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C-USA Championship Game Preview: UAB vs. Marshall Thundering Herd

We take a look at the matchup for Friday night’s tilt to decide the winner of Conference USA for 2020

Marshall Thundering Herd quarterback Grant Wells on the field prior to the college football game between the Florida Atlantic Owls and the Marshall Thundering Herd on October 24, 2020, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, WV. Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It should be a good one in Detroit tonight as the MAC Championship is decided tonight at Ford Field between the UAB Blazers and the Marshall Thundering Herd.

UAB finished the 2020 regular season at 5-3, 3-1 in Conference USA. It’s a continuing great story for a program that was shut down by the State of Alabama for the 2015 and 2016 seasons, but has now landed in three straight C-USA title games and won the 2018 trophy.

Tyler Johnston III leads the Blazers at quarterback, but they do it on the ground with an offense that runs for 198 yards per game via 39.3 carries per outing. And with 393 total yards of offense per game, they’re one of the rare schools outside of the triple-option academies that get farther on the ground than in the air.

Marshall was 4-1 in C-USA this year, and 7-1 overall with their only loss a stunner at lowly Rice two weeks ago. The Herd has dominated defensively this season, allowing just 253.9 yards per game and a microscopic 73.0 on the ground to opponents.

Grant Wells leads at quarterback, and has 1,839 yards this season but nine interceptions with his 16 touchdowns. Protecting the ball will be a focus for the Herd.

SP+ Rankings

UAB: 44 (Offense 95, Defense 12)
Marshall: 49 (Offense 89, Defense 17)

FPI Rankings

UAB: 68
Marshall: 52

Key Stat to Know

  • UAB concedes the most penalty yardage of any team in America at 89.75 per game.
  • The Marshall defense allows the least points per game of any team at 13.0.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: UAB vs. Marshall -4.5
Point Total: 43
Money line: UAB +165, Marshall -205

How the public is betting the game

UAB: 30% of handle, 15% of bets
Marshall: 70% of handle, 85% of bets

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

You can watch UAB vs. Marshall on Friday, December 18th at 7:00 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network, or you can stream it via CBS Sports app with a cable or streaming service login.