gtpdd’s Marshall Preview

TONIGHT! at 6:00 PM Central the Dogs go for their 9th win in a row as they take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in Huntington, West Virginia. These truly are blessed times, friends.

How to Watch

This game is on CBS Sports Network, so it’s time to once again dust off your extra email accounts and get a free trial of YouTube TV, Hulu Live TV, or PSVue core. Side note: this is probably the last time we’ll recommend PS Vue, as Sony is canning the service starting next year.

streaming chart (trials)

Other People’s Predictions

  • ESPN FPI: Tech has a 43.9% chance to win
  • Massey: Tech has a 48% chance to win
  • Vegas (OddsShark): Marshall, -2.5
  • S&P+: Tech has a 52% chance to win, 30-29 projected final
  • BleedTechBlue: Tech wins, 21-20
  • NCAA 14 Simulation: Tech wins 31-21

What to Watch For

Evan: One of the keys to victory this week will be for Tech’s offensive line to give the quarterback time to throw. Marshall has an undersized defensive line, and they like to bring delayed blitzes and throw different guys into the mix in the pass rush. Hell, Marshall’s #1 pass rusher is a 238 lb defensive end (yes, he’s 238 lbs!) named Darius Hodge. Earlier in the season, Tech struggled to block smaller, faster defensive linemen when they played the likes of Grambling. 8 wins later and I’ve got a little more faith in the big boys up front to get the job done, but it will be crucial to Tech’s success.

Josh: Well, the cat is out of the bag now: J’Mar Smith will not be starting or playing at all for the Bulldogs tonight against Marshall (#FREEJMAR btw). That means the starting QB will be Aaron Allen, who has looked pretty good in mop up duty so far this season. There are a lot of questions regarding game plan, play calling, and Allen’s abilities, but most of those should be answered in a few hours. Allen is an athletic dual threat QB with plenty of upside if we can play call to his strengths. Hopefully, his performance tonight is reminiscent of J’Mar’s performance against Arkansas in 2016, with the caveat that he leads us to a win. Will he play well? Will he crack under pressure? Who knows! Either way, I bet I’ll be pacing my living room this evening.

Hot Taeks

Josh: Tech beats Marshall with a game ending INT similar to the 2014 C-USA Championship game aka The UNO Reverse Card

Evan: Amik will have another pick six in this game.
Nathan: After the game, Skip will make a stop in Detroit to give Jeff Driskel another hug like he did after the last time Tech traveled to West Virginia. (editor’s note: that was Sokol. Nathan was making travel plans, so we’ll cut him some slack… Maybe Skip will give him a hug!)

Interesting Tidbit

Evan: Yesterday was the 49th anniversary of the tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of 75 Marshall football players, coaches, and boosters in 1970. This evening when the Herd take the field, they will be wearing the number 75 on their helmets instead of their normal Marshall logo. 

Each year on November 14th, the Memorial Fountain is shut off until the following spring in a ceremony on Marshall’s campus. Here is a video of the 2015 ceremony:

Final Predictions

Josh: Both teams are playing fairly well over the past four weeks, but Marshall has played a lot closer to the teams they beat (with the exception of Rice). Tech on the other hand, has been beating their opponents by a comfortable margin each week (with the exception of Rice). All the stats point to the teams being pretty evenly matched on both offense and defense, so the spread being a home field advantage in favor of Marshall doesn’t surprise me. I expect it to be a close game that comes down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter, if not the final seconds. I don’t know whether to try and be right, or to go with my heart on this one, so I’ll go with my hot taek.

Tech wins, 26-23

Evan: It’s going to be cold as hell in Huntington tonight. But look, if my Louisiana-born-and-raised a$$ can handle it in the stands (that’s right, me and Nathan are going to be there in the flesh!), you better believe the mighty Bulldogs can handle it. Luckily, it’s been pretty dang cold in Ruston this week, too. So it’s not like they’ll be unprepared. Wait, I’m supposed to use this space to talk about football. I think Tech is the better team all around. It’s a tough spot to go up to Marshall and win, but I think this team is equipped both physically and mentally to do it. Also, the cold (and the fact that there are two other Marshall sporting events going on at the same time: MBB @ Notre Dame and #13 in the nation Men’s Soccer) means there won’t be a huge crowd to contend with.

Tech wins, 38-24

Nathan: I’m worried about quite a few things going into this one. The weather. The travel. The short week. The exam schedule. Epstein’s non-suicide. That worried me enough to predict that Tech would only win by 3, even though I think the Bulldogs are more than 3 points better than Marshall.
Now I have a new worry: J’Mar won’t play. I think Tech still wins by 3, but I’m not as confident in the high score I predicted on the podcast.
Tech wins, 27-26

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