Game Preview & Trends: UC vs Marshall

We. Are. Not. Marshall.

Aaron Doster/USA TODAY

Cincinnati Bearcats (2-2)

  • Cincinnati is 4-10 ATS in its last 14 games
  • Cincinnati is 2-7 SU in its last 9 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Cincinnati’s last 11 games
  • Cincinnati is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games at home
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Cincinnati’s last 9 games at home

Marshall Thundering Herd (2-1)

  • Marshall is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
  • Marshall is 4-10 SU in its last 14 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Marshall’s last 11 games
  • Marshall is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games on the road
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Marshall’s last 5 games on the road

Back To The Nip

The Bearcats return home this Saturday to take on the Thundering Herd.  Coming off a tough loss to Navy, Cincinnati finds themselves in a poor position.  Starting the season 2-2, we need to turn it around quickly if we want to have a successful year.  Quarterback Hayden Moore looked impressive against Navy, throwing for 381 yards he completed 28 of his 46 attempts with 0 interceptions.  Devin Grey and Kahlil Lewis were the brunt of those receptions.  With 6 catches each, they picked up 112 and 59 yards respectively for a combined total of 171.  Moore did a good job of spreading the ball around with 7 other players getting at least 1 reception.  

On the flip side, our rushing offense left much to be desired.  In 23 attempts we picked up 58 yards, averaging a measly 2.5 yards a carry.  Navy’s offense on the other hand ran for 569 yards.  That is the most the Bearcats have ever given up since they started playing football in 1885.  No matter what our defense did, we could not stop the triple threat option of Navy.  Nearly every play they ran was the triple threat option. With an athletic quarterback and multiple talented running backs, as Navy has, it is a very dangerous play.  It was frustrating to see the same play ran on us with success over and over.  Our pass defense looked good, only giving up 53 yards, that is until you see Navy only attempted to throw the ball 3 times.  This is a staggering difference from the Marshall offense who are entering play at 2-1.  

Looking At Marshall

The Marshall offense, led by quarterback Chase Litton, is primarily a passing offense.  In all 3 games Marshall has played, Litton has thrown for over 200 yards.  The downside of this is that when the Thundering Herd run the ball they aren’t exactly thundering.  They have only rushed for more than 100 yards in one game, and that opponent was Kent State.  With most of their offensive output coming from the air, our secondary will have to be sharp.  Marshall has a few very talented receivers for Litton to throw too.  

One of the most impressive ones so far this season has been redshirted freshman Willie Johnson.  Coming in at only 6’, his weapon is speed.  Running a 4.3 40 yard dash, he can leave defenders behind when he takes off from the line.  Not to be out done, another speedy receiver for Marshall is Tyre Brady.  Originally a Miami (FL) recruit, he transferred to Marshall and is making a big impact offensively.  Standing at 6’3 and with speed rivaling Johnson, he makes for a big and dangerous target down field.  

The Marshall defense has been solid at shutting down the run game.  They have not allowed any team to blow them out running, and a big part of that is linebacker Chase Hancock.  A redshirted junior that comes in at 212 pounds, he is a force on defense picking up over 10 tackles in all 3 games.  The Marshall defense on the other hand has been mediocre at shutting down the pass.  Allowing a few teams to put up big yards, including Miami.  Marshall would go on to beat Miami, a team UC struggled with, but not before allowing 298 yards through the air.

Bearcats Keys To Victory

What the Bearcats need to do to win is shut down Marshall passing game.  We have been solid at shutting down the pass so far this year, but our only real test has been Miami.  Our secondary will have to play tight, especially when up against the talented receivers of Marshall.  The run defense of the Bearcats, despite getting blown out by Navy, has been tough.  Coming up with big plays in goal line situations when we need them, they should have no problem fending off Marshall’s running game.  

Where UC will have challenges is setting up their offense.  With a rushing offense that has been weak the past few games, and a passing game that has been sporadically good at best, we will need to make something happen.  Hayden Moore will need to repeat his numbers against Navy and keep the ball moving.  This will be largely contingent upon us establishing a running game.  Everyone knows that if one part of your offense is lacking, it heavily effects your others.


Charles’ Prediction: Bearcats 30 – Thundering Herd 28

Look for more #Bearcats posts all season written by Charles Sherman

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