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How and what to watch for Eastern Kentucky vs. Marshall

Marshall and Eastern Kentucky will get things rolling in their season opening games on Saturday.

NCAA Football: Gasparilla Bowl-Marshall vs South Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Labor Day weekend is typically the unofficial start to the college football season with plenty of action around the country. Unfortunately in 2020, Saturday of Labor Day weekend will feature just six games with it all starting when the Eastern Kentucky Colonels travel to play the Marshall Thundering Herd.

Eastern Kentucky is coming in with a new coaching staff for a team that finished 7-5 last season. Teams going in with new head coaches and new coordinators could be a theme to watch out for, especially early in the 2020 season. The Colonels averaged more than 200 rushing yards per game in 2019, though it will need to replace running back Daryl McCleskey Jr., who rushed for 1,151 yards as a senior.

Marshall’s focal point on offense will likely be running back Brenden Knox, the Conference USA Most Valuable Player in 2019. He rushed for 1,387 yards and scored 11 touchdowns last year. Marshall quarterback Isaiah Green will need to work on limiting his turnovers this year, coming off a 15-touchdown, 11-interception season.

These two teams last played in 2018, a 32-16 win for Marshall.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Saturday’s game will begin at 1:00 p.m. ET at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, West Virginia on ESPN.

Point Spread, Totals, Odds, Trends

Point spread: Eastern Kentucky (+24) vs. Marshall

Point Total: 55

Money line: Eastern Kentucky (+1400) vs. Marshall (-5000)

- Eastern Kentucky finished 7-5 straight up in 2019.

- Marshall is 9-1 straight up in its last 10 home games.

- Marshall hit the over in 11 of its last 16 games.

The Best Bet

Eastern Kentucky is a respectable FCS program, but Marshall should have no issues in getting a win in the season opener. Knox should get things rolling for the Thundering Herd behind an offensive line that returns four starters, and five have starting experience. Green will need to show consistency he didn’t have last season at quarterback. Eastern Kentucky will likely be working some things out with a brand new coaching staff, which will likely be an issue for many teams early in 2020.

Pick: Marshall -24

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