This is a rare Game between two nearby schools that was set up only a couple weeks ago after each team had other matchups cancelled earlier in the season. With a bowl Game on the line, Virginia Tech is hoping to close the regular season with a win. The Hokies were -4 point favorites with an over/under of 53 as of Wednesday.
Marshall missed the C-USA title Game mostly because of an early-season loss to Middle Tennessee, but this will have to do. The Thundering Herd had a decent season that saw them compete with NC State and handle most of their Games in Conference play, winning Four by at least 17 points. It’s been mostly disappointing for Virginia Tech, which is why it’s in this must-win position. The Hokies stole the Game against Virginia last week and that followed a Four-Game losing streak. Nothing has gone right since beating Florida State in the opener and that started with a bad loss to Old Dominion, a team that finished 4-8 and lost at home to Marshall 42-20.
This Game should be competitive most of the way because neither team is truly dominant in one area. Tech’s defense has been the main issue, giving up 204 rushing yards on 5.2 yards per carry and that’s likely where Marshall will attack. The problem is that Marshall isn’t that great of a running team and top running back Tyler King has missed the last month with injury. If he can’t go, Brenden Knox will see the majority of work after taking over the last three Games en route to 281 yards. Still, the Herd are averaging 4.1 yards per carry as a team and that’s not going to break open the Game. The reason Marshall has had success is because quarterback Isaiah Green is at least halfway decent. He only has 14 touchdowns and nine picks, but he missed three Games. Marshall will run the ball early, but Green may be needed at some point.
The other side will be interesting because Marshall’s defense has dominated C-USA opponents, allowing just 20.3 points per Game and 2.9 yards per carry. That said, some of those numbers are skewed because of the weakness of the Conference as the Herd gave up 37 points to NC State, 34 to MTSU and at least 20 to any relevant team.
Virginia Tech may not be a completely relevant team, but it showed it could Scoreagainst Virginia last week in the 34-31 win even though Ryan Willis was brutal, completing just 14-of-33 passes with a couple interceptions. And that’s where this Game gets fishy if Tech can’t run the ball because Willis simply hasn’t been good this year with 7.12 yards per attempt. He’s had some decent outings, but he’s a hard guy to put money on, especially as a favorite by more than three points. His mobility at least helps alongside running back Steven Peoples, but that hasn’t been enough in most Games as the team is averaging 4.3 ypc.
The Thundering Herd are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven against the ACC but 3-7 ATS in their last 10 Games overall. The Hokies are 1-4 ATS in their last five home Games and 1-5 ATS in their last six against the C-USA. Virginia Tech has won the last eight meetings between these schools with Marshall’s only wins coming in 1939 and 1940.
Our Pick – Marshall +4