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Grading the Herd’s week seven performance

Anthony+Anderson+%2821%29+celebrates+his+1-yard+touchdown+run+during+the+second+quarter+of+Marshall%27s+loss+to+Middle+Tennessee.
Anthony Anderson (21) celebrates his 1-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of Marshall's loss to Middle Tennessee.

Anthony Anderson (21) celebrates his 1-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of Marshall's loss to Middle Tennessee.

Richard Crank

Richard Crank

Anthony Anderson (21) celebrates his 1-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of Marshall's loss to Middle Tennessee.

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STAFF REPORT

OFFENSE: A-

Marshall hadn’t rushed for more than 300 yards in a game since the 2015 season before erupting for 319 yards and five scores on the ground Saturday. Running backs Anthony Anderson and Tyler King each had multi-touchdown games, and King earned Conference USA Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors after shredding the Monarchs’ defense for 195 yards and two TDs. 165 of those yards and both scores came in the fourth quarter. Anderson had a season-high 91 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in what amounted to the best rushing performance for the Herd in nearly three years. Quarterback Alex Thomson looked more comfortable in the pocket in his second start. He completed 62 percent of his passes (18 of 29) for 182 yards and a touchdown. The passing game will come along as he continues to progress in offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey’s system. However, if the rushing game continues to churn out performances like this, the pass game might not need to be a factor.

DEFENSE: B+

Old Dominion threw the ball 54 times and was limited to under 300 yards passing. That’s a testament to the Marshall secondary’s lights-out performance Saturday. No ODU receiver totaled more than 55 yards and dynamic duo—wide receivers Jonathan Duhart and Travis Fulgham—were limited to a combined eight catches for 85 yards (Fulgham did catch a touchdown). The run defense kept ODU out of the end zone as well, and the Monarchs mustered only 402 yards of total offense—its lowest output since Blake LaRussa became the starting quarterback. Not a bad effort by the Thundering Herd defense, considering the Monarchs shredded Virginia Tech for 632 yards and defending Conference USA champion Florida Atlantic for 508.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A

Robert LeFevre had another solid performance, averaging 46.4 yards per punt on his five attempts with three downed inside the 20 and two going for more than 50 yards. Placekicker Justin Rohrwasser made all six of his extra point attempts and has now made 21 of his 22 extra points (the one miss was a blocked kick). Rorhwasser only had one of his seven kickoffs go for a touchback, but the kickoff unit allowed only 19 yards per return on the other six kickoffs.

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