Logan Marchi and the rest of the Owls offense began to figure things out on Saturday against a woeful 1-5 East Carolina team. Marchi came into the game with questions and did his best to answer them. Following 7 interceptions and a combined QBR of just 8 in the past two games (0-2 in that span), many were wondering if Marchi should still be the starter under center. The beginning of the ECU game saw similar questions.
The offense started slowly against the conference’s worst total defense, not just conference, but a bottom-ten defense in the country. After the Pirates went ahead 3-0 in the first quarter, Marchi threw a bad interception. This gave many a queasy feeling of deja vu. The first quarter was the only quarter this season ECU’s defense shut out any team. Luckily, the Owls bounced back and played surprisingly well.//Marchi did not commit a turnover for the remainder of the game. In fact, he threw for 2 touchdowns and over 300 yards, while putting up a QBR of 85.7. He was able to get 10 different receivers involved in this game with sophomore standout, Isaiah Wright leading the way with 6 rec, 91 yards, and 1 TD.
While Marchi’s breakthrough is significant to cover, it’s also interesting to follow another storyline. No bigger storyline may be that of the emergence of David Hood.
Armstead has been the top back throughout the first few games, but a recent injury to his foot has opened the door for David Hood. One week ago, Hood received some valuable snaps as Armstead was being medically attended to. In that time he ran for 53 yards on 8 carries, while also catching a touchdown. This Saturday, Hood was given the start. Needless to say, he capitalized. On 20 carries, the running back ran for 106 yards and a touchdown. For the season, Hood has rushed for 214 yards on 31 fewer carries than Armstead. When Armstead returns from injury, it will be interesting to see how the carries are split between the backs.
If the running game and Marchi can continue to click, the Owls may be poised for a run. Not that this team has shown the promise of the 2016 AAC championship team, but they were 3-3 through six games last year as well.