HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall has room to improve on all sides of the ball tonight, and doing so should allow the Thundering Herd to make quick work of Gardner-Webb.
The first order of business at 6:30 tonight is to not let the Runnin' Bulldogs build confidence and stay in the game, like so many Championship Subdivision teams before it - eight FCS teams scalped one of the "big boys" last weekend.
This probably isn't a team set up to kneecap an FBS squad - the Bulldogs have scored 18 points in their last three such games while yielding 133.
So if Marshall simply out-athletes these foes, winning should not be an issue. But this Herd team must improve in several areas before that Sept. 14 game at Ohio.
To the casual fan, improvement might be a minor issue after the Herd throttled Miami (Ohio) 52-14 a week ago. But with 10 to 12 games after tonight, coaches are no doubt taking the short and long views from this game.
Some of the items to look at:
Coordinator Chuck Heater isn't worried, though.
"Guys get rid of the ball pretty quick these days," Heater said. "We hit him, we were around him, pressured him a number of times. Pressures sometimes are as significant as the actual sacks.
"The sacks will come in time, in my opinion."