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Marshall Thundering Herd 2013 NCAA Football Gambling Odds & Predictions

2013-14 Football Previews – (CUSA) – Thundering Herd

Marshall went just 5-7 last year, but their explosiveness has led oddsmakers to make them co-favorites in the Conference USA East Division heading into 2013. Rakeem Cato is probably the best player in the entire conference, and he really came into his own during the 2012 season.

Conference USA 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Marshall Thundering Herd (Team Link)
Head Coach: Doc Holliday
2012 Record: 5-7
Marshall Gambling Odds to win BCS Championship: +2,000 (Part of Field)
Marshall Gambling Odds to win Conference USA East Division: +185
Marshall Gambling Odds to win Conference USA: +375

Doc Holliday is in his fourth year as coach of the Thundering Herd. Holliday has established himself as one of the best recruiters in the conference, but it’s about time for Marshall to start putting up more wins with that talent. Conference USA just lost three of its top six teams to the American Athletic Conference, so winning in this conference should be easier. The opportunity is there. Can Marshall take advantage?

Team Strengths:

Rakeem Cato is a massive strength by himself. Cato put up video game numbers in his sophomore season in 2012. He threw for 4,201 yards while racking up 37 touchdowns and just 11 interceptions.

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Maybe most impressive of all was the fact that Cato completed 69.5 percent of his passes. He’s one of the most talented quarterbacks in the country, and he’ll be a lot of fun to watch again this year.

Cato has plenty of weapons around him on this offense. Marshall has a terrific tight end in Gator Hoskins. Hoskins is a great third down pass catcher, and he has been great in the red zone throughout his career at Marshall. Tommy Shuler is a dynamic wide receiver on the outside. Marshall also has three very good running backs. Kevin Grooms, Remi Watson, and Steward Butler are all very dangerous with the ball in their hands. Teams won’t be able to just play the pass against Marshall.

The defensive line is an area of strength for the Marshall defense. Marshall should be able to get a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks this year thanks to senior defensive ends Jeremiah Taylor and Alex Bazzie. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Team Weaknesses:

Marshall’s defense cost them a bunch of games last year, and it’s liable to do the same this season. The Thundering Herd defense managed to give up at least 51 points on five different occasions last year. That’s mind boggling to even think about, and it tells you that there need to be some major changes on the defensive side of the football. Marshall brought in a new defensive coordinator, but can he change things in his first year?

The entire defense could really be talked about here, but the single biggest area of weakness is the secondary. That isn’t good at all in a conference like Conference USA where it seems like everyone and their brother has a good quarterback and wants to air it out on nearly every down. Marshall will have a lot of youth in the secondary this year, and they must figure out how to cut down on the number of big plays they allow.

2013-2014 Marshall Football Prediction: 9-4

Marshall should benefit a great deal from Conference USA getting weaker this year. The East is the easier division, and Marshall should be able to pick on some bad defenses in this division. Look for this offense to average more than 40 points per game as Marshall outscores the opposition on a weekly basis. They won’t be able to compete with the best teams outside the conference, but Marshall should win the Conference USA East Division.

2013 Thundering Herd Schedule

08/31/13 vs. Miami (Oh) TV Huntington, W.Va. 7:00 p.m. ET
09/07/13 vs. Gardner-Webb (Hall of Fame Weekend) Huntington, W.Va. 6:30 p.m. ET
09/14/13 at Ohio TV Athens, Ohio 8:00 p.m. ET
09/21/13 at Virginia Tech Blacksburg, Va. TBA
10/05/13 vs. UTSA* (Homecoming Weekend) TV Huntington, W.Va. 2:00 p.m. ET
10/12/13 at FAU* TV Boca Raton, Fla. 5:00 p.m. ET
10/24/13 at Middle Tennessee* * TV Murfreesboro, Tenn. 7:30 p.m. ET
11/02/13 vs. Southern Miss* TV Huntington, W.Va. 12:00 p.m. ET
11/09/13 vs. UAB* * TV Huntington, W.Va. 12:00 p.m. ET
11/14/13 at Tulsa* TV Tulsa, Okla. 7:30 p.m. ET
11/23/13 at FIU* TV Miami, Fla. TBA
11/29/13 vs. East Carolina* TV Huntington, W.Va. 12:00 p.m. ET

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