D Oh (@7.0) vs A Marshall (@1.08)
02-09-2019

Our Prediction:

A Marshall will win

D Oh – A Marshall Match Prediction | 02-09-2019 23:30

Prior to last year, head coach Doc Holliday had led the Thundering Herd to three straight seasons with double digit wins. That includes a 13-1 campaign in 2014 that saw Marshall finish the season ranked in the top 25. Marshall is coming off an abysmal 3-9 season last year that left many experts puzzled at how the program fell so hard so fast.

Marshall had a tough team. Great game. I was also at the 2003 game at Yager Stadium Miami won 45-6. Travis Prentice was terrific that day, as he was every game. I thought Miami did a great job keeping Randy Moss in check. To paraphrase and borrow a Charlie Coles quote, Big Ben was Big Ben! Defense for Miami was stout. Hawk - 1997 Miami win 45-21 at Yager Stadium.

Miami is strong on both sides of the ball and appears poised to compete for a conference championship this season, whereas Marshall may have some rebuilding to do this year coming off a 3-9 campaign. Outside of Marshall being the home team, theres not a lot to like about the Thundering Herd in this matchup. As a PK, the smart money is on Miami.

Hawk - Miami needs to spread the field against this defense. Lots of team speed. Marshall as always should be very athletic. Need to establish the run early as well. If Miami can do that and get into the second level of Marshall's defense consistently, Miami should do well. Key will be Miami's OL controlling the line. I think TE will be key for Miami opening and spreading the field. And hit WR besides James Gardner.

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Last Week (Week 15): Straight Up: 1-0 (100%), Against The Spread: 0-1 (0.0%)2018-2019 Season: Straight Up: 541-174 (75.7%), Against The Spread: 370-331 (52.8%)2017-2018 Season: Straight Up: 563-215 (72.4%), Against The Spread: 376-382 (49.6%)2016-2017 Season: Straight Up: 547-214 (71.9%), Against The Spread: 376-362 (50.9%)2015-2016 Season: Straight Up: 604-177 (77.3%), Against The Spread: 382-363 (51.2%)2014-2015 Season: Straight Up: 507-211 (70.6%), Against The Spread: 351-346 (50.4%)2013-2014 Season: Straight Up: 547-186 (74.6%), Against The Spread: 368-326 (53.0%)*Historical results can be found at The Prediction Tracker.

No pick occurs when the odds are even for both sides at the sportsbook, or when we project the game at 50% on each side. Attempting to explain Log Loss is a little complicated, but in a nutshell, the lower number is better. The idea is to test our probabilities of victory for each team against the sportsbooks (we used 5Dimes, but could have used anyone). For more information in the examination of this creiteria, see: Making Sense of Log Loss. The table listed above shows how our projections have done against Sportsbook Consensus. Wins, losses, and win percentage are self-explanatory.

It's now time to prove that this staff can get the players to execute and stay calm in tense situations. Individually, this is the most talented roster in over a decade. Last season, a single bad snap lost the game as BG, a failure to call a timeout cost Miami the UC game, and the wrong kick coverage group going out played a huge part in the Marshall loss. Now it's a matter of doing the little things right. Dusty - "Prove it." Everyone knows there's no lack of talent anymore. Hopefully the experience helps with that and lessons were learned.

Marshall remembers the Young Thundering Herd losing at Miami in 1971 by a score 66 to 6. Several trashed the visitors coaches box in the press box, while one went to jail for clothes lining a Marshall fan on the field. The Miami coaches had different reactions. The history of the series runs pretty deep with fans on both sides. Miami fans remember Marshall ruining their 2002 season when Stan Hill ran into the endzone with less than 10 seconds to go to give Marshall a 36 to 34 win.

The team was a combined 5-19 in Chuck Martins first two seasons as head coach. Meanwhile, Miami fans should be thrilled at the promise the RedHawks made last year. But Martin was able to turn the tide and lead the RedHawks to six straight wins and a bowl appearance to close out the 2016 season. Miami then started last year with six straight losses.

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I hope things are smoother this weekend, but my expectations are low with both teams being much more competitive now. With how folks acted, I would've thought Marshall thought beating that 2014 team, a season removed from being the worst FBS team in recent history, was an accomplishment. As far as fan interaction goes, the pleasantries have been limited. Dusty - I think Marshall provides something West Virginia needs. "We are Marshall" has served as a rally cry for an area that tends to be ignored at a national level. I was in Oxford for the last game between Miami and Marshall Chuck's first season as coach.

Jalen Walker and Mo Thomas will come in to provide home run threats with speed. An equally fair question is how does the Marshall defense plan to counter Miami's size. Gus Ragland (Johnny Unitas and Manning watch lists) is finally healthy again after injuries followed him most of last season. In the backfield, Kenny Young (Doak Walker watch list) and Alonzo Smith will be the typical thunder and lightening combo. After watching Mayock in practice for the last two years, I'm excited for people to get a chance to see what he can do. Finally, a healthy line that averages over 6'4" and 307lbs will look to anchor it all. Neither are "burners" but will still stretch a defense and tend to make difficult catches look routine. Dusty - No doubt the battle between a very talented Marshall defense and the Miami offense will be one of the best across week 1. Outside, Miami has 6'4" James Gardner (Biletnikkof and Maxwell watch lists) and 6'5" Luke Mayock.

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But that may not be wise in this case, as Marshall still has a lot to sort out from last season, while Miami has a lot of momentum and confidence heading into the season opener. In a toss-up game like this, its often best to go with the home team, especially when a lot of the betting action is moving in that direction.