Returns to homepage

Hokies' Preview and Prediction: Marshall

By Sam Stromberg | September 21
Rasheen Ali, one of the most talented running backs in the country, will get a shot at the Hokies on Saturday (

Saturday, September 23

Virginia Tech (+5) @ Marshall (-5); o/u41

Joan C. Edwards Stadium, Huntington, West Virginia

Marshall (2-0)

Head Coach: Charles Huff

Offensive Coordinator: Clint Trickett (former QB at WVU, also coached at East Mississippi CC and featured on Netflix’s Last Chance U, TE coach for Lane Kiffin at FAU)

Defensive Coordinator: Jason Semore (previously Georgia Tech LB coach)

At RB…

The name to know on this Marshall offense is junior RB Rasheen Ali. Ali is averaging 6.2 yards (!!) per rush in 2023. The Cleveland, Ohio native also has 222 yards on the ground and five rushing touchdowns on the year. Given Virginia Tech’s poor run defense thus far, Ali could very well -- have a day. Back in 2021, Ali rushed for nearly 1,500 yards. He is on pace to have a similar season this year.

Who’s playing QB?

Back for his second year as starting QB is Cam Fancher. Fancher, a 6’1 200-pound Ohio native, is completing passes at a 70% rate in 2023. Given Marshall's weak opponents thus far: Albany and East Carolina, this number may be bolstered. However, Fancher is certainly a threat through the air -- and can definitely take off if he needs to.

What’s the identity of this defense?

Marshall brought back a ton of key pieces from a year ago. The Huntington native, senior Owen Porter leads a hungry, fast, aggressive defensive line. The twitchy Sam Burton is also on the line and leads the team with 3.5 sacks. Junior DB JJ Roberts leads the team in tackles with 17 total. He is part of a talented DB group. Marshall has a quick style of defense. Virginia Tech must establish a ground game and force the safeties to make some tackles in the second and third levels. Three words come to mind when thinking about this defense: fast, experienced, and tough.


Virginia Tech must start better than it has the previous two weeks if it wants to leave Huntington with a dub. Virginia Tech must contain Rasheen Ali and let Drones roll out and make some plays. The Hokies certainly can win this game, but Marshall wants this one bad.

Virginia Tech 27 - Marshall 29

IMG 0403

Been a Hokie fan ever since I can remember. Immensely passionate about journalism and Virginia Tech sports. Go Hokies!

Read More of Sam's Articles