Marshall hasn't lost a single
game all season, but that doesn't matter to the voters of the College
Football Playoff. For the second straight week, the Thundering
Herd were left out of the top-25 rankings that help determine the national
champion, despite being one of only three undefeated teams in the
country. So, in another effort to try to impress voters, Marshall
travels to face a struggling Southern
Miss squad that has lost two straight and four of five.
One thing the Golden Eagles can
do is pass the ball, ranking third in Conference USA with 288.6 yards per
game, though who will be throwing the passes is the question. Starter
Nick Mullens missed the game against UTEP last weekend with an
injured right foot and his status against the Thundering Herd is
still up in the air, leaving fifth-year senior Cole Weeks as the
starter if he can't go. Whichever quarterback is under center will need to be on
his game to match Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato, who is rewriting
the school record book.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, American Sports Network. LINE: N/A
ABOUT MARSHALL (8-0, 4-0
Conference USA): Despite their gaudy record, Marshall players don't
look past any opponent, especially after seeing nationally-ranked
East Carolina get upset by Temple recently. Ranked 22nd in the USA Today Coaches' Poll, the Herd know that the
target is on their backs as long as they're undefeated, providing
extra motivation for opponents every time they step on the field.
“(The upset) shows that you have to be prepared every week, you
have to come to work and you can't forget what got you there,” Marshall center Chris Jasperse told the Herald-Dispatch. “That's
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and the offseason. You have to stay focused.”
ABOUT SOUTHERN MISS (3-6, 1-4):
No matter who starts at quarterback, Southern Miss coach Todd Monken
would like to avoid turnovers, like the four - two interceptions,
two lost fumbles - credited to Weeks in his first start last week.
Not that Monken is blaming only Weeks, focusing instead on everyone
doing their job to help the team avoid the miscues. “It wasn't one
guy,” Monken told the Hattiesburg American. “Because you might've had a protection issue
and that's not necessarily the offensive line's fault. It might have
been a running back. And a guy hits you when you're not looking and the ball comes out, I don't know how you can blame the quarterback
1. Southern Miss allowed a season-low 234 total yards to UTEP in a 35-14
loss last week.
2. Cato was named one of 16
semifinalists for the 2014 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award,
given annually to the nation's top collegiate quarterback.
3. Southern Miss leads the series 5-4, but Marshall has won the last three,
including 61-13 last year.
PREDICTION: Marshall 42, Southern