Western Carolina comes to Huntington to play Marshall at 7 pm Saturday. Unlike last Saturday, expect the Herd to stampede over the Cantamounts. This is the game that should have been the season opener.
Quarterback Rakeem Cato was 38-of-54 for 413 yards and two touchdowns against the Mountaineers last week. I would be surprised if he didn't top that in less than three quarters.
After the WVU game Aaron Dobson told Jack Bogaczyk of the HerdZone.com, “He (Cato) did a really good job. He moved the offense, spread the ball around. He kept things moving.” They'll be moving a lot more against WCU.
As for Dobson, he should watch the game in street clothes to give his hip pointer time to heal. His immense talents will not be required this week.
Travon Van and Kevin Grooms will find plenty of running room behind the Marshall offensive line, even without the injured Garrett Scott. Head Coach Doc Holliday and Offensive Coordinator Bill Legg will be able to look at a lot of players and experiment with different plays.
The Herd defense will get a welcome break also after a total breakdown last week. They were not ready to play a top-10 team. The Catamount game will be the scrimmage game the defense sorely needed to establish itself as an effective unit.
WCU quarterback Troy Mitchell (6'0', 190 lb freshman) will have his hands full in only the second start of his career. This time last year, he was playing high school football in Texas.
Mitchell had a good season opener against Division II Mars Hill College, going 20-of-29 passing for 149 yards. Mitchell also scored two touchdowns rushing as WCU defeated Mars Hill 42-14.
Running back Darius Ramsey (5'7" 175 lb freshman) led Mars Hill rushing with 120 yards, and the defense held Mars Hill to 333 total yards but did allow Mars Hill to average 6.1 yards rushing. Three lost fumbles and an interception by Mars Hill turned a 10-point halftime game into a rout.
Marshall should dominate all phases of the game and get a chance to look at a lot of players. This is the game Marshall should have opened with.
Prediction: Marshall 48 WCU 13
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