Most teams in Conference USA have concluded their Out of Conference portion of their schedules and are moving primarily into conference play. That is the case for Marshall, as the Herd opens up CUSA play this weekend with a home contest against Old Dominion, kickoff slated for 330pm. Weather could be an issue as most of the east coast is preparing for some ramifications from Hurricane Joaquin.
Herdhaven will take a little bit of time today to take a look at the first month of the 2015 football season.
First, a look at some of the surprises. Marshall is setting with a 3 – 1 record. Many Herd fans are upset, primarily due to the fact Marshall fell for the third consecutive time at Ohio. Marshall did however, open the season with its first ever win over a Big 10 opponent when they took down Purdue. The offense, currently isn’t up to snuff when compared to previous seasons, this is due to having already played two quarterbacks and countless other players deep on the depth chart.
One of the most positive surprises should be the fact that this team, made up of younger guys, and guys who are being pressed into duty has not folded down the stretch. Currently Marshall is outscoring its opponents in the second have by 44 points, an average of 11 points per game. Michael Birdsong led a come from behind win against Purdue, three weeks later, true freshman Chase Litton led a come from behind, double overtime win on the road against Kent.
The season for some fans is littered with disappointments. Setting at 3 – 1, and getting to start CUSA play with back to back home games, my assumption is there isn’t much disappointment inside the Shewey Building at this time, in fact, two of the teams biggest disappointments, don’t even appear on the roster. Those are AJ Leggett and Angelo Jean Louis. Both former four star super athletes are gone from the program. Both left without explanation. Jean Louis has already popped up at Shepherd College, and no word on Leggett at this time. Their departures hurt the depth at both wide receiver and safety, but players like DeAndre Reaves at WR, and Kendall Gant at safety have stepped up their games.
Herdhaven Players of the Year to this point:
Evan McKelvey – McKevley is coming off not one, but two major knee injuries and is playing his best football of his career. He currently leads the team in tackles with 47 and on multiple occasions has taken over entire possessions to get the ball back for the offense.
Tiquan Lang – Although he has missed one full game and parts of another, Lang cant be kept off this list based on his play this season. He is second on the team in tackles with 35, and had two interceptions for touchdowns in the Purdue win.
Tyler Willians and Amoreto Curraj – Williams is averaging 45.9 yards per punt. The down fall is he is punting nearly 8 times per game, something that was unheard of the past few seasons. Curraj has kicked off 23 times, and 16 of them have not been returned.
The quarterback play hasn’t been great up to this point, and all CUSA running back Devon Johnson has been battling injuries, the wide receivers just recently had one of their own break the 100 yard mark, so Herdhaven’s offensive player of the year up to this point, award, goes to Sandley Jean Felix, Sebastian Johansson, and Michael Selby. Those three have been the most consistent part of the offense to this point, starting and playing nearly every meaningful down of football thus far.
Breakdown of CUSA Thus Far:
WKU 3 – 1 Rice 2 – 2
MTSU 2 – 2 LA Tech 2 – 2
Marshall 3 – 1 Southern Miss 2 – 2
FAU 1 – 3 UTEP 2 – 2
Old Dominion 2 – 2 North Texas 0 – 3
FIU 2 – 2 UTSA 0 – 4
Charlotte 2 – 2
CUSA has been dismal in OOC games versus Power 5 schools thus far. The conference is currently 2 and 17 against P5 schools. The only wins were Western Kentucky over Vanderbilt and Marshall’s win over Purdue.
The surprise of CUSA play thus far may be in regards to which school has scored the most points thus far. That honor does not go to high powered Western Kentucky, but to Middle Tennessee. MTSU has scored 178 total points on the year. Marshall leads in scoring defense, giving up only 88 points on the season.
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Herdhaven will be here all week to discuss anything Marshall. Coming later, a look at the current commitment lists, who will be visiting this weekend for ODU and is there a chance Marshall could snag a commitment next week for the Southern Miss game? Stay tuned