The 2023 Frisco Bowl features the 8-4 UTSA Roadrunners against the 6-6 Marshall Thundering Herd. Here is the 2023 Frisco Bowl Preview.
UTSA Roadrunners (8-4)
UTSA won eight games to make their fourth straight bowl game. They defeated three bowl-eligible teams in Rice, USF and Texas State. The Roadrunners lost to two teams that are currently below .500: Houston and Army (the Black Knights are 5-6 before the Navy game).
Their offense puts up 31.8 points per game, ranking them 38th. They pass for 249.8 yards (ranked 49th) and rush for 174.8 yards per game (ranked 48th).
Frank Harris returned at quarterback for the Roadrunners this season, but has battled through injury. This season, he has passed for 2,506 yards, 18 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 64.9 percent completion. Four receivers racked up at least 200 receiving yards on the season. The star of the receiver room is Joshua Cephus who has 82 catches for 1,049 yards and nine touchdowns.
Four players have over 300 rushing yards this season for the Roadrunners. Kevorian Barnes leads the team with 698 yards and also has six touchdowns. Robert Henry has the team-high with nine rushing touchdowns to go with 551 rushing yards. Rocko Griffin has rushed for 440 yards and five touchdowns. Harris has also chipped in from the quarterback position with 323 yards and four touchdowns.
The defense allows 24.7 points per game, which ranks 56th in the country. They concede 137.7 rushing yards (ranked 42nd) and 231.6 passing yards per game (ranked 75th). Rashad Wisdom and Ken Robinson are tied for the team lead for tackles from the secondary with 58 a piece. Trey Moore has been one of the most productive pass rushers in the country with 14 sacks. Cornerback Kam Alexander has a team-high 13 passes defended to go with one interception.
Marshall Thundering Herd (6-6)
Marshall won six games to make their seventh-straight bowl game. They have three wins over bowl-eligible teams: Virginia Tech, Old Dominion and Georgia Southern. The Thundering Herd only lost to teams who qualified for bowl games.
Offensively, the Thundering Herd score 23.3 points per game, ranking them 93rd in the FBS. They pass for 223.5 yards (ranked 67th) and rush for 134.4 yards per game (ranked 94th).
Cam Fancher started at quarterback this season, but he is now in the transfer portal. Cole Pennington, Chad’s son, is likely to start in his place. He passed for 437 yards, no touchdowns and six interceptions on 62 percent completion. Eight players have at least 200 receiving yards for the Thundering Herd. Their second-leading receiver Caleb Coombs is in the transfer portal, so top receiver DeMarcus Harris will have to do even more after having 24 catches for 396 yards and one touchdown.
The Thundering Herd have a difference-maker at running back in Rasheen Ali. He rushed for 1,043 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. His backup, Ethan Payne, has rushed for 301 yards to help out.
Defensively, the Thundering Herd give up 28.2 points per game, ranking them 84th in the country. They concede 157.2 rushing yards (ranked 78th) and 218.5 passing yards per game (ranked 56th). Linebacker Eli Neal leads the team with 81 tackles. Sam Burton has a team-high 6.5 sacks. Micah Abraham has impressed in the secondary with 13 passes defended and three interceptions.
UTSA will want to show Frank Harris out with a win after a great college career. He will have a big game against a Marshall defense that has had some bad games this season. Their offense won’t be able to keep up.
UTSA Roadrunners 41 Marshall Thundering Herd 33
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