MCGILL: QB Pursues Perfection, Numbers to Know
The Word on the Herd -- Sept. 16, 2016
By Chuck McGill
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – As Marshall quarterback Chase Litton prepared for this Saturday’s home game against Akron (12:02 p.m., CBS Sports Network), he tried to correct all he did wrong in the season opener.
You know, all of those blemishes he had in a 13-for-16, 309-yard, six-touchdown performance to begin his sophomore season. That is a 2-to-1 touchdown-to-incompletion ratio, by the way.
“If a quarterback is not a perfectionist they probably don’t last very long at that position,” Marshall offensive coordinator Bill Legg said. “He wants to be right all the time; he wants to be on point all the time; he wants to be accurate all the time.”
The 6-foot-6 QB leads the FBS in quarterback rating (367.23) – and it isn’t close. That isn’t enough for Litton.
“You look at the three passes I missed – those are routine passes,” Litton said of his incompletions against Morgan State. “Those are passes we make every day in practice.”
Legg called Litton “self-motivated” and “driven,” which is why Litton seems to have taken another substantial step in his growth in Year 2.
“We actually do spend a little bit more time talking about a mistake than something we did good,” Legg said. “If we’re watching film … we sit there and we call the play, we look at the pre-snap read and then we let the film run and we talk about the movement of the individual pieces and what that tell us about where the ball should go.”
Litton takes a perfect home record as a starter (6-0) into the second non-conference game of the season. He has nine touchdowns against 10 incompletions in his last two home games, and an 18-to-1 TD-to-interception ratio in his career at Edwards Stadium. He has thrown 88 consecutive passes at home without an interception.
Here are other numbers to know for the homestanding Herd and the visiting Zips.
• Marshall has consecutive shutouts at home for the first time since the final two regular-season games of 1997: 28-0 vs. Bowling Green on Homecoming and 27-0 vs. Ohio in the season finale. The Herd carries a home shutout streak of 121 minutes, nine seconds into the Akron game.
• The MU defense has been particularly stingy at home, where it has allowed only three touchdowns in the past five games. Two of those scores came in the final three minutes of the fourth quarter (Old Dominion and North Texas last season).
• Good luck against the Herd in the second and third quarters. Marshall hasn’t allowed a touchdown in the second or third quarter in the last six home games. Over that span, MU has outscored opponents 83-6 in the second quarter and 58-3 in the third quarter – which is 141-9 combined. Purdue was the last team to score on the Marshall defense at Edwards Stadium in the second or third quarter. The Boilermakers scored in both.
• The next rushing attempt the Marshall defense allows of 10 or more yards will be the first this season. The Herd is the only team among 128 in the FBS that has not allowed a double-digit yardage run this season.
• Back to the offense: Ryan Yurachek has a touchdown reception in six consecutive games, dating back to last season. That is the longest such streak among FBS pass catchers – two more games than Clemson’s Hunter Renfrow (four). Yurachek is a long way from the all-time FBS record, though. Larry Fitzgerald, who starred at the University of Pittsburgh, caught a touchdown pass in 18 consecutive games.