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2009 Little Caesars Bowl: Marshall vs Ohio Preview/Pick

Little Caesars Bowl Betting – Marshall vs. Ohio (-3)

Saturday, December 26th – Ford Field (Detroit, MI) – 1:00 PM ET
College Football Spread: Ohio -3
Marshall: The Week That Was

The Marshall Thundering Herd were 60 minutes away from registering their first winning regular season since 2004, but just when coach Mark Snyder had a reason to think that he could finally break through, the roof fell in. Marshall got mashed by UTEP, 52-21, on Nov. 28; shortly thereafter, Snyder would be pushed out the door as the team’s sideline boss.

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A pure nightmare unfolded in El Paso, Tex., as the 6-5 Herd fell to 6-6 with a loud crash. Despite the absence of a running game, UTEP quarterback Trevor Vittatoe sliced up the Marshall secondary to the tune of 517 passing yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions. With Herd quarterback Brian Anderson throwing three interceptions on the afternoon, the visitors couldn’t mount a comeback.

Ohio: The Week That Was

The Ohio Bobcats lost the Mid-American Conference Championship Game to Central Michigan, but Ohio’s 20-10 defeat still witnessed a superb performance from coach Frank Solich’s defense.

Central Michigan boasted Dan LeFevour, a decorated quarterback who had passed for more than 3,000 yards in three of his four years with the Chippewas. Yet, Ohio’s defensive unit limited LeFevour to just 255 yards passing while picking off the quarterback on one occasion. With Ohio’s offense lagging throughout the evening, it was that much more impressive that the Bobcats limited CMU to only 381 total yards and kept the Chippewas out of the end zone throughout the second half.

The boys from Athens, Ohio, didn’t claim the MAC title, but they definitely earned the respect of Dan LeFevour.

The Week That Is:

As the game formerly known as the Motor City Bowl becomes the first-ever Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, it’s hard to deny that this contest has all the flavour of a stale, three-day old pie with a very weak kind of tomato sauce. This is the bowl nobody wanted, and more specifically, it’s the lower-tier bowl game Notre Dame could have played in if it wanted to.

One thing that will favour Ohio in this contest is the fact that the Bobcats played at Ford Field three weeks ago in the MAC Championship Game. The Bobcats shouldn’t be awed by playing at the site of Super Bowl XL, and they shouldn’t lose kicks in the lights at the domed stadium.

The other factor that works strongly in Ohio’s favour is the fact that Marshall’s head coaching situation is in transition. John “Doc”Holliday was recently named the team’s coach for the 2010 season, but Rick Minter will lead the team in this contest. It’s usually a good bet to take the team with the stable coaching situation over a team with a lame duck in charge. With Holliday on the sidelines in Detroit, the calculus would have been different.

Little Caesars Bowl Prediction: Ohio -3

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