West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Marshall Thundering Herd Point Spread and Pick

No. 25 West Virginia Mountaineers (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. Marshall
Thundering Herd (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS), Week 2 NCAA Football, 7:00 p.m.
EST, Friday, September 10, 2010, Edwards Stadium, Huntington, W.Va.,

by Badger of Predictem.com

Point Spread: WVU -13/Marshall +13
Over/Under: TBA

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A skirmish for some in-state bragging rights will take place in primetime on ESPN Friday night when the 25th-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers travel southwest to Huntington to take on the Marshall Thundering Herd in Edwards Stadium.

The Mountaineers won their opener last Saturday by a 31-0 score over
Coastal Carolina, but dont be deceived by the lopsided score because
it was a less than impressive opener for the team from Morgantown.
Ahead by only a 10-0 score at halftime, the Mountaineers played a
sloppy game on offense (3 turnovers) but made it stand with a solid
defensive effort against an overmatched team from Coastal Carolina.

Marshall was not as fortunate in their opener against Ohio State last
Thursday, failing behind 35-0 before you could blink en route to a
depressing 45-7 loss at the Horseshoe. There really wasnt too much
that went right for the Herd against the Buckeyes, but they will have
the motivation of playing in their home opener on Friday on national

Another story line that could help to motivate the Herd into playing
better in week two is the fact their new head coach, Doc Holliday,
spent many years in Morgantown as the associate head coach, so there
will be plenty of familiarity with the Mountaineers schemes and

The early line out of Las Vegas has West Virginia listed as 13-point
favorites, but there are already a few online sportsbooks that have
moved the point spread up to 13.5 in favor of the Mountaineers.

As of press time there has yet to be a total released.

As I mentioned earlier, the Mountaineers offense certainly looked raw
and sloppy for some of their opener last week. Running back Noel
rushed for 111 yards and added a score, but his 4.8 yards per
carry was a little low considering the lack of competition.
Quarterback Geno Smith also finished with decent numbers (20-of-27,
216 yards and 2 TD), but he did throw an interception for one of the
Mountaineers three turnovers.

But when compared to the rough day the Thundering Herd offense had
against the Buckeyes, the Mountaineers numbers look like the run-n-
shoot. With only 44 yards rushing on the ground, the Herd became one-
dimensional in a hurry, although the Buckeyes forced them to play
catch up and abandon the run by jumping out to a large lead.

The only points the Herd put on the board came via a blocked field
goal returned for a touchdown, not from the Marshall offense, so
quarterback Brian Anderson and his teammates in the huddle will have
to find a way to get into the end zone.

Its hard to get a good picture of what type of defense the Herd will
face from West Virginia, mainly because the Mountaineers defense was
hardly challenged by the Coastal Carolina offense in the opener. The
Mountaineers held them to 189 yards of total offense, forced three
turnovers and stopped Coastal Carolina on 12 of their 14 third-down
attempts during the game.

On paper you would think the Mountaineers would be able to repeat
that performance against Marshall, but Marshalls offense is
certainly better than the boys from Coastal Carolina so you really
are comparing apples to oranges.

Marshalls defense was expected to be better than they looked against
the Buckeyes, but they were gouged for 280 yards on the ground by
Ohio State en route to giving up over 500 yards of total offense. You
know that Devine and the Mountaineers offense will dissect the tape
from that game and try to duplicate the success the Buckeyes had
running the ball on Friday.

Last year in the first game of the home-and-home series between these
two schools in Morgantown it ended with a 24-7 victory by West
Virginia. Marshall only had 207 yards of total offense (58 yards on
the ground on 34 attempts), and West Virginia finished with just 313
yards (3-for-13 on 3rd down), so it turned into a defensive contest
with six turnovers overall in the game (Marshall 4, W.Va. 2).

At least the Thundering Herd led the game 7-3 at halftime, then
eventually made bettors happy by covering the 20-point spread in the
game. But with a lack of offense the game never even came close to
the 51 points the total closed at for the game.

Badgers Pick to Cover the Spread: I dont expect the Mountaineers to run for as many
yards on the ground as the Buckeyes did against Marshall, but one
could argue that Devine is a better runner than anyone on the
Buckeyes team, so it could get ugly again for the Herd. I expect the
same type of game as last year with Marshall playing well early, but
eventually giving way to the superior Mountaineers at the end. Take
West Virginia minus the 13 points.

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