What you need to know: Marshall


Hunt Mercier

Southern Miss running back Ito Smith runs the ball against LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Oct. 15, 2016. (Student Printz/ Hunt Mercier)

Offensive potency

After scoring 62 points against Morgan State in the season opener on Sept. 10, Marshall went on a four-game skid where they never crossed the 38-point mark as they dropped games against Akron, Louisville, Pittsburgh and North Texas.

Quarterback Chase Litton leads the 49th-ranked scoring offense in the nation with a 32.4 point per game clip. Litton does lead the 33rd ranked passing attack in the nation, as the Herd throws for 272.6 yards a game. The running game, led by sophomore Keion Davis who has rushed for 417 yards on the season with a 4.1 yard per carry average, but only having 59.6 yards a game.

Defensive breakdown

This Marshall defense gives up 36.1 points per game, which plays well into USM’s hands as the Golden Eagles average 35.9 points. The passing defense specifically, is giving up 262.1 yards a game and they will have to face a senior in Nick Mullens who is passing for 290.7 yards a game.

The Herd’s defense is led by leading tackler linebacker Chase Hancock with 55 total tackles. But, not to be overlooked is freshman defensive back Chris Jackson, who has two interceptions and four pass breakups on the year.

Player to Watch

Ito Smith should have another game where he provides an impact on the ground and through the air.

Against LSU, Smith carried the ball 16 times for 64 yards and caught six passes for 46 yards as well. As an all-purpose back, Smith has done it all for the Golden Eagles on the year and he may have a big day today.

Prediction: Southern Miss 33, Marshall 20