Know your foe, Marshall: Five Thundering Herd players who could give Notre Dame problems

·3 min read

After putting up 55-points and holding opponent Norfolk State to just a field goal, the Thundering Herd obviously opened the season with a bang. Their challenge this week will be much more difficult, as they travel to South Bend and face-off against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are 0-1, but are heavily favored and should handily defeat Marshall. That doesn’t mean there won’t be some players that give the Irish problems this Saturday and here are five from the Herd that could.

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Defensive lineman Koby Cumberlander

This isn’t just about one game for Cumberlander, he’s already put together three very solid seasons and is looking to finish his career on a high note. His one sack during the season opener added to his career total, bringing it to 13.5. He added in seven tackles as well in an all-around impressive performance.

Quarterback Henry Colombi

The senior hasn’t really been overly impressive during his career but he was against Norfolk State. Colombi completed 24-of-26 attempts, good for an absurd 92.3 completion percentage. No doubt that won’t nearly be as high against the Irish, but it goes to show you that if Colombi has time, he can make the throws and find open receivers. The key here will be not giving him time and confusing him with different looks pre and post snap.

Linebacker Abraham Beauplan

Although the stats from week one wouldn’t dictate that Beauplan is a big time player, you have to take a peek at the bigger picture. Last year the Herd linebacker had 110 tackles, 2.5 sacks and forced a fumble. Those numbers are extremely impressive and the Irish are going to try and get the run game going after a very slow start last week. Beauplan will be tasked with making plenty of play and could get back on track for another 100-tackle season.

Running back Ethan Payne

You may have noticed that Payne was not on the pre-season all-Sun Belt, Rasheen Ali was. Unfortunately for Ali, a personal matter has held him out from playing this year. Payne stepped up and was impressive, on just 11 carries gaining 110-yards and scoring twice. An easy average of 10 yards-per-carry is bound to get the attention of defensive coordinator Al Golden. The Irish linebackers will know when Payne is in the backfield.

Running back Khalan Laborn

Payne wasn’t the only Herd back that had a big game in Ali’s absence, Laborn did as well. The former Florida State back ran for 102-yards on 12 carries and also scored twice. Overall the Herd ground game had 380-yards on the day against Norfolk State, an extremely impressive performance regardless of competition level. The Irish will have to be ready for any of the Herd’s back on Saturday.

Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire