The Herd allowed just two touchdowns to Virginia Tech in regulation, which I found most impressive. Tech scored seven points off a blocked punt and eight more in the third overtime.
You may find me using scoring defense stats with the appropriate adjustments. Going with that, Marshall's defense is yielding 14.6 per game, 12.8 in regulation.
By any measure, nobody could envision that last November.
For the answer, look at quarterback Jaquez Johnson, who returned from a shoulder injury to post 404 total yards - 299 by air and 105 by land. More impressive, he didn't commit a turnover, a welcome sight for coach Carl Pelini after last week.
"'Quez' is becoming an experienced signal-caller. He's a rock," Pelini said. "You know, the turnovers went away, and we kept telling them if we can take care of the ball, avoid turnovers, we can be a pretty good offense."
Johnson's backup, Greg Hankerson, suffered a three-turnover meltdown in the final eight minutes to give Rice a 18-14 victory. FAU (2-4, 1-3) remains alive for a bowl berth, but has to navigate Marshall, Auburn and resurgent Tulane in the next three games.
Kickoff Saturday is 5 p.m., with Fox College Sports Atlantic (Channel 509 on Suddenlink digital) televising.
Of course not, and neither would Byron Leftwich. I am reminded of Leftwich calling coach Mark Snyder to encourage him during the rough 2007 season. No #LaneKiffin here.
Tulane and Rice are two of the worst-drawing teams in the league's largest stadiums.
I looked into the Tigers' 24-17 loss to Conference USA-turned-Ack rival Central Florida because, well, it was close. I smelled something here.
Paydirt. UCF was down 17-10 when its offense finally woke up and drove 80 yards for an unusual tying touchdown. The Knights had to convert a fourth-and-10 along the way and scored when a tackle recovered a fumble in the end zone.
Memphis took the next kickoff and Marquis Warford fumbled under a big hit, with UCF's Drico Johnson returning the loose ball 12 yards for a 24-17 lead. On the next kickoff, Joe Craig ran it back 100 yards for the apparent tying TD, but a holding penalty wiped it out.
Undaunted, the Tiggers drove to the UCF 6 and tried a halfback option pass, which Terrance Plummer intercepted in the end zone. How Memphis is that?
Yes, I miss those guys.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.