The Owls enter Homecoming Week riding a four-game win streak, making them arguably the hottest team in Conference USA.
This streak has been fueled by turnovers on defense and an improving rushing attack.
Senior CB Meiko Dotson has four interceptions in the past two matchups and rising redshirt freshmen Malcolm Davidson is averaging an impressive seven yards the past three weeks.
Last season, Marshall defeated FAU 31-7 at Edwards Stadium. “It's a big game, first place on the line,” Lane Kiffin told reporters today. FAU was 0-3 last season in games played on weeknights.
In efforts to have campus ready to go for game time, all classes beginning after 2:00 PM on campus have been canceled.
The Owls are playing this game on a short week, which is something the team has struggled with in recent years.
Below is our compilation of notables, and some video, as we reach the mid-point of 2019 Game Week 8.
- Etienne Slides Left Last week, Colorado State transfer Desmond Noel started at left guard. This was his first start of the season and as an Owl. The left guard spot had been held by BJ Etienne, who has since shifted to right tackle. Etienne played tackle during his time at Park Vista High School, blocking for current RB Chauncey Mason. “The good thing about him (Etienne) is that he can play all four spots, it's very valuable,” said Lane Kiffin, when asked about Etienne`s role moving forward.
- WR Jordan Brooks-Wess Wins Waiver Lane Kiffin told reporters that sophomore WR Jordan Brooks-Wess won his appeal to play immediately for FAU. The SMU transfer joined FAU during fall camp. Brooks-Wess is a true speedster who could earn playing time in the slot or on special teams. "He's a very talented kid, looks fast", Lane Kiffin said while reflecting on the NCAA decision to clear Brooks-Wess.
- Key Matchup The Thundering Herd defense is led by Virginia Tech transfer LB Tavante Beckett. Last week, in a win over Old Dominion, Beckett recorded 14 tackles. If Marshall expects to limit Malcolm Davidson they will need Beckett to be all over the field. Beckett has strong read and react skills that could clog up the FAU running lanes.
- By the Numbers Marshall is 0-3 vs FBS opponents when RB Brenden Knox is held under 100 rushing yards. Knox is a powerful, downhill style running back. “We haven`t played our best game yet, we still need to fix some things to get better, said CB James Pierre.” The Glenn Spencer led defense will have to get a strong initial push to help limit Knox. Senior DT Ray Ellis has been doing a fantastic job on the interior and will be a factor in stopping the run.
- Breakout Candidate One of the unsung heroes of the FAU secondary is Zyon Gilbert (photo above). The junior safety was one of Lane Kiffin`s first recruits during his FAU tenure. Gilbert`s length will be key in stopping Marshall`s vertical attack. The junior has become one of the defenses' best tacklers with 24 total (4th), and 19 solo efforts (4th).
- Keep An Eye On Marshall QB Isaiah Green`s ability to extend the play with his legs. Green is in his second year commanding the Thundering Herd defense. If the Owls want to win this game, they will have to limit Green`s dual threat ability, especially on third downs.
Head Coach Lane Kiffin and CB James Pierre round out this weeks Video Play.
At Southern Methodist as a walk-on freshman…Played in seven games… Had two catches for 17 yards… Spent time on special teams… Registered one tackle… Had two kick returns for 118 yards and a long of 87.