Dr. Bob Previews MARSHALL (+2.5) Vs. EAST CAROLINA

Robert StollCorrespondent IOctober 2, 2009

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 17: Darius Marshall #5 of the Marshall Thundering Herd carries the ball during the game with the Houston Cougars at Robertson Stadium November 17, 2007 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 35-28. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

MARSHALL 28 East Carolina (-2.5) 26

Over/Under Total: 47.0
09:00 AM Pacific Time Saturday, Oct-03

This game is a battle between Marshall's Darius Marshall and East Carolina's good run defense. Marshall missed the Thundering Herd's opening game against Southern Illinois but he's rushed for 498 yards at 7.9 ypr in 3 games. Marshall will be up against a good Pirates' run defense that has yielded just 3.9 yards per rushing play (to teams that would average 4.7 yprp against an average team), but I give Marshall's Marshall the advantage in that match-up.

Marshall's QB Brian Anderson has been poor so far, but he should find some success today against an ECU defense that has allowed 8.1 yards per pass play to an average slate of opposing quarterbacks. East Carolina will also have success moving the ball, as their sluggish offense (4.6 yppl against teams that would allow 5.2 yppl to an average team) has an advantage over a bad Marshall stop unit that is 1.0 yppl worse than average.

My math model picks this game even, but East Carolina applies to a negative 6-35 ATS early season road favorite letdown situation. I'll lean with Marshall plus the points. I'll also lean over the 47 points total.

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