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The Old Dominion Monarchs will travel to Joan C. Edwards Stadium on Saturday afternoon to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in a Conference USA matchup. The Monarchs are currently 1-4 (0-1) this season and are coming off a 28-21 road loss over the UTEP Miners. Junior quarterback D.J. Mack Jr is coming off a shaky game as he went 20-of-34 for 194 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Thundering Herd are 2-3 (0-1) so far as they are coming off a 34-28 road loss against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders where freshman quarterback Grant Wells struggled as he went 31-of-47 for 321 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.
These two programs have been playing every other season and looking at their last contest back in 2019, Old Dominion picked up a 31-17 victory. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to determine where we should be placing our wagers.
Kuntz Stepping Up
The Old Dominion Monarchs like to pass the football and sophomore tight end Zack Kuntz has been the recipient of the football. So far this season, he has 24 receptions for 239 yards (10.0 yards per catch) with a pair of touchdown receptions. Looking at his last game against the UTEP Miners, Kuntz finished with eight catches for 54 yards (6.8 yards per reception). If he can figure out how to find the end zone in this game, it will really help Old Dominion get going offensively.
The Old Dominion Monarchs have been struggling defensively this season as they are allowing 31.4 points per game so far. Looking at their last game against the UTEP Miners, they gave up 28 points on 333 total yards of offense (191 passing, 142 rushing). They did an okay job at getting stops on third down as the Miners went 7-of-16 on third down and converted both of their fourth down attempts. They need to limit the amount of passing yards as the Monarchs gave up 9.6 passing yards per attempt. If Old Dominion can continue to improve, it will be a great sign for the program overall.
The Most Dominant Ali?
The Marshall Thundering Herd have been running the ball extremely effectively as they are relying on the play of freshman running back Rasheen Ali. So far this season, he has 82 carries for 489 yards (6.0 yards per carry) with 11 rushing touchdowns while also having 18 catches for 121 yards (6.7 yards per reception) with a receiving touchdown. In his last game against Middle Tennessee, he finished with 19 carries for 113 yards (5.9 yards per carry) with three rushing touchdowns while also catching six passes for 48 yards (8.0 yards per catch). If the Thundering Herd can get the ball in Ali’s hands, it will do wonders for the offense.
The Marshall Thundering Herd have been a decent defensive team this season as they are giving up 24.8 points per game. In their previous game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, they allowed 34 points on 314 total yards of offense (105 passing, 209 rushing). The defense has been getting stops on third down as Middle Tennessee went 4-of-15 on third down as they also went 1-of-2 on fourth down. They need to improve on defending the run as the Blue Raiders finished with 4.3 yards per carry in the game. If they can figure out how to limit the amount of points here, it will really help them get a win here.
- Old Dominion: 7-18-1 ATS in their last 26 conference games
- Old Dominion: 1-5 ATS in their last 6 October games