The Parthenon

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Grading the Herd’s week five performance

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OFFENSE: D+

The run game improved, but only slightly. Averaging 3.4 yards-per-attempt is not going to cut it in most games, especially against Conference USA’s top-tier teams. Keion Davis and Tyler King looked solid, and probably need to be getting the ball more, whether in run or pass situations. The rest of the run game combined for six yards on nine carries, an abysmal mark. Isaiah Green made freshman mistakes too often. The redshirt freshman quarterback threw three interceptions and completed less than 50 percent of his passes. However, he led a 98-yard game-winning touchdown drive in the late stages of the fourth quarter. That drive and Tyre Brady’s eight catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns saves this grade from being an F, and Brady was rewarded for his performance by being named Conference USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week.

DEFENSE: C+

Limiting Western Kentucky to 4 of 16 on third down conversions is a good number for the Herd defense, as is the 1.9 yards per rushing attempt. But the pass defense allowed too many big plays for this grade to be much higher. Yes, Marshall forced three Hilltopper turnovers, but WKU shot itself in the foot on two of them. Steven Duncan overthrew his tight end on Nazeeh Johnson’s interception and tried to do too much on Ryan Bee’s strip-sack that was recovered by Juwon Young. Middle Tennessee quarterback Brent Stockstill will carve up this pass defense if they continue to let receivers go open down the middle of the field. A positive to take from this: Donyae Moody’s forced fumble was textbook and the Herd got a pair of fourth down stops on questionable WKU play calling.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-

Justin Rohrwasser had a makeable field goal blocked, but besides that the special teams unit was solid. Robert LeFevre averaged nearly 41 yards per punt, had two punts of more than 50 yards and had three downed inside the 20. Rohrwasser made both of his extra points and added a pair of field goals. Four of his five kickoffs went for touchbacks. The one non-touchback kickoff was returned for a mere 13 yards. This units appears to be improved greatly since the Eastern Kentucky debacle.

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