By. Jordan Lauterbach- College Sports Saturday: Saturdays 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Beef O Brady’s Bowl- St. Petersburg- Florida International v. Marshall, Tuesday 8 p.m.
This has all the makings of a lopsided evening. Neither team scores a ton of points, but FIU can play defense in ways that Marshall is going to have a hard time matching.
The Golden Panthers are ranked 16th in the nation in defense, allowing under 20 points per game. But, like anything in this game of matchups, don’t think for a moment that FIU is a top 20 defense just because of the high ranking. Allowing 19.4 points a game is easy when the only BCS win on the schedule is Louisville. Allowing 31 points in a loss to Duke doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either.
Golden Panther running back Kedrick Rhodes rushed for over 1,000 yards, but only found the end zone 8 times. Quarterback Wesley Carroll threw 14 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Taking care of the football will be a key against a Marshall team that doesn’t score a lot of points.
FIU finished the year with three straight wins, two of which came on the road.
Marshall needed an overtime win over East Carolina in the final week of the season to clinch bowl eligibility. They finished the year on a two game winning streak, but easily could have lost both games. A November 17 win over 2-10 Memphis came by only a single point. 13 fourth quarter points prevented both embarrassment and post season elimination.
Marshall ranks 98th in offense, scoring 22 points a game. This, combined with a defense that barely cracks the statistical top 85, has contributed to some blowout losses. They lost 44-7 to Ohio, 30-10 to Virginia Tech, 68-28 to Houston, and 59-17 to Tulsa.
Marshall just isn’t a competitive football team. How they finished second in the Conference-USA eastern division is a testament to how bad that conference was.
Question of the game: Over/under 25 points? Yes, that’s a serious question.
The Pick: Florida International
Bowl Mania Record: 1-2
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