The Marshall Thundering Herd visits the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Joe Aillet Stadium in Ruston, Louisiana on Saturday for a Conference USA tilt. Marshall is 3-0 after defeating Western Kentucky 38-14. Quarterback Grant Wells had 162 yards through the air, while running back Brenden Knox rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Marshall raced out to a 28-0 lead at halftime and was never threatened after the break. Marshall is first in the Conference USA East Division at 1-0.
Louisiana Tech has had a solid start to a season going 3-1 following its 21-7 victory against the UTEP Miners. The only blemish on the Bulldogs record is a 45-14 loss to the BYU Cougars. Louisiana Tech is in first place in the Conference USA West Division at 2-0. Quarterback Luke Anthony passed for 85 yards in the Bulldogs victory over UTEP and the leading rusher was Justin Henderson with 54 yards and one touchdown. The Louisiana Tech defense forced two turnovers by UTEP and held the Miners to just 266 yards of total offense.
Marshall's defense is one of the bestThe Marshall Thundering Herd are 3-0 for good reason. Marshall has the No. 2 ranked overall defense in the nation that is allowing an average of just 7.0 points per game which is tied for first with Air Force. The Thundering Herd are giving up an average of 93.7 yards per game on the ground and 181.0 yards per game through the air. Leading the way on defense for Marshall is linebacker Tavante Beckett who has a team-high 26 tackles including 11 solo and 15 assisted. The leader in sacks is defensive lineman Darius Hodge with 2.5 and as a team, Marshall has had six sacks in three games.
On offense, Marshall is averaging 226.3 yards on the ground which is 11th in the nation and 223.3 yards per game through the air which is 51st. The Thundering Herd is scoring an average of 38.0 points per game making it the 19th highest scoring team in the nation. Marshall’s Grant Wells has passed for 632 yards, four touchdowns and has been intercepted once. The offensive line has protected Wells allowing just three sacks through three games. On the ground, Branden Knox has rushed for a team-high 330 yards and has scored five touchdowns. Broc Thompson has caught 12 passes for 198 yards but has not yet scored a touchdown.
The only significant possible injury for Marshall is tight end Devon Miller who missed the last game and his status is unknown for Saturday's game versus Louisiana Tech.
Bulldogs giving up too many pointsLouisiana Tech is making it too easy on its opponents to remain close in games as the Bulldogs defense is allowing 32.5 points per game. In overall defense, Louisiana Tech is No. 54 in the nation allowing an average of 118.0 yards per game on the ground and 300.3 yards per game through the air. The leading tackler for Louisiana Tech is linebacker Tyler Grubbs with 14 solo and 28 assisted for a total of 42. The leader in sacks is defensive lineman Milton Williams with three and as a team, Louisiana Tech has six sacks.
On offense, the Bulldogs are averaging 127.5 yards per game on the ground and 234.0 yards through the air. Louisiana Tech behind quarterback Luke Anthony is scoring an average of 33.0 points per game and Anthony has passed for 739 yards, 10 touchdowns and has been intercepted twice. However, Anthony has not had the best pass protection being sacked nine times. Justin Henderson has rushed for 229 yards and two touchdowns to lead Louisiana Tech’s ground game and Adrian Hardy has 13 receptions for 206 yards and one touchdown to lead the receiving corps.
Louisiana Tech does not have any players listed in their injury report for Saturday's game versus Marshall.
- Louisiana Tech is 2-6 ATS in the last 8 played at home as the underdog
- Marshall is 5-2 ATS in the last 7 on the road
- The Thundering Herd are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 played on fieldturf