The Marshall Thundering Herd and Boise State Broncos will battle on Friday night on the blue turf of Albertsons Stadium. Marshall is coming off an easy victory over VMI 56-17 last week, while No. 24 Boise State overcame an 18-point deficit to defeat Florida State in Tallahassee. These teams have only met once before in 1984, with the Broncos coming away with a 28-24 victory.
Both offenses almost put up identical yardage, as Marshall had 620 yards of offense and Boise State 621 in their openers. The winner of this game will be one of the favorites for the Group of 5 spot in the New Year’s Day bowls.
The line is Boise State -12 and the over/under is 57.
Marshall Looking For Bigger Bowl Game
If Marshall is to have a chance at the Group of 5 bowl game, they will probably need to win this one. They have Cincinnati and Florida Atlantic on the schedule that would both be nice victories, but this would be a marquee win.
Marshall’s offense looked as good as advertised in the first game, albeit versus an FCS opponent. They amassed 620 yards of total offense behind a career-high four-touchdown performance from Isaiah Green, who was 18 of 28 for 238 yards. The offense racked up 280 yards on the ground behind seven different runners, none of which had more than 10 carries.
The Thundering Herd defense didn’t face anything like what they are going to see Friday night. This Broncos offense has a lot of weapons. They were able to limit the Keydets to 257 yards of offense and grab one interception. The Broncos put up over 600 yards on Florida State, so keeping the Broncos out of the end zone will be a tough task for the Marshall defense.
Broncos Playing For New Year’s Day
This Boise State team has a real shot at playing on New Year’s Day. There won’t be many of the Group of 5 teams able to claim a win on the road against a team like Florida State.
The Broncos’ offense showed they are as good as anybody in the nation, putting up 621 yards at Florida State. Freshman Hank Bachmeier was fantastic in his college debut, going 30 of 51 for 407 yards and a touchdown to go with one interception. Bachmeier did a great job of spreading the ball around, completing passes to nine different Broncos. Khalil Shakir led the way with eight receptions for 78 yards and a touchdown.
The Broncos weren’t just one-dimensional as they had 214 yards on the ground. Junior Robert Mahone had 142 yards on 24 carries and a pair of touchdowns. Mahone should have another big game against a less-talented Marshall defense.
The Broncos defense had the tale of two halves against the Seminoles. They gave up all 31 points in the first half before shutting Florida State out in the second half. They caused four FSU fumbles, recovering two of them.
This game opened at -10.5 Boise State and has increased after their impressive performance in Tallahassee. While the Broncos were impressive, Marshall should be one of the better teams in the nation, so this will not be a walk in the park for Boise State.
With all that being said, Marshall just doesn’t have the depth of athletes that Boise State has. If this was at Marshall, I would give them a fighter’s chance. Boise State is just too good. I look for huge games for Bachmeier and Mahone.
Boise State 41, Marshall 24
I like the over for 2 units and Boise State for 1.