Marshall University Football...

Marshall University Football

HUNTINGTON — With Marshall trying to break a two-game losing streak and already in a hole in Conference USA, fans might be able to see all they need in the third quarter today against Old Dominion.

Marshall has not scored in the third quarter since putting two touchdowns on Bowl Subdivision VMI in a season-opening 52-14 win. There have been various problems for the Thundering Herd (2-3, 0-1 C-USA), but second-half inefficiency is chief among them.

Better execution after halftime will be key against the Monarchs, who visit Joan C. Edwards Stadium at 2:30 p.m. The game can be viewed on Stadium Facebook.

“We just have to play better,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said. “Score in the red zone, don’t turn the ball over. Follow the plan to win.”

The plan is to get the defense off the field on third down, protect the ball on offense and score in the red zone. All of those things have been problems, particularly in last Saturday’s 24-13 loss at Middle Tennessee.

The Blue Raiders became the second team to shut Marshall out in the second half.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of a game where you gain 578 yards and the quarterback has (460) yards of total offense himself and you score one touchdown,” Holliday said. “We have to do a better job in the red zone and we have to take care of the football.”

The Herd is 12th in the 14-team conference in red zone success at just 71.4 percent (10 of 14).

“Old Dominion plays really good defense in the score zone/red zone as well,” Holliday said. “You just have to look at the stats against the people they’ve played. They’ve done a good job down there.”

The Monarchs (1-4, 0-1) have losses to Virginia Tech and No. 21 Virginia, which they led 17-7 at halftime before falling 28-17.

Quarterback Stone Smartt has completed 80 of 136 passes for 794 yards. He has just one touchdown pass and has been intercepted five times.

The Monarchs are last in C-USA in total offense at 268.4 yards per game and next-to-last in scoring offense (16.4 points).

— Contact gfauber@register-herald.com 

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