Week 11 – Marshall at UAB

Posted Nov 9, 2012

Week 11 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Marshall at UAB

Marshall (4-5) at UAB (2-7) Nov. 10, 4:30, CSS

Here's The Deal: Marshall and UAB embark on the final quarter of the 2012 season with very different agendas.

The Thundering Herd, having ridden a rollercoaster of prosperity, is eager to land a bowl bid that'll afford it more exposure and more practice time in December. Marshall needs two more victories to become eligible, and three more wins to reach seven for the first time since 2003.

November in Birmingham can really be couched as a head start on spring football for head coach Garrick McGee and his coaching staff. Everything UAB does in November will be about laying the groundwork for 2013. The Blazers copped a win over Southern Miss last Saturday, their first on the road in a year.

Why Marshall Might Win: The off switch on the Herd passing game is obviously defective.

Marshall has quietly put together the kind of season through the air that's built a bridge to the glory days in Huntington. Led by Rakeem Cato's 27 touchdown passes, the Herd ranks No. 2 in the country in passing. Cato has access to an array of quality receivers, ranging from TE Gator Hoskins to receivers Antavious Wilson, Aaron Dobson and Tommy Shuler.

Why UAB Might Win: Marshall can't stop the run, ranking 113th in the country. The situation won't get any easier against UAB.

The Blazers have found a back who can move the chains and keep the Herd aerial assault idle on the sidelines. Sophomore Darrin Reaves has erupted in the last three games for 458 yards and seven touchdowns, getting more support from his fullback and O-linemen. And when Reaves is rolling, it opens up the field for rookie QB Austin Brown.

What To Watch Out For: The Marshall secondary has been suspect this year, but just imagine how vulnerable it would be without the luxury of three key transfers. The Thundering Herd has been bolstered by former Boston College safeties Dominick Legrande and Okechukwu Okoroha and one-time Penn State CB Derrick Thomas. The trio will get tested this weekend by an underrated collection of UAB receivers.

What Will Happen: Marshall has played well on the road in 2012, a trend that'll continue at Legion Field. In a battle of contrasting offensive styles, the Herd passing game will trump the Blazers ground troops. With time to throw, Cato will spread the ball around to his receivers, finishing with three touchdowns and more than 300 yards in an interesting shootout.

CFN Prediction: Marshall 39 … UAB 30
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Marshall -2.5 O/U: 74.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Skyfall, 1 – Wreck It Ralph): 1