Marshall vs. Miami University fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 1
Game Time: 3:30 pm ET
Venue: Yager Stadium, Oxford, OH
Marshall (0-0) vs. Miami University (0-0) Game Preview
These two opened up the 2017 season with a thriller. Marshall pushed past the RedHawks 31-26, starting the game with a Keion Davis kickoff return for a touchdown, and getting a second kick-six from him late in the first half.
This time around, this is a huge game for a Miami team looking to push its way to six wins and a bowl game – it needs every home win it can get – and Marshall is trying to show that it’s about to be a power and a turn into a big player in the Conference USA race.
Can the Thundering Herd offense get going after flopping a bit in last year’s opener? Can the RedHawks crank up its own attack with a few new key parts?
It’s like a strong mid-level December bowl game, and very quietly, it should be one of the tighter Week One matchups.
One Reason Why Miami University Will Win
The RedHawk passing game has to roll from the start.
Gus Ragland is a good, veteran passer, and Michigan transfer Alex Malzone is a good-looking option, but the key is the receiving corps with a big play target in James Gardner with the potential to stretch the field and hit the Marshall secondary hard.
The Herd couldn’t come up with interceptions or enough big plays over the second half to last season, but there’s enough talent there to be fine. However, the MAC’s MU has the O line to keep the other MU’s defensive front from camping out in the backfield and give enough time for everything to work.
The RedHawks were fifth in the nation in fewest tackles for loss allowed. That has to happen again from the start.
One Reason Why Marshall Will Win
The Miami pass rush has to be great, and it likely won’t be.
The Marshall skill talents are going to be fantastic. The quarterbacks are terrific with Alex Thomson and Isaiah Green both capable of making the O fly, the receiving corps is explosive, and the running game should be solid. But the key should be an improved line with everyone back around all-star center Levi Brown.
Miami came up with a strong, effective season on D, but it generated a mere 18 sacks. This year, the front seven will be among the MAC’s best, but the secondary loses too many key parts and could get hit hard. Don’t come up with pressure the Herd QB, and it’s going to be a long day.
What’s Going To Happen
Both defenses will be good, but Marshall will have too much going its way offensively.
Running the ball will be a problem at times, but the quick passing game will turn into just enough big plays to let the Herd open things up as the game goes on.
The RedHawks will be sound on both sides, but Marshall will be great when it has to be in key spots. Miami will always be chasing.