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at Ohio 44 ... Marshall 7

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 17, 2011


Week 3 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Marshall at Ohio


2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 3 - Marshall at Ohio

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Sept. 17 at Ohio 44 ... Marshall 7
CFN Analysis: COMING

(AP) ATHENS, Ohio -- Tyler Tettleton threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, leading Ohio over Marshall 44-7 on Saturday night to cement the Bobcats' best start in 35 years.

Tettleton was 20 of 29 for 285 yards and also rushed for 53 yards on nine carries for the Bobcats (3-0), who have won their first three games of the season for the first time since 1976. Ryan Boykin had 130 yards rushing with a touchdown on 25 carries, and caught two passes for 20 yards for Ohio.

Ohio's Matt Weller made it 10-7 on a 20-yard field goal midway through the first quarter. The Bobcats blew it open from that point.

Tettleton had a 7-yard score and threw touchdown passes of 50 and 22 yards all in the second quarter, giving Ohio a 34-7 halftime advantage.

Rakeem Cato threw for 116 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions for the Thundering Herd (1-2).

Marshall (1-1) at Ohio (2-0) Sept. 17, 7:00

Here’s The Deal … Saturday night marks the 54th matchup between traditional rivals Marshall and Ohio in the “Battle for the Bell.” With the campus located 80 short miles from each other, this regional battle is a yearly contest for bragging rights between the two fan bases. Marshall enters the contest riding a six-game winning streak against the Bobcats, including 12 of the last 14, including a 21-17 win in the 2009 Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. Despite the record, the game has been highlighted in recent years by close finishes, with the Herd coming out on top by an average of seven points per game in the last five contests. Meeting for the first time on the gridiron in 1905, The Herd and the Bobcats took a short hiatus during the past decade due to Marshall’s move to Conference USA, but the rivalry revived on a home-and-home basis with the Herd’s thrilling 24-23 win last season.

Why Marshall Might Win: Second-year head coach Doc Holliday is bringing the Herd into the matchup battle-ready after winning a close 26-20 game last week against Southern Mississippi and dropping a rain-delayed marathon against West Virginia in Week 1. Throughout the two contests, Marshall has also been trying to break in a true freshman starting quarterback, Rakeem Cato. Cato has shown flashes of brilliance, totaling 390 yards and three touchdowns, all the while receiving help from a line that’s only allowed 1.5 sacks. With a stout defense backing him up, the Herd will only go as far as Cato will take it in this bitter rivalry.

Why Ohio Might Win: Ohio enters the “Battle for the Bell” coming off two impressive performances to enter the season. While the first two games were against less-than-stellar opponents, the Bobcats still managed to dominate on defense, allowing 13.5 points per game and winning by a comfortable margin. The Bobcats are currently ranked top 25 nationally in all major team defensive categories, and while star-less, the Bobcats’ chemistry has been evident in 2011. If defensive linemen Carl Jones and Corey Hasting can shake up Marshall’s true freshman quarterback, Ohio will hold the upper hand.

What To Watch Out For: When looking at Marshall, it’s hard to ignore the talent of senior DE Vinny Curry. Accumulating 17 sacks and 72 tackles in his three years while anchoring the line, Curry has been recognized as one of the top defensive prospects in Conference USA. He has the talent to single-handedly change the pace of a game, and if Ohio doesn’t key on him, he’ll alter the outcome of the game. However, Ohio has an explosive weapon of its own to counter the Herd’s defensive stud.

RB Donte Harden has seen his fair share of injuries over the past few years, but it’s looking like all those are finally behind him. He’s an explosive back who, if Marshall over-pursues, could hurt the Herd defense on the ground. However, Harden is not a one-trick pony. The senior has shined this season with his return game as well, averaging over 37 yards, which ranks No. 6 nationally. The field position Harden provides Ohio will be invaluable in this contest.

What Will Happen: In typical fashion, the 2011 edition of the “Battle for the Bell” is going to come down to the wire. Both the Herd and the Bobcats are evenly matched on both sides of the ball, but expect the playmakers on each team to be the difference-makers. Harden should break the century mark in rushing, while the Bobcats tough D wreaks havoc on young Cato. Look for Marshall to push ahead of the Herd with a late field goal to put the game out of reach.

CFN Prediction: Marshall 31 … Ohio 23
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: Ohio -4   O/U: 49

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