Saturday, October 24, 2020, Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, West Virginia, 2:30 p.m. ET
Owls at Thundering Herd Betting Preview: Owls (+16.5), Thundering Herd (-16.5)
COVID-19 issues have been a huge hinderance for the Owls (1-0, 1-0 Conference USA), who have been idle since Oct. 3 and will be facing one of the league’s hottest team when they play just their second game of the season this weekend.
:It’s tough because we want to play so bad,” running back James Charles said. “We can only control what we can control. That’s our attitude.We have to keep having that drive. Which I know we will.”
The Owls demonstrated a crushing ground attack in their lone appearance, rushing for 217 yards in rallying from a 10-0 deficit against Charlotte to the 21-17 victory.
Quarterback Nick Tronti passed for only 98 yards but rushed for a team-high 94 to lead the attack. James Charles had 45 yards on just seven carries and Larry McCammon ended with 44 on six rushes.
Tronti had two touchdown passes and rushed for a third score.
The game against Marshall could have a significant impact on the C-USA race that the Owls have won two of the last three years.
“We know what’s at stake,” Charles said. “We want to win a conference championship.”
Marshall Thundering Herd
The 22nd-ranked Thundering Herd (4-0, 2-0 C-USA) are off to their best start in six seasons and will be taking on a team that has dominated the conference over the last three years. The Herd’s start is their best since the 2014 team won its first 11 games.
“There’s so much love here,” safety Derrek Pitts said. “Nobody is out for themselves. Everybody wants it for everybody else. I love competing, and this is a team that competes all of the time.”
Veteran running back Brenden Knox has rushed for 455 yards to lead a ground attack that has averaged nearly 214 yards a game. Grant Wells, a redshirt freshman, has stepped up at quarterback since veteran Isaiah Green opted out for the season and has completed 66.0 percent of his 94 pass attempts for nearly 215 yards a game. He has six touchdown passes against only two interceptions.
The defense has held opponents to a total of just 38 points and only 272.8 yards a game.
Owls at Thundering Herd Betting Pick for October 24, 2020
The Thundering Herd has been able to settle in and will be going for their best start since the 2014 Herd won their first 11 games on the way to the C-USA title. They have a proven runner in Knox but will be up against an Owls’ defense that held Charlotte to just 82 yards rushing.
Owls at Thundering Herd Betting Pick:
Thundering Herd 31, Owls 17
Owls at Thundering Herd Best Bet for October 10, 2020
The Herd’s defense looks to be a little too much for the Owls to handle at this stage of their season. Florida Atlantic managed to win its opener despite getting only 98 yards passing from Tronti. The Herd has held its four foes to under 70 yards a game rushing.
Owls at Thundering Best Bet: UNDER 50.5
–Field Level Media