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West Virginia vs Marshall Preview

West Virginia wants to be taken seriously as a BCS title contender this season and its opening victory last week certainly strengthened its cause.

The No. 23 Mountaineers were perfect against Coastal Carolina, posting a 31-0 shutout. Geno Smith debuted at quarterback in style for West Virginia, completing 20 of 27 passes for 216 yards and two scores. His stellar effort was gravy since West Virginia still largely runs its offense around the running game. Noel Devine was his usual stellar self last week, churning out 111 rushing yards.

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You have to feel for Marshall. It’s pretty tough to start a season on the right foot when you open against two ranked teams. Last week was a predictable nightmare for the Thundering Herd. Marshall allowed 529 yards of total offense en route to a 45-7 humiliation against Ohio State. If the Herd can’t find a way to at least stop the run, the Mountaineers will stomp on them and make the typical sportsbook line such as Bovada – about 12.5 points for West Virginia – seem like a steal. The Hokies Herd odds hover around that number at most top online sportsbooks.

Get the most betting options and fastest payouts of any sportsbook. Click here! Then again, there’s something special about Marshall; we’ve seen the magic spirit surrounding the program in the movie We Are Marshall and it’s reflected in the Thundering Herd’s home record too. Amazingly, Marshall is 119-19 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium all-time, amounting to the greatest home winning percentage in NCAA Division-I history. Still, even at home, Marshall has a tough task against West Virginia. Not only is its defense in tough, it faces a team that hasn’t allowed a point yet this season. That doesn’t bode well after Marshall managed just 199 yards, fumbled the opening kickoff, and got its only points on a return of a blocked field goal last week. If quarterback Brian Anderson can get anything going, maybe Marshall can ride the home crowd and hang inside the 12.5 points. Anderson did complete over 60 per cent of his passes last week but he averaged just 4.8 yards per attempt, threw a pick, and totalled just 135 yards. For Marshall to have any chance against West Virginia, it must find a way to score. With Smith and Devine leading the way for the Mountaineers, it looks like Marshall may get lit up again. The pick this week depends on how superstitious you are about Marshall’s home history and how much you trust its offense to rebound. Thundering Herd fans better hope it does – because West Virginia is in midseason form already on both sides of the ball. West Virginia vs Marshall Odds and Matchup Stats