MCGILL: Numbers to Know for Marshall-ODU Matchup
The Word on the Herd -- Nov. 5, 2016
By Chuck McGill
NORFOLK, Va. – The numbers Chase Litton cares about have to do with wins and losses, not passing statistics. And, this season, the Marshall football team isn’t where it wants to be, so the sophomore quarterback’s numbers aren’t discussed.
Litton, however, is still putting up improved individual numbers as Marshall (2-6, 1-3 Conference USA) plays at Old Dominion (5-3, 3-1 C-USA) on Saturday at 7 p.m. His completion percentage is up from his true freshman season – 60.1 to 61.7. His average yards per pass has increased – from 6.8 to 7.4. He is averaging 46 more yards passing per game, and his passing efficiency is trending upward, from 132.8 to 139.9.
He is only 18 games through a four-year career with the Thundering Herd, and Litton’s passing numbers are already creeping onto the top 10 lists.
Litton’s late touchdown pass against Southern Miss extended his streak to 18 consecutive games with a scoring toss, but it also moved him past Carl Fodor for No. 8 on the program’s list for career touchdown passes (40). Next up for Litton in this category: Tony Petersen, who threw 43 touchdown passes.
Litton is also eligible for the career pass completion percentage list, which requires 300 attempts. Litton is 394 for 649 passing – 60.7 percent. That ranks No. 6 in program history behind Byron Leftwich (65.1), Chad Pennington (63.4), Rakeem Cato (62.7), Michael Payton (62.2) and Stan Hill (62.1). Litton is ahead of Eric Kresser (60.3), Bernard Morris (60.1), Todd Donnan (59.4) and Brian Anderson (56.8).
Litton has a way to go to crack the top 10 lists for passes completed, passes attempted and passing yards. He needs 46 completions to catch Petersen for 10th all-time, and he still has to chuck it around 154 times to catch Morris for 10th in attempts. Litton could catch Anderson this season for 10th all time in passing yards: 5,403. Litton has 4,583, so he is 820 yards shy with four regular season games remaining.
Of course, Litton also still has two years of eligibility after this one.
In case you missed it, Rodney Allen recorded four pass breakups against Southern Miss. That is the first time a Herd player has recorded at least as many breakups during the seven-year Doc Holliday era.
The last Herd player to accomplish the feat: T.J. Drakeford against Memphis in 2008.
The all-time single-game record is held by Nate Ruffin, who had six against Toledo in 1971.
Allen, a junior, now has nine pass breakups this season and 17 for his career.
Marshall received big contributions from sophomore linebacker Frankie Hernandez last week. In fact, it was the type of all-around production the Herd hasn’t seen much of this season.
Hernandez recorded a career-best eight tackles, his first career sack and had two tackles for a loss – the first time he has had a multi-TFL game in two years with the Herd.
The only other Marshall players who have had the same combination of stats in a game this season – a minimum of eight tackles, at least one sack and two tackles for a loss – are senior defensive end Gary Thompson and true freshman cornerback Chris Jackson. Thompson accomplished the feat at North Texas, and Jackson pulled it off at home versus Charlotte.
Marshall has a young football team. That isn’t to be disputed. Take a look at the sack leaders.
So far, nine players have recorded at least one sack for the Herd this season. Thompson shares the lead with four, but he doesn’t have any company from his senior classmates. He is the only MU senior with a sack this season.
The other players with at least one sack this season: Ryan Bee (4), Omari Cobb (3), Chase Hancock (1.5), Ty Tyler (1.5), Chris Jackson (1.5), Channing Hames (1.0), Frankie Hernandez (1.0) and Nyquan Harris (1.0).
Those players, by class: sophomore, freshman, sophomore, freshman, freshman, freshman, sophomore, sophomore.