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UConn football vs. Marshall in the Myrtle Beach Bowl: How to watch, by the numbers, matchup preview

The Huskies are looking to end their season over .500 for the first time since 2010. One of the strongest G5 teams in the country stands in their way.

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Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

KICKOFF: 2:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN | SlingTV

ANNOUNCERS: Mike Morgan (play-by-play), Eric Man Lain (color analyst), Tera Talmadge (sideline)

RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network; Varsity Network App; 97.9 ESPN Hartford, WGCH 1490 AM, WAVZ 1300 AM, WATR 1320 AM, WILI 1400 AM and 95.3 FM, WICH 1310 AM and 94.5 FM

ANNOUNCERS: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline)

RECORDS: UConn (6-6), Marshall (8-4)

POINT SPREAD: Marshall -11.5

OVER/UNDER: 40.5 (odds via BetMGM)

SERIES HISTORY: The UConn Huskies and Marshall Thundering Herd have met just once on the gridiron. The matchup came in UConn’s last bowl appearance in the 2015 St. Petersburg Bowl won by Marshall, 16-10

DEPTH CHART: UConn; Marshall

PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE(S): UConn head coach Jim Mora; Marshall head coach Charles Huff


Fun With Numbers

11.1: Tackles per game by Jackson Mitchell, good for fifth-best in FBS

9: Rushing touchdowns by true freshman Victor Rosa, which leads the team and puts him at 55th best in the country

5: Fumbles recovered by Mitchell, leading all of FBS

.875: UConn red zone percentage (28-of-32)

.696: Percentage of red zone scores by Marshall offense (32-of-46)

194.9: Rushing yards by UConn per game, 35th best in FBS

88.8: Rushing yards allowed per game by Marshall’s defense, 5th best in FBS

1425: Rushing yards by Marshall’s Khalan Laborn, 12th best in FBS

37: Sacks by Marshall defense in 12 games

What to watch for

Key Players Return

UConn’s offense will welcome back a handful of key position players who have been absent for most of the season. Cam Ross and Keelan Marion, the two receivers at the top of the depth chart in fall camp, are cleared to play and running back and kick returner Brian Brewton also could make an appearance, according to head coach Jim Mora.

The presence of Marion and Ross could free Nick Charlton to open up the playbook, and give Zion Turner more options down the field after a middling season from the UConn receiving corps.

Dangerous Defense

Even with reinforcements arriving, UConn’s offense will have its hands full against Marshall's defense. Ranked No. 8 in the nation per Bill Connelly’s SP+, the unit is one of the nation’s elite defenses.

The Thundering Herd give up just over 100 yards per game on the ground and rank No. 7 in the nation in sacks, with the experienced duo of defensive ends Owen Porter and Koby Cumberland combining for 16 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss on the year. In the defensive backfield, the elite cornerback pairing of Micah Abraham and Steven Gilmore have locked down Sun Belt offenses, combining for eight interceptions on the year.

The Khalan Laborn Show

Marshall doesn’t attempt to hide its offensive gameplan. With an average of 185 rushing yards per game, they’re going to run the ball, and do it often with one particular player. In a third of Marshall’s offensive snaps in 2022, running back Khalan Laborn has touched the ball. The Florida State transfer hasn’t let them down. Laborn leads the Sun Belt and ranks No. 12 in the nation with 1423 rushing yards on the year. He’s a fierce, downhill runner with a low center of gravity and an equal number of bruising hits and ankle-breaking jukes across his career season with the Herd.