Herd Football back in action Saturday against FIU

Off the bye week, Marshall football welcomes the Florida International Panthers to Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. 

FIU is 1-6 this season and winless in conference play.

The lone victory came in the season opener against Long Island on Sept. 2.

Butch Davis’ squad since that win, has lost six straight games, three of which have come in conference play against Florida Atlantic, Charlotte and Western Kentucky by a combined 54 points.  

“The one thing I’ve learned in this conference is that the record is not an indication of the team that is going to hit the field,” Marshall first year head coach Charles Huff said. “This is another week of a team’s record that is not indicative of the talent they have.  

The Panthers are led by their quarterback Max Bortenschlager.

The Maryland transfer is in his second season with FIU and has posted sold numbers through seven games.

The redshirt senior has thrown for over 2000 yards and 15 touchdowns.

His top wideout has been sophomore wide receiver Tyrese Chambers.

He has 24 receptions for 713 yards and six touchdowns, averaging nearly 30 yards a catch.  

“Their quarterback does a really good job of throwing the deep ball,” Coach Huff said. “You can tell he really understands the system. He distributes the ball where it needs to go.” 

To complement the passing attack, the Panthers can run the ball just as effectively.

 D’vonte Price leads the charge out of the backfield, running for 586 yards, averaging about five per rush and six touchdowns.  

“They (FIU) have a really nice running back, one of the best in the league,” Linebacker Eli Neal said. “He’s got something you can’t teach and that’s good size.” 

FIU has struggled defensively over its previous five games, allowing 30 points or more in each. 

As a team, the unit is also nearly allowing 500 yards per game.

Despite the numbers Herd offensive lineman Alex Mollette says FIU still presents a challenge, particularly up front. 

“FIU has a very talented defense,” Mollette said. “They have a fast, physical front. Good defensive lineman that hold point, linebackers that can really fly around and a secondary that is solid.” 

The Thundering Herd enters Saturday’s matchup winners of back-to-back games and is tied for first in the East division of Conference USA with a 2-1 record.

Coach Huff is hopeful the momentum his team built before the bye carries over.  

“Another phenomenal challenge for us, not only playing FIU, but coming off the bye week. Are we a mature enough team to continue progressing or are we satisfied? FIU is going to present a tremendous challenge.” 

The game may be heard on Marshall University’s student radio station, WMUL 88.1 FM or on its website www.marshall.edu/wmul/