Revived UConn, hot Marshall play in Myrtle Beach Bowl

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Myrtle Beach Bowl

UConn (6-6) vs. Marshall (8-4), Dec. 19, 2:30 p.m. Eastern, (ESPN)

FanDuel Sportsbook College Line: Marshall by 10½

Series: Marshall leads 1-0 (last time in 2015).

WHAT’S AT STAKE

For the Huskies, it’s a chance for their most victories since 2010 when they went 8-5, tied for first in the Big East Conference and lost the Fiesta Bowl to Oklahoma. Marshall is seeking its ninth win — and fifth in a row to close the season — for the first time since going 9-4 in 2018.

KEY MATCHUP

Victor Rosa and UConn’s effective running attack against Marshall’s solid defense. Rosa led the Huskies with 561 yards and nine of their 18 rushing touchdowns. In all, six of UConn’s top seven rushers averaged 4.5 yards per carry or more this season. But the Thundering Herd were among the Sun Belt Conference’s top defenses. They led the league with 16.2 points a game and were second in overall defense to James Madison. Linebacker Eli Neal led the team with 88 tackles, more than 20 ahead of his teammates.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

UConn: QB Zion Turner, a freshman, played almost every snap in the Huskies turnaround season. He completed more than 60% of his throws for 1,241 yards, nine touchdowns and nine interceptions. Turner also rushed for 237 yards and a score.

Marshall: DL Owen Porter was a disruptive force for the Thundering Herd this season. He finished with 9.5 sacks and 14 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, both team highs. Porter added nine quarterback hurries plus an interception and a fumble recovery.

FACTS & FIGURES

UConn made its first bowl game since 2015 when it lost the St. Petersburg Bowl to Marshall, 16-10. … Marshall pulled off one of college football’s biggest surprises this season with a 26-21 win at Notre Dame in September. The Herd lost four of their next six games before finishing with four consecutive wins. … UConn had only won four games combined the previous three seasons before going 6-6 in coach Jim Mora Jr.’s debut season. … The Huskies have played in six previous bowls, their last postseason victory coming over South Carolina and coach Steve Spurrier in the 2009 Papa John’s Bowl. … Marshall is looking to snap a three-game bowl losing streak since its defeating South Florida 38-20 in the 2018 Gasparilla Bowl. … The Huskies haven’t forgotten their ranked men’s and women’s basketball teams while at the bowl. They’ll have fan watch parties near the Grand Strand when the third-ranked men play Butler on Saturday and when the ninth-ranked women take on Florida State on Sunday.

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