HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University fans across the country will be cheering when the Thundering Herd takes the field against Rice Saturday in Houston, Texas to play for the Conference USA Championship.
“Our football team loves and responds to its fans,” said Verna Gibson, former Marshall University Board of Governors chair, in a statement. Like many Marshall fans, she said she is disappointed the Thundering Herd is not playing the championship game in Huntington.
“If every Herd fan, exactly at certain times, was yelling, ‘We Are…Marshall’ all over the world, and the team knew it, I believe they would hear us in their hearts,” said Gibson.
The game will be televised on ESPN2 and Marshall alumni clubs are planning game-watching parties in many areas.
Marshall (9-3) won the C-USA East Division Championship at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington last week with a 59-28 win over East Carolina. Saturday will mark the first time the Thundering Herd has played in a conference championship game since Marshall beat Toledo to win the MAC title in 2002.
Marshall was the winner against Rice in Houston, during a regular season game, last year.
“This is down to one game now,” said Doc Holliday, Marshall head coach, earlier this week. “It’s a one game deal and I know our guys are excited. We have to have a great week of preparation and I expect our guys to go and play extremely well. I believe they will.”