ATHENS, OH—The score 44-7 still stings two years after the fact. Marshall players have not forgotten that night at Peden Stadium. The Ohio Bobcats steam rolled the Thundering Herd and when the final buzzer sounded, the Bobcats sprinted to the endzone and celebrated their victory in the Battle For the Bell.
At the time, some players for The Herd were befuddled, not quite certain what all the fuss was about. It wasn’t until that moment they began to understand what the Battle For The Bell really meant.
“I think a lot of us didn’t even know that was the battle for the bell in that game,” admits center Chris Jasperse. “We saw them go out there at the end of the game and grab the bell and were like ‘what are they doing?’ At least I did because I was young.”
Even two years after the fact, the loss still irritates Herd players that were on the field that night. It’s not necessarily that they lost to Ohio that is so agitating but it’s the way they lost. Mistake after mistake after mistake plagued Marshall that night and Ohio took advantage of every miscue.
“I remember it just like it was yesterday,” says defensive end Jeremiah Taylor. “I felt we had better skill players but they were a better team but this year I feel that won’t be an issue for us.”
Ohio backed up the 44-7 shellacking with a come from behind win last season at Edwards Stadium.
“I feel we have a better team than last year and we just need to out there and make something happen,” says receiver Tommy Shuler.
There’s no doubt when Marshall takes the field tonight, every player will know exactly what they’re playing for and what the games means. The veterans on the team have taken it upon themselves to give the younger team members a little history lesson in the Battle For The Bell.
“I just wanted to stress how this is a rivalry and educate the young guys,” says Essray Taliaferro.
Chris Jasperse didn’t mince words when he stated what Marshall wanted to achieve tonight.
“We will get it back. That bell belongs to us and we just got to go get it.”