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Marshall football takes on UTSA in last home game of season

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Marshall football takes on UTSA in last home game of season

Brenden Knox avoids a Charlotte defender to break into open space. Knox gains 116 yards on 22 carries in the contest.

Brenden Knox avoids a Charlotte defender to break into open space. Knox gains 116 yards on 22 carries in the contest.

Sydney Shelton

Brenden Knox avoids a Charlotte defender to break into open space. Knox gains 116 yards on 22 carries in the contest.

Sydney Shelton

Sydney Shelton

Brenden Knox avoids a Charlotte defender to break into open space. Knox gains 116 yards on 22 carries in the contest.

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The Marshall University football team looks to add another conference win at Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Heading into the contest, Marshall is 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the Conference USA, while UTSA is 3-7 overall and 2-4 in C-USA.

“You turn on that tape and they have got some of the best receivers in our league,” Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said. “They’ve got some good players on defense, and we just have to make sure we are prepared, have a good week of preparation and go out there and play hard.”

Saturday’s game will be the third matchup between the two teams. Last year, UTSA beat Marshall in San Antonio, 9-7, after a game-winning field goal with two seconds left by kicker Jared Sackett. The series is tied between the Herd and Roadrunners, 1-1.

Sackett, who kicked the game-winner last year against Marshall, was named one of 20 semifinalists for the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award for the second straight season. He has made all 15 extra-point attempts this season, and is 9-of-13 from 40 yards or more.

Senior quarterback D.J. Gillins made his first start for the Roadrunners last week versus Florida International University, where he suffered an injury in the final minute and will miss the rest of the season. The Herd can expect to see either freshman Jordan Weeks or sophomore Bryce Rivers at quarterback this week. Neither player has started for UTSA.

At receiver, senior Greg Campbell Jr. leads the team with 40 catches and 393 yards, averaging 43.7 yards per game. On offense the Roadrunners also have senior running back Jalen Rhodes, who has 1,952 career rushing yards. Rhodes is averaging 22.4 yards per game.

This season on defense for the Roadrunners, junior Josiah Tauaefa, has been a problem for opposing offenses. He leads the team with 87 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Tauaefa is one of 10 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, which honors the nation’s best collegiate linebacker.  UTSA defense averages 6.8 tackles for loss per game, which ranks fifth in C-USA.

On offense for the Herd, redshirt freshman quarterback Isaiah Green was 15-of-25 for 178 yards and threw one touchdown in last week’s victory over Charlotte. Through five starts at Marshall, Green has 102 completions for 1,286 yards.

Green had help last week from redshirt freshman Brendan Knox, who was the first player to rush for 100 yards against Charlotte this season. Knox was in for injured running backs redshirt senior Keion Davis and redshirt sophomore Tyler King.

During his running back debut, Knox registered 116 rushing yards and one touchdown.  Redshirt senior wide receiver Tyre Brady is also a threat on offense for the Herd. Brady had 6 catches for 95 yards versus Charlotte.

Marshalls defense has yet to allow 150 rushing yards in a single game this season. Redshirt senior linebacker Frankie Hernandez recorded a career high 11 tackles versus Charlotte. In that same game, redshirt senior defensive lineman Ryan Bee was credited with 1.5 sacks, which makes it the 18.5 sack of his career. Bee and Hernandez are two of 18 seniors that will be honored and play their last game at Joan C. Edwards stadium Saturday.

“Anytime you play your last game here at the Joan it’s emotional for the seniors,” said Holliday. “It’s important that we send them out the right way.”

Marshall is 12-0 at home against schools from Texas.

Morgan Griffith can be contacted at [email protected]

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