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The Parthenon

Marshall football prepares for the Panthers

Kyle Curley, Assistant Sports Editor

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Richard Crank
Junior linebacker Juwon Young enters the field at Jerry Richardson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina for his first game in a Thundering Herd uniform after serving a suspension for the first four games of the year.

 

By KYLE CURLEY

The Parthenon

The Marshall  football team (6-1, 3-0) has won its last five games, including three in conference that have placed them tied for first place in the C-USA standings. Its next challenge comes in the form of a surging Florida International University (4-2, 2-1) this Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

“We’re getting ready to play an FIU team that has 15 starters who are seniors, so you have a veteran team,” head coach Doc Holliday said. “They have a lot of players back who have played a lot of football and are extremely talented. They are 4-2 and just finished beating up a Tulane team that is a good football team, and of course, they are well coached.”

Chase Litton’s touchdown streak came to an end at 27 games in Murfreesboro Friday night. The message from the quarterback: “Forget the streak.” 

Marshall’s pass protection has improved this season, only allowing Litton to be sacked three times this season, tied for second nationally. Only Army has allowed fewer.

Thundering Herd  running back Tyler King is coming off his best performance in the Kelly green. King was effective out of the back field in Murfreesboro, totaling 23 attempts for 129 yards and two touchdowns.

“Yeah, he is a young kid and is starting to get his feet wet,” Holliday said. “He is getting more comfortable, and he is getting better every week. With the development of young players, that is what they do. The more he plays, the better he gets. The more he sees things, the better understands them.”

The Thundering Herd is averaging 201 rush yards per game over its previous three contests. Keion Davis and King have spearheaded Marshall’s rushing attack.

“The last couple teams we have played have forced us to run the ball,” Litton said. “I mean, it’s worked out tremendously for us. The run game that we have this year, that we haven’t had, not because of the running backs but just because we couldn’t put it together offensively and execute, now we are finally doing it. We are excited to have it.” 

Marshall has quietly become one of the best teams in college football on third down according to the NCAA. The Thundering Herd’s third down conversion percentage is .457, good enough for 23rd in nation, on the defensive side, .310 ranked 25th in the nation.

“Getting off the field on third down defensively, we have been able to get pressure on the quarterback,” Holliday said. “On third and mediums and third and shorts, we have been able to get off the field. Offensively, we’ve been able to convert. We are making plays on third down on both sides of the ball and we are going to have to do the same against these guys.”

Marshall will continue their 2017 campaign this Saturday at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium at 2:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Stadium.

Kyle Curley can be contacted  at [email protected]

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