QB’s first start is just one reason to watch ASN on Saturday

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Whether you like offense or prefer defense, you don’t want to miss Saturday’s games on ASN. We count down the Top 10 reasons why:

 

10

OLD DOMINION, bowl eligible for the first time, leads Conference USA with a turnover margin of +10 heading into Saturday’s game against Southern Miss. QB David Washington has a 10-0 TD-to-INT ratio this season at ODU’s Foreman Field. Meanwhile, USM is last in C-USA turnover margin (-12). » Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

 

9NICHOLLS has made an interception in all nine games this season (14 total led by Jeff Hall with 4 and Christian Boutte with 3). But the prowess of the Colonels’ passing defense might be less of a factor against Central Arkansas, the No. 16 rushing offense in FCS (223.7 ypg). UCA’s Carlos Blackman is No. in the Southland Conference with 497 yards. » Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

 

8

SOUTHERN MISS, Conference USA’s leader in total defense (335.4 ypg), braces for Old Dominion RB Ray Lawry, the No. 8 rusher in C-USA (92.5 ypg). Lawry, coming off a season-high 209 yards against Marshall last week, faces a Golden Eagles defense ranked fifth in the conference against the run (167 ypg) and first against the pass (168.4). » Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

 

7KENNESAW STATE leads the Big South in rushing after the seventh-highest total in Big South history (482 yards in Week 9 at Monmouth). Led by QB Chandler Burks and RB Chaston Bennett, the Owls average 333.6 rushing ypg. They can become the second conference team to rush for more than 300 ypg. VMI set the standard (357.5) in 2008. » Saturday, noon ET

 

6TOWSON faces a William & Mary defense that hasn’t allowed  a point in six quarters, which will be a challenge. The Tigers are ninth in CAA Football with 19.7 points per game. But QB Morgan Mahalak is back for Towson. In his first action since Sept. 10, he passed for 148 yards and 2 TDs in a 23-6 win against Elon last week. » Saturday, noon ET

 

5

CENTRAL ARKANSAS is No. 5 in FCS scoring defense (16 ppg) and leads the nation in rushing defense, allowing only 60.8 ypg. The 13th-ranked Bears are also second in Southland Conference scoring offense (36.8 ppg), behind Sam Houston State, the No. 1 team in FCS. UCA, 7-0 in the SLC, will try to keep pace with SHSU against 5-2 Nicholls. » Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET

 

4

PRESBYTERIAN is No. 4 in Big South scoring defense (22.8 ppg) and last week held conference leader Liberty to its fewest points (16) vs. an FCS opponent this season. The Blue Hose will challenge Kennesaw State’s conference-leading scoring offense (41.8 ppg). They won last year’s first meeting, 14-6 — the fewest points in KSU’s two-year history. » Saturday, noon ET

 

3WILLIAM & MARY RB Kendell Anderson is No. 3 in CAA Football (89.8 rushing ypg), but Stony Brook ended his streak of four consecutive 100-yard games last week. Meanwhile, Towson’s Shane Simpson gained a career-high 271 all-purpose yards last week, including 187 on the ground. He’s 10th in FCS all-purpose yards (152.6 per game). » Saturday, noon ET

 

2MARSHALL will don special helmets (below) and black jerseys against Middle Tennessee to commemorate the 46th anniversary of the 1970 Marshall plane crash and the 45th anniversary of the 1971 Young Thundering Herd. Marshall wore the black jerseys against FIU on Nov. 14, 2015, the 45-year anniversary of the crash, and won 52-0.  » Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

 

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1MIDDLE TENNESSEE QB John Urzua makes his first start Saturday night at Marshall with Brent Stockstill out for the season. Urzua will be protected by an offensive line that has allowed only 10 sacks in 9 games, best in Conference USA. He also has C-USA’s No. 2 rusher in I’Tavius Mathers (1,145 yards) and No. 1 receiver in Richie James (125.8 ypg). » Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET


Above: Redshirt freshman John Urzua steps into the starting lineup for Middle Tennessee Saturday at Marshall. (Courtesy Brent Beerends/MT Athletic Communications)
Middle: Marshall’s helmets Saturday night will feature decals from 1970 and 1971 on each side of the helmet. (Courtesy Marshall Athletics)

Mike Bambach

Mike Bambach is senior web producer for ASN.