Schilz to have his best game of the season and lead the Falcons to victory.

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