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5 Points

September 8, 2018

What improvements does Marshall need to make from week one to week two?

Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said that a team sees its most improvement from the first week to the second, so he will watch intently to see what his team improves on against Eastern Kentucky. One of the things that will be worth keeping an eye on is the timing with quarterback Isaiah Green. Green did a solid job in his first start, but he took a pair of sacks, including one in which he had wide receiver Tyre Brady in a one-on-one situation, but he hesitated which allowed a blitzing defender to reach him. Green’s timing should get quicker and the chemistry with receivers should improve on an already-solid first-game performance. Also, mental errors in special teams and physical errors among the offensive line are areas of emphasis this week.

What is the key for Marshall’s success this week?

The Herd needs to focus more on itself than who its opponent is. Yes, Eastern Kentucky is an FCS opponent and yes, if Marshall takes care of business early, this shouldn’t be a contest. However, the focus needs to be on that this is still only Marshall’s second contest in a new offense and the second contest with two new coordinators, meaning it’s a prime opportunity to gain experience within its own systems against an opponent that will throw some different looks at it. Especially considering that the next two opponents are a top-25 opponent in South Carolina and an ACC foe in N.C. State, the Herd needs to take advantage of every repetition to build for its future.

What is one thing to watch for this weekend as the Herd takes on Eastern Kentucky?

The status of graduate transfer quarterback Alex Thomson has never really been clarified, so there is some wonder whether Thomson’s shoulder is fully recovered from last year’s injury, which he suffered while at Wagner. Whether Thomson plays this Saturday or not will likely give a clearer picture of his status and whether that originally factored into the starting quarterback decision after camp. As stated previously, Isaiah Green performed well throughout camp and into game preparation, so there is no real quarterback controversy. Either way, though, there should be a bit of clarity as to Thomson’s situation at the end of this week. That is, unless the game is close, which it shouldn’t be.

Who is one Marshall player that could have a big game against the Colonels this weekend?

Marshall defensive lineman Ty Tyler will be someone worth watching this weekend. Tyler was virtually unable to be blocked against Miami (Ohio) last weekend, finishing the game with three tackles and two quarterback hurries (could’ve had four after watching film). He did not register a sack, but was disruptive and will again look to do so this weekend against an Eastern Kentucky front that is still pretty young. Tyler also could see time at defensive end and defensive tackle with Ryan Bee not expected to play again this week.

Who is one player that will be worth keeping tabs on for Eastern Kentucky?

Running back/kick returner L.J. Scott is someone who can be a gamebreaker for the Colonels when given space. Scott is a preseason All-American in FCS as a return man, but the former Louisville starter also gets his share of carries out of the backfield. If he is able to get to the edge, he possesses the ability to get into space and make plays. Marshall must do a good job of containing him from a defensive standpoint and on special teams. If they are able to do so, the Colonels will have a tough time keeping up with the Herd on Saturday.

- Grant Traylor

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