Game week for Kent has come and gone. The Herd will prepare to debark from Huntington within the next few hours and head north to the Kent campus. Marshall is coming off of a 45 to 7 win over Norfolk State, while Minnesota is coming off of a “quality loss,” at Minnesota 10 to 7. Playoff committee chairman Jeff Long would be proud of the usage of the term “quality loss.”
Herdhaven takes a look at seven important questions leading into this week’s road game.
Top 7 questions leading into the Game at Kent.
1. How will true freshman quarterback Chase Litton handle a defense which has played very well the past two weeks. They have allowed just 33 first downs through the first three games, and have given up just 397 passing yards during that time period? Litton showed last week at home that he has the poise to make all the throws and all the plays to move the team up and down the field. This will be Litton’s first road test and it will be against a defense that is off to a very fast start.
2. Can the Herd get any type of running game against the Kent defense? Kent is giving up only 66 rushing yards per game. Marshall’s Devon Johnson has went over 100 yards each game on his own. Johnson’s ability to run the ball will go along way towards removing a little bit of the pressure off the shoulders of Litton.
3. Can the Marshall defense rise to the challenge. It seems, for many of us who have spent our lives watching sports, that when one side of a team is praised and the other is ignored, that unit that is slighted steps up big when least expected. Thus far, Kent is averaging just 293 total yards per game, and is averaging just over 18 points per contest. The Marshall front 7 will need to work on stuffing the run and putting the onus on quarterback Colin Reardon to win the game.
4. Can Marshall get themselves up to play in front of a most likely empty stadium? The Herd has proven to have troubles in this situation ever since it returned to Division 1-A (Now FBS) status in 1997. The Herd routinely struggled against the likes of Kent, and Akron, and will need to find a way to self motivate itself. With all of the position battles going on still, one would think this will not be a problem.
5. Can DeAndre Reaves repeat his performance from against Norfolk? Reaves showed that he could be a game breaker at the wide receiver position. He got down the field twice for touchdowns and gave Litton a good target.
6. Kendall Gant, Gant, the former four start Georgia commit will either start at safety or get some playing time if Tiquan Lang cannot go the entire game, Lang did not dress last week as a precaution. With the loss of AJ Leggett, Gant now becomes a very important aspect of the Herd defense.
7. Can Marshall’s outside receivers get down the field and make plays. Senior Davonte Allen and sophomore Deontay McManus showed the ability to dominate at times last year, but that has not been the case through the first three games of the 2015 season. Currently, the Herd does not have a wide receiver with over 100 yards receiving on the season, not just single game totals, but season totals. Marshall, and quarterback Litton, needs someone to step up and change that beginning this weekend.
Marshall takes on Kent tomorrow at 330pm. The game will be televised on most, if not all, ASN networks across the country, as well as on ESPN3.
Stay tuned to Herdhaven.com throughout the weekend for updates, and recaps. Also, remember to check out the Message Board forums to discuss the game prior to, during, and after the contest.