Marshall at Florida Atlantic
6 p.m. Friday, FAU Stadium (29,419), Boca Raton, Florida
n TV: CBS Sports Network
n Crew: Dave Ryan play-by-play, Corey Chavous analyst, Melanie Collins sidelines
n Line: FAU by 71/2
n Series: Marshall leads 4-0
n Last meeting: Marshall 27, FAU 21, Oct. 15, 2016 at Huntington
n Tickets: Puh-lenty available, $10-$80
n Weather: Partly cloudy, 30 percent chance of showers, temperature 79 at kickoff, winds NE 16 mph, gusting to 21
On the spot
n Chase Litton, Marshall quarterback: This is one man who can’t let one loss lead to two. And he can’t panic if the Owls reel off a few quick touchdowns, either.
n Alex Mollette, Marshall guard: He has gotten plenty of reps in place of both Jordan Dowrey on the left side and Nate Devers on the right. But with Devers suspended until further notice, Mollette appears to be the man on what will be a three-freshman starting five.
Stats ‘n’ such
n Milestones: Ryan Yurachek’s streak of catching a pass has grown to 37 games. His last game without a reception was Nov. 8, 2014 against Southern Mississippi. … Litton has climbed to fifth in MU’s all-time career passing yardage list with 7,130, but is more than 2,000 behind Michael Payton (9,411, 1989-92). Litton’s 1,031 attempts are approaching the 1,059 of No. 5 Carl Fodor (1982-85), and he is fourth in completions (631), fifth in TD passes (63) and sixth in completion percentage (61.2 percent).
n In the rankings: The Herd is second in the FBS in sacks allowed (3) and fifth in red-zone defense (.652). MU leads Conference USA in those categories, plus net punting (41.0) and tackles for loss allowed (5.0). ... FAU is second in interceptions (14), fourth in turnovers gained (20), fifth in turnover margin (plus-12), seventh in fumbles lost (2), eighth in rushing offense (295.9) and ninth in red-zone offense (.944). The Owls lead C-USA in those categories, plus first downs (195), scoring offense (39.5) and turnovers lost (8).
200 Rushing yards from FAU’s Devin Singletary and Greg Howell, 53.5 yards below their combined average in four conference games. The Herd gave up a season-high 224 rushing yards to Florida International, and the Owls are a tough team against which to rebound in that category.
5 Receptions for Yurachek. He averages 4.5 per game in conference play, but one gets the feeling 6 may be an optimal number, depending on how many passes are attempted.
1.5 Interceptions thrown by MU’s Litton. This isn’t a knock on the Herd thrower; rather, the ball-hawking prowess of the FAU secondary. The Owls have 14 interceptions, 11 in league play.
Completely useless trivia
Reaching for obscure Lane Kiffin items is tougher then expected, unless you want to dial in on his passes attempted as a Fresno State quarterback (zero).
Let’s try this: Kiffin’s ex-wife, Layla, is a University of Florida alumna whose father played quarterback for the 1969 Gators — and not always well. John Reaves is his name, and he threw nine interceptions in a game against Auburn, probably an unbreakable record in the major-college ranks.
More than a few degrees of separation, but what the heck.
The Herd returns home and returns to Saturday, attempting once again to beat Western Kentucky in a 6:30 p.m. matchup on beIN Sports. The Owls travel to Louisiana Tech.
— By Doug Smock