The Roadrunners welcome the Thundering Herd to the Alamodome on Saturday night for the home finale of the 2017 season (unless UTSA picks up a 12th game). A few keys to securing a bowl bid.
Create Offensive Urgency
The UTSA offense is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. The Roadrunners are talented; they field the best quarterback in program history, two of the top three receivers, and two quality running backs. In the past weeks, the Roadrunners needed Dalton Sturm to will the team into the end zone. That's not a sustainable strategy. Against Marshall, the Runners need to find a way to get their playmakers involved early, perhaps through pace, spacing, and quick throws.
The Roadrunner defense, on the other hand, is still among the best in all of the FBS. Those efforts are wasted with UTSA's offensive issues. An early score from the offense would do wonders and allow the elite defensive talent to play without the pressure of pitching a shutout. For Roadrunner fans this is the last time to see players like La'Kel Bass and Marcus Davenport perform at home. They've been transcendent players for the UTSA program, and a little help is much appreciated.
Meet Chase Litton
Marshall's quarterback is one of the few in the country who can look Davenport in the eye. At 6-6 he's been a key to Marshall's resurgence in 2017. His production is deceiving, in wins the senior throws for 198 yards a game, in losses he throws for 322 yards a game. He's more of a game manager than a catalyst. He'll rely on Tyler King and Keion Davis in the running game. A key number to watch is Litton's attempts, if he's throwing less than 30 times, chances are the Marshall is right where they'd like to be. More than that and he's carrying too much weight.
Notes and Numbers
Saturday will mark just the second meeting between UTSA and Marshall. The Herd won the only meeting, way back in 2013.
Fun fact, Marshall has the worst game notes in college football. Get your s together.
Tight end Ryan Yurachek has caught a pass in 39 consecutive games.
Marshall sits atop CUSA in rushing defense.
The Roadrunners lead C-USA and rank sixth in the FBS in passing yards allowed (163.4 ypg).
UTSA lead C-USA in scoring defense by yielding just 17.8 points per game.
Dalton Sturm is the career UTSA leader in passing touchdowns with 49.