2023 Frisco Bowl – Marshall vs UTSA

2023 Frisco Bowl – Marshall vs UTSA

posted December 14

The Game

It’s Frisco Bowl time, yo.

The Roadrunners took a run at the AAC Championship but fell on the road to Tulane (L 29-18) in their regular season finale in a game that they easily could have won if it were not for approximately 56,000 mistakes. Before that loss they were on quite a HEATER winning eight consecutive games. They roll into Frisco with a mark of 8-4 and will face a Marshall team that’s had a very disappointing campaign. Marshall started the season 4-0 and then things took a nasty detour to TURD TOWN as they lost five games in a row. They managed to beat Arkansas St in their final game to get to 6-6 and earn a bowl bid.

The Details

UTSA -13 Marshall (53)


“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: UTSA 32 Marshall 21

UTSA offense vs Marshall defense

Seventh-year senior (!) Frank Harris will be making his final collegiate start in this BAD BOY and he’s played very well since coming back from injury (65%, 18-8 TD to INT, 7.5 YPA; 4 rush TD). Harris didn’t put up the same level of stats as last season but the weaponry around him wasn’t the same and he missed a few games early in the year. UTSA will be rocking with essentially their full complement of skill position doods including a 1-2 RB combo that rushed for over 1,200 yards and 15 TDs (Barnes, Henry) and a deep WR group led by 1,000-yard man Joshua Cephus (9 TD). The Roadrunners will have success vs a mediocre Herd stop unit that ranks #8 in Sun Belt in rushing defense and #4 in pass efficiency D. The good news is that Marshall has tallied 33 sacks (#25 FBS) and Harris has made more than a few mistakes this season when pressured.

Marshall offense vs UTSA defense

RUH ROH. This could be ugly. Starting QB Cam Fancher wasn’t very good but at least he had some experience and the Herd will be rolling with youngster Cole Pennington in this one. What has Pennington done so far? How about 62% completions, 5.5 YPA, and an impossible 0-6 TD to INT mark. We expect improvement given that he’ll be getting a lot more reps during bowl practices but there’s no doubt he’ll be asked to just manage the game and let star RB Rasheen Ali (1,043, 14 TD) do the heavy lifting. NOTE however that Ali is scheduled to play in this game but you never know the way players are dropping from rosters like flies. The Roadrunners have played pretty sound defense this season (#42 run D, #34 pass efficiency D) and they should be able to handle whatever Marshall has planned, even without their star edge player Trey Moore (AAC Defensive POY, 14 SACKS!).

Trends, Intangibles and More!

The biggest intangible to note is that UTSA has NEVER won a bowl game. Yup, that’s a fact……..They’re 0-4 in bowl action and HC Jeff Traylor is 0-3……They’ve talked a lot about how important this game is to the program so we certainly expect a max effort…..Marshall is 13-5 SU all-time in bowl games but they’ve lost three of the last four…..They did however take down UConn in the Myrtle Beach Bowl last year (W 28-14).


There’s no reason to think that UTSA won’t take this game by double digits but it’s not cheap to back the favorite at this point.


No leanage.

‘Official play’ implies this pick is one of our favorites of the week (perceived value, match-up, coaching, trends, etc.). We’re currently playing these picks for the same amount as the leans but it’s up to you how you want to manage your bankroll. Please see the Week in Review posts for more detail.

‘Lean’ implies we are placing a wager on the game.

‘No leanage’ implies we won’t have any action on the game.

Team totalsWe list the implied number based on the point spread and total when our analysis is posted. If a team total ends up being an official play we will post a widely available number at the time of pick release.