By Ryan Decker
It’s been an up and down year already for the Marshall Thundering Herd.
In Week 1, Marshall took care of Morgan State rather handedly with a 62-0 drubbing of the Bears.
Last week, the Herd feel on the other side of a 60-point barrage, falling to Akron 65-38 in front of the home fans in Huntington.
Marshall’s John C. Edwards Stadium lost a lot of its spectators, as the home crowd cleared out early thanks to a 34 point second quarter by the Zips and four turnovers by the Herd.
One week after giving up 65 points to Akron, the Herd face the daunting task of welcoming in the No. 3 ranked team in the country, Louisville.
Louisville comes in with the leading Heisman candidate, Lamar Jackson, who by himself has accounted for 18 touchdowns – 6 more than the entire Marshall team has scored this year.
And oh, by the way, the Cardinals scored 63 points a week ago on Florida State.
Marshall fans, you may want to shield your eyes. There’s a good chance this one gets out of hand.
Louisville is already a 26.5-point favorite over the Herd, and some prognosticators from the ESPN’s ACC Blog believe it could get historically ugly in Huntington this weekend.
Maybe the Cardinals won’t hit 100 like David Hale says, and certainly the other three experts’ picks are all within reason in terms of the scoring that Louisville will do, but all four picks are realistic when it comes to the number of points that Marshall could score.
Chase Litton isn’t as good as Francois. He’s certainly not Lamar Jackson. No one on the Thundering Herd roster is half the rusher that Dalvin Cook is.
Louisville’s second-leading rusher Brandon Radcliff has rushed for more than both of Marshall’s leading rushers combined.
Louisville’s defense will have a field day.
Some Herd fans have already noted on social media that the last time Marshall lost to an FCS team and played a Top 10 FBS team the following week, the Herd knocked off No. 6 Kansas State.
Louisville is a completely different animal.
Realistically Louisville fans should expect the second and third string players to be in after halftime.
Marshall fans should expect leaving the stadium during the intermission as well.
Huntington will be green and red all over, metaphorically and physically.