Marshall kicks off Conference USA play this Saturday as they travel to Rice. The Thundering Herd has never won a football game in Texas, sporting an all time record of 0-8 in the Lone Star State.
The Owls almost escaped Huntington with a victory last year. Rice lead 20-17 with just over three minutes remaining when current Philadelphia Eagle and former Marshall defensive end Vinny Curry caused quarterback Taylor McHargue to fumble on his own 23-yard line. Six plays later Tron Martinez scored the game winning touchdown and the Herd walked away with a 24-20 victory.
A counterbalance to Marshall’s strong passing attach, Rice likes to move the ball on the ground. The Owls are lead by junior running back Charles Ross who has rushed for 212 yards on 30 carries, a 7.1 yards per attempt average. McHargue is also a big part of the ground attack, leading the Owls with 50 rushing attempts while picking up 206 yards.
Rice has struggled mightily on defense this year, giving up an FBS high 43 points per game. In the Owls lone victory this season against Kansas, the defense held the Jayhawks to 24 points and 339 yards of total offense. In losses to UCLA and Louisiana Tech, Rice surrendered a combined 1,255 yards and 154 points.
For more information on this week’s match-up visit the links below:
Rice head coach David Bailiff canceled his weekly press conference to spend time with his ailing mother. Game notes for both schools will be posted shortly.