HUNTINGTON, W.Va.- There is a sense of confidence around the Shewey Building as Marshall enters its first league game of the season this Saturday against Texas-San Antonio because Herd players don’t feel they’ve played their best football yet.
“We played four hard weeks, two of the games didn’t go in our favor, but we still played hard,” said defensive end Ra’Shawde Meyers. “I feel like we should be 4-0 if we took care of a couple little things.”
Marshall’s two losses are by a combined 11 points and two special teams blunders contributed to those defeats making them even harder to swallow. A bumbled kickoff against Ohio and blocked punt against Virginia Tech directly lead to touchdowns for the opposition.
“I feel like we can beat anybody on our schedule we just have to finish the deal,” believes linebacker Neville Hewitt.
That is a key next step for The Herd if it wants to elevate the program to a level it hasn’t reached in quite a few years. It must learn finish off teams and put the game out of reach. Despite a 21-7 lead at Virginia Tech at halftime, Marshall couldn’t score again in the second half. Just one score would have put the game out of the reach of the Hokies. Marshall couldn’t seal the deal.
“As an offense, we left a lot of plays on the field,” admits quarterback Rakeem Cato about the loss to the Hokies. “We can’t let plays affect as an offense or as an individual.”
Despite the disappointing losses to Ohio and Virginia Tech, Marshall can still compete for a conference title and reach a bowl game this season. Certainly if The Herd can move the ball against Virginia Tech’s defense it should be able to find success against its final eight opponents.
Marshall must find that mentality that coaches always talk about. It sounds cliché but coaches always say good teams just “know how to win.” No one can ever explain exactly what that means or how to teach it.
At one time Marshall possessed that intangible quality that coaches strive for but that has been several years and many players ago. It feels like Marshall is right on the edge of finding that again, that killer instinct to put teams away and pull out victories even when everything thing has gone in the opposition’s favor.
That instinct is what Marshall is lacking right now and the only way to learning it’s to win games and not just the games you’re supposed to. The Herd needs to win a few it is an underdog in and on the road and just maybe those lessons will sink in and this team can “learn how to win.”