GAME CAPSULE: FAU vs Marshall - November 6, 2021
The Matchup: Marshall (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) @ Florida Atlantic (5-3, 3-1 C-USA)
When: Saturday, November 6th, 6:00 PM
Where: Howard Schnellenberger Field at FAU Stadium
Radio: 640 The Hurricane
Opening Line: FAU +1
Weather: Current conditions in Boca Raton, FL
The Series: The Thundering Herd have dominated the series so far, leading the series 7-1 so far. This includes FAU's last home loss before their 12-game home winning streak started - a 36-31 Marshall victory on Oct. 18, 2019. FAU's only victory against Marshall came on Nov. 3, 2017, at FAU Stadium - a 30-25 win. FAU is 1-0 when these two teams meet in November.
Marshall Team Site: Here
Key Stats Comparison:
While the scoreboard says that FAU's defense allowed 25 points, last week's 28-25 victory is still owed to the Owls' stout defense. They held the Miners to 4-of-17 on third down and forced UTEP quarterback Gavin Hardison to throw two interceptions. A lot of that had to do with cornerback Romain Mungin and safety Jordan Helm.
Mungin (photo below) had the best game of his career, notching seven solo tackles and the first interception of his career, also helping Helm notch his interception. Helm added five total tackles along with his interception - giving him the team lead in tackles (56.) They lead a passing defense that ranks 21st in the nation with 187.9 passing yards against per game.
FAU's offense operated rather efficiently when given a short field by the defense, notching four touchdowns despite only having 279 yards of total offense. This included a monster game from running back Johnny Ford, seeing him rush for 95 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. The offensive line also only gave up one sack and three tackles for a loss, allowing quarterback N'Kosi Perry to throw 13-26 for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Thundering Herd Notes
FAU's stout passing defense faces its biggest test of the season with Marshall, who rank fifth in the nation with 353 passing yards per game. Their quarterback, Grant Wells, is seventh in the nation in passing yards (2,326) with 10 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 66.1% passing. In his one appearance against FAU, he threw 18-31 with 251 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in a 20-9 win on October 24, 2020.
Marshall's true bread and butter has been scoring on rushing touchdowns - averaging the fifth-most rushing touchdowns per game (3.3.) Leading the way is Rasheen Ali, whose 13 rushing touchdowns ties him for the most in the nation. His 675 rushing yards also rank 27th in college football.
Last week, the Thundering Herd defeated the FIU Panthers 38-0. In that game, Wells threw 20-25 with 184 yards while Ali stole the show with 133 yards and two touchdowns on the ground on 26 carries.
#FAU HC @CoachTaggart says that star LB Caliph Brice is "out indefinitely" with an arm injury - he was seen on the sideline with his arm in a sling on Saturday.
Brice ranks second on the team with 54 total tackles, just one behind Jordan Helm. pic.twitter.com/8VRAUEg0GB— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) November 1, 2021
-Dwight D. Eisenhower
#FAU DC @Mike_Stoops doesn't rule out star LB Caliph Brice returning at some point this season.— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) November 3, 2021
Said he "didn't know what the percentages were," but said if there was a conference championship, his return isn't completely out of the question. pic.twitter.com/1DUa2s3GBs
Can we stop the run against Marshall?
If the combo of answers is no/no…
Going to be a loooooong night.
.@CoachTaggart on #Marshall: "they're a physical football team, especially at the running back position. (Ali) gets a lot of YAC's. And Wells has been in their system, he understands it. He does a great job of knowing where to go with the ball."— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) November 4, 2021
.@CoachTaggart on meeting #Marshall for a top of the #CUSA East table clash: "We knew we had to play Marshall, we know it would come. And it's here, so we are excited for the challenge. We'll have to come ready to play."— FAU Owl's Nest (@FAU_Owls_Nest) November 4, 2021