HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Memphis (1-7, 1-3) at Marshall (3-5, 2-2)2 p.m. today, Joan C. Edwards Stadium (38,019, FieldTurf), HuntingtonTV: NoneLine: Marshall by 191/2
Series: Marshall leads 5-2Last meeting: Marshall 23, Memphis 22, Nov. 17, 2011 at Memphis, Tenn.Tickets: Plenty available, $25-35Weather: Increasing clouds, light winds, high 53
On the spotMarshall kickoff coverage: After giving up two kickoff returns four touchdowns against Central Florida, you can put this unit on the spot until further notice.Tom Hornsey, Memphis punter: If Marshall's offense regains its edge, Horney's efforts may not matter, but he and MU punter Tyler Williams could wage a good field-position battle at a point or two in the game.
Stats 'n' suchIn the stat rankings: MU remains 2nd nationally in passing offense (378,5), and is 5th in total offense (542.88) and 6th in net punting (42.13). In C-USA, the Herd leads in those categories plus scoring offense (39.88) and is 2nd in pass efficiency (143.77). At the other end, the Herd remains last in scoring defense (119th in FBS, 43.13) and sacks (113th, 1.0), and is 11th in rushing defense (114th, 233.25) and total defense (464.5).
Individually, Tommy Shuler is 2nd in receptions (9.62), Rakeem Cato 4th in total offense (370.88) and Tyler Williams is 9th in punting (45.97).Memphis is no higher than 4th in C-USA in any category and trails all in passing offense (146.25), total offense (286.5) and scoring offense (17.5). Those are 113rd, 119th and 117th nationally. The highest-ranked individual is Hornsey, 19th in punting (43.37). Unlike Williams, he'll always exceed the minimum 3.6 attempts per game.
Milestones: Cato could shoot from his 9th spot on Marshall's all-time completions list. He has 466, trailing Brian Anderson and Bernard Morris (483), and John Gregory (486). He is 10th in passing yards with 5,008, behind Anderson's 5,403, and could reach No. 10 Anderson with 450 total yards (Cato has 5,058). Cato is tied for 8th in TD passes (38), just behind Carl Fodor (39) and position coach Tony Petersen (43).
The Aaron Dobson/Antavious Wilson watch: Dobson remains tied for fifth in touchdown receptions (23), ninth in receiving yards (2,333) and 11th in receptions (160). Wilson is 10th in receptions (163), 12th in yards (2,069) and tied for 16th in TDs (14). Dobson awaits his 24th TD catch, which would tie him for 4th with Troy Brown.For Memphis, Marcus Rucker is 58 yards, three receptions and one touchdown away from tying the great Isaac Bruce for eighth, seventh and sixth in those respective categories on the school's all-time list. Keep in mind Bruce compiled his 1,586 yards, 113 receptions and 15 touchdowns in two seasons, 1992-93.Over-unders619 Equal to Memphis' season high in total yards given up, in the second week against Arkansas State.+4 Average starting spot for Memphis after a kickoff, minus average starting spot for Marshall after a kickoff.
17 Marshall's penalty yards, which would equal last week's total against Central Florida. Maybe this time, it will matter.+3 Turnover margin in Marshall's favor, which would equal last week's total against Central Florida. Maybe this time, it will matter.Completely useless triviaThis will be the eighth time since 2005 Marshall is facing a Conference USA team that already has been eliminated from bowl contention - and it's the third year in a row Memphis has been such an opponent. Marshall is 5-2 in such games, losing to UCF in 2008 and Texas-El Paso in 2009. NextMarshall hits the road to take on Alabama-Birmingham at 4:30 p.m. next Saturday at Legion Field, airing on WCHS, channel 8 locally. Memphis returns to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium to battle Tulane at 7 p.m.