The Thundering Herd of Marshall heads out on the road for the last time during the 2017 regular season Saturday to battle a team the Herd has never faced on the road, the UTSA Roadrunners.
Marshall snapped a two-game skid on Nov. 11 by defeating rival Western Kentucky 30-23 in the Moonshine Throwdown to improve to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in C-USA play as it prepares for a Lone Star State showdown.
UTSA, however, dropped a tight game at UAB on Nov. 11 and since a 3-0 start to the season, the Roadrunners are 2-4 overall and currently sit at 5-4 overall and 2-4 in C-USA play.
The Herd and the Roadrunners have met on the gridiron one time in history with Marshall getting a 34-10 win over UTSA in Huntington in 2013 in UTSA’s first season at the FBS level and first season in C-USA.
This game has all the makings of being a close one with ESPN’s Football Power Index giving UTSA a 50.3 percent chance of getting the win over the Herd.
A key matchup to look for in this game will be the health status of Marshall’s top two receivers in Tyre Brady and Marcel Williams. The duo missed almost the entirety of the WKU game on Nov. 11 with injuries and with the Herd’s offense going up against the top defense in C-USA in UTSA, Marshall will need every offensive weapon at its arsenal.
If Brady and Williams are unable to go Saturday night, that will put added pressure on a struggling Chase Litton who has thrown seven interceptions over the past three games and the rest of the Herd’s wide receivers who aren’t as seasoned as Brady and Williams are.
Marshall has momentum after an emotional win over WKU and the Roadrunners are struggling, having lost four of their last six games. But despite UTSA’s record sitting at just 5-4, it could easily be better.
The Roadrunners have lost four games in C-USA play by a combined 17 points. They are close to being among the top teams in C-USA, but have had issues closing out games. But at home, closing out a tight game should be easier than closing out one on the road.
Not to mention, Marshall has struggled mightily in the state of Texas since joining C-USA. Since the Herd joined the league in 2005, Marshall is 1-9 in road games in the state of Texas.
The Herd and the Roadrunners are similar teams on paper and both make up the two top defenses in C-USA, so this game could wind up being a very close affair between two teams that hope to end the season on a high note.
Marshall and UTSA kickoff at 7 p.m. EST Saturday night at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas and the game will be aired by Stadium.