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The only Marshall Thundering Herd preview you need

All the information you care about, without all of those annoying words in between

--Marshall enters Saturday's game against Louisville with a 1-3 record. The Thundering Herd took understandable losses at West Virginia (34-13) and vs. Virginia Tech (30-10), and notched a huge league-opening victory over Southern Miss (26-20). The one outlier in all of this is a 44-7 drubbing at the hands of Ohio in week three.

--The main issue for Marshall up to this point has been the ground game, where the Thundering Herd average 88.3 yards rushing per game and rank 103rd in the nation. They do not have a rushing touchdown this season, and ran for a total of just six yards last weekend against Virginia Tech.

--Running backs Tron Martinez and Travon Van have received nearly the same amount of carries, but Martinez's yards per carry average (5.3) is a whole three yards higher than Van's (2.3).

--Marshall's quarterback is true freshman Rakeem Cato, who grew up just a few miles away from Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater. Cato was second team All-State last year behind Bridgewater, but went 2-0 against Teddy head-to-head, including a 40-27 victory in the Florida 6-A playoffs.

--Cato has tossed for a solid 751 yards and five touchdowns, but also has seven interceptions.

--Aaron Dobson is the team's big-play threat. He's hauled in 20 passes for 245 yards, and has four of Marshall's five receiving touchdowns. This is Anthony Conner's man.

--The Thundering Herd defense will blitz you for four quarters. The result is that Marshall ranks 9th in the nation in tackles for loss, but also 103rd in pass defense (268.75 ypg). Saturday is a golden opportunity for Louisville's big-play guys.

--Marshall's rushing game is predicated considerably on proper execution of the zone-read play. When that play doesn't get them yards on first down (like against Va. Tech last weekend), it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on young Cato. This could be a huge game for Louisville's front four, in particular the defensive ends.

--Louisville enters the game ranked 11th in rush defense, holding opponents to under 75 yards rushing a game, and 21st in total defense in the NCAA, allowing just over 291 yards a game.

--The only thing that did work offensive for the Thundering Herd against Tech last weekend was the hurry-up offense. Don't be surprised to see more of that tomorrow afternoon, especially in the early-going.

--Louisville has lost three straight to Marshall, including a 38-15 drubbing in the 2002 GMAC Bowl, the most recent meeting in the series.

--The Cards last topped the Thundering Herd in 1981 when they prevailed 36-0 at Old Cardinal Stadium. That's right, Cardinal fans under 30 have never experienced a Louisville football victory over Marshall. It's time to change that.