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Massachusetts vs. Marshall 11/7/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Massachusetts visits Marshall on 11/7/2020 at 2:30PM.

Massachusetts and Marshall face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Massachusetts has a record of 0-1 this season. Marshall is 5-0 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Massachusetts Team Defense Preview

Massachusetts has had 6 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.83 plays per drive. Massachusetts lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Offensives should lick their lips given their inability to stop anyone, this is one of the worst defenses in the country. The Defensive Coordinator coaching search threads on Massachusetts message boards are flights of fantasy. Passing plays make up 31.43% of their opponents’ play calls.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Defenses want to stop offenses from getting into a 3rd Down where the options are plentiful. Unfortunately, this defense is too porous to limit those choices. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Massachusetts can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 3.78 yards per carry. Sorry to say this about this front seven, but the best way to make an average offensive line look good is for them to face this horrid front seven. Running backs should look forward to this porous defense filled with poor tacklers who take terrible angles. Long breakout runs against this Defense are far too common. This is a very porous rushing defense that is incapable of preventing a situation where their safeties chase down a running back or quarterback.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Massachusetts is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Massachusetts Team Offense Preview

Massachusetts has had 6 total drives this season and they generate 4.0 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Massachusetts is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Struggles to get ahead of the chains and convert on third and fourth down are common, the offense can stagnate. Massachusetts passes the football 37.50% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Massachusetts struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.23 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Massachusetts this season. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Massachusetts is a better passing team than running team this season.

Marshall Team Defense Preview

Marshall has had 49 total defensive drives this season and they yield 4.78 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Marshall is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Marshall opponents pass the football 57.69% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Marshall is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to create negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Marshall can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.52 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Marshall is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Marshall Team Offense Preview

Marshall has had 47 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.74 plays per drive. Marshall runs a lot of plays per drive and this could wear an opposing defense down. Marshall has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Passing plays make up 41.48% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.3 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Marshall coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Marshall has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Marshall is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. Marshall has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Massachusetts Roster

The Players to Watch for Massachusetts

Mike Fallon QB 6-2 195

This season, Mike Fallon has put up 41 yards and 0 touchdowns. He has thrown 1 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 70.4thus far this season. Mike Fallon has thrown 1 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Mike Fallon has 31.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 59.22 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 4.0 times this season, which puts him in the 28.63 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Ellis Merriweather RB 6-1 220

This season, Ellis Merriweather has 21 rushing yards on 16 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 0 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Ellis Merriweather picked up 4 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 1 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Samuel Emilus WR 6-1 200

This season, Samuel Emilus picked up 28 yards. He caught the ball 4 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Viczaril Alobwede DL 6-5 230

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Massachusetts, Viczaril Alobwede has 7 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 24.65 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 33.46 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Te’Rai Powell DB 6-0 190

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Massachusetts, Te’Rai Powell had 6 tackles which puts him in the 42.91 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 35.61 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Te’Rai Powell as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 40.81 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Josh Wallace CB 6-1 170

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Massachusetts, Josh Wallace had 3 tackles which puts him in the 30.11 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 37.55 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Josh Wallace as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 38.66 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Marshall Roster

The Players to Watch for Marshall

Grant Wells QB 6-2 210

This season, Grant Wells has put up 1110 yards and 8 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 153.3thus far this season. Grant Wells has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Grant Wells has 87.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 80.78 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 22.0 times this season, which puts him in the 70.2 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 2.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Brenden Knox RB 6-0 223

This season, Brenden Knox has 556 rushing yards on 118 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 7 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Brenden Knox picked up 68 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 3 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Broc Thompson WR 6-2 188

This season, Broc Thompson picked up 228 yards. He caught the ball 14 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Darius Hodge DL 6-2 245

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Marshall, Darius Hodge has 20 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 6 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 96.67 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 5 times this season, which put him in the 99.06 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Brandon Drayton S 6-3 210

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Marshall, Brandon Drayton had 23 tackles which puts him in the 82.88 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 79.41 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 1 times last season. Brandon Drayton as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 88.29 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Massachusetts vs. Marshall Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Massachusetts 11 Marshall 47

Spread Pick: Massachusetts +44.5 -109 Pinnacle Sports
Moneyline Pick: Marshall -90000 5Dimes
Total Pick: Over 55 -114 Pinnacle Sports