The 2022 Myrtle Beach Bowl will feature Marshall and UConn on Monday, December 19th. Both teams have had interesting seasons. Marshall started off early in the season by getting a win on the road against Notre Dame and was able to have a successful first season in the Sun Belt. Whereas UConn lost four of the first five games of the season, overcame many offensive injuries, and still arrived at the Myrtle Beach Bowl.
2022 Myrtle Beach Bowl Preview
Date: December 19, 2022
Time: 2:30 PM ET
Where: Conway, South Carolina
Short Myrtle Beach Bowl History
We have yet another young bowl game. The inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl was in December 2020 on Coastal Carolina’s campus. In that first contest, Appalachian State dominated North Texas 56-28. Last season’s contest was a little bit closer with a 30-17 Tulsa win over Old Dominion. Both the Sun Belt and the American Athletic are 1-0 in this bowl, so one of these conferences will get its first Myrtle Beach Bowl loss on December 19th.
What to Watch For From Marshall
Marshall has been an interesting team this season. The Thundering Herd spent their first season in the Sun Belt and finished third in the East Division and 5-3 in conference play. Further, Marshall finished the regular season 8-4, which is already one more win than a season ago. As we already stated, one of those big wins was at Notre Dame, stunning the Irish 26-21. The Herd also ended the regular season on a four-game winning streak.
On offense, running back Khalan Laborn and wide receiver Corey Gammage have been the stars of the show. Laborn finished the regular season with 1,423 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on 281 attempts. He led his new conference in rushing for 2022. Starting quarterback Cam Fancher has been hit or miss this season, but his main target has been Gammage. Laborn is the center of the offense, but Gammage has also had a productive season. He is averaging just under 15 yards per catch with 724 yards on 49 receptions. Gammage also has a career-high five touchdowns in 2022, which accounts for the most receiving touchdowns for the Herd this season.
Marshall has arguably won its eight games with its defense. The defensive line has been all over the opponent’s backfield all season. Owen Porter and Koby Cumberlander have been a one-two-punch for the Herd. Porter leads the team in both tackles for loss and sacks with 14 and nine-and-a-half, respectively. He has also forced two fumbles, has an interception, a fumble recovery, and a defensive touchdown. Cumberlander isn’t too far behind. The senior has 10.5 tackles for loss and six-and-a-half sacks in 2022. These two will likely continue to be a problem for UConn in the Myrtle Beach Bowl.
What to Watch For From UConn
UConn hasn’t had the best luck on offense this season. First, starting quarterback and Penn State transfer Ta’Quan Roberson tore his ACL in the season opener. The Huskies then went on to lose their first four of five games. The only win those first five was against Central Connecticut State to start September. UConn finished the regular season 6-6 to become bowl eligible.
The offense for UConn hasn’t been very good in 2022, but freshman quarterback Zion Turner has done relatively well despite many injuries early in the season. Turner has thrown for 1,245 yards, nine touchdowns, and seven interceptions. He will need to make good decisions and try to get his running backs involved against a very tough Marshall defense at the Myrtle Beach Bowl.
A bright spot for UConn this season has been linebacker Jackson Mitchell. Mitchell leads the Huskies in tackles with 133 and ties for the number two spot in sacks with four-and-a-half. The linebacker isn’t one-dimensional. He has an interception, two forced fumbles, and five fumble recoveries. The Husky is all over the field for UConn and will be integral to stopping Laborn and making the Marshall offense focus on a lackluster passing game.