CFB Football Previews – No. 13 Virginia Tech Hokies at Marshall Thundering Herd
The Virginia Tech Hokies will look to end the non-conference portion of their schedule a perfect 4-0 when they square-off against the Conference-USA’s Marshall Thundering Herd this Saturday afternoon at Edwards Stadium.
Date/Time: Saturday, Sept.24 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Edwards Stadium, Huntington, W.VA.
Hokies at Thundering Herd lines by BetOnline.com
Point spread: Hokies-20.5
Game time is set for 3:30 p.m. and it will be available on ESPN3.com.
Virginia Tech has rolled to a 3-0 start after outscoring its opponents 109-30, but have not looked especially sharp in doing so. It struggled against East Carolina two weeks ago in a 17-10 win as a 17-point road favorite. It also failed to cover as a 24-point home favorite last week in a lackluster 26-7 victory over Arkansas State.
While the bitter memory of a 0-2 start last season including a loss to D-IAA James Madison has surely faded by now, you get the feeling this could be a trap game for the Hokies and could get caught looking past this week to the start of conference play against No.21 Clemson next Saturday. They have done a good job so far running the ball with an average of 210.7 yards a game, but the offense, led by quarterback Logan Thomas, has yet to show it has the ability to move the ball on a consistent basis.
Marshall comes into this game fresh off a 44-7 beatdown at the hands of Ohio as a 5.5-point road underdog. The total went ‘over’ the 47.5-point line. The Herd covered the spread as 21-5-point road underdogs in their season-opening 34-13 loss to West Virginia and beat Southern Miss 26-20 as 7.5-point home favorites, so last week’s collapse was hard to explain.
If Marshall is going to have any chance to pull off the upset this week it will need a monumental effort from quarterback Rakeem Cato. He has thrown for 506 yards so far, but is completing just 60.7 percent of his passes and has more interceptions (6) than touchdowns (4).
The Hokies are 7-2 against the spread in their last nine road games, but just 1-3 ATS in their last four games overall. The Thundering Herd is 3-0-1 ATS in their last four home games and 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games overall.
These two last played one another in 2009 with Virginia Tech cruising to a 52-10 victory as a 19.5-point home favorite. This time around things will be much closer as Marshall bounces back from last week’s ugly loss with a solid effort that easily covers the 20.5-point spread.
The Pick: Virginia Tech 24 Marshall 14
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