This year, opponents haven't been able to catch Marshall's offense to push it anywhere.
The Herd is ranked No. 1 in C-USA in total offense (568.43 yards per game), passing offense (390 ypg) and scoring (43.14 points per game), which ranks Marshall fourth, second and eighth in those categories, respectively. Marshall seemed to be at the height of its powers against Southern Miss, reaching season highs in points and yards (629).
While the Herd has made a quantum leap in terms of offense, the Knights remain the class of the conference in defense. UCF leads C-USA in total defense (352.9 ypg), passing defense (200.9 ypg), scoring defense (22 points allowed per game) and pass efficiency defense (114.9 rating).
It will be strength versus strength Saturday in a game that, if Marshall wins, it climbs into the heart of the race for the East Division title. If UCF wins, the Knights can all but lock up the division in their final year in the conference.
The Herd would love to spoil UCF's final lap around Conference USA.
The team feels good after dominating the Golden Eagles last week. Yet the players know they can't let joy evolve into complacency. So they remind themselves that the season's picture wasn't always so rosy.
"We know what that sour feeling feels like," safety Okechukwu Okoroha said. "We have to keep it fresh in our heads. That Tulsa loss, that hurt. That Ohio loss ... close games like that we feel we shouldn't lose. That's what keeps that chip on our shoulder."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.