HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—For the second straight week Marshall must prepare for a team without knowing much about it. Rhode Island opens its seasons this week at Joan C. Edwards Stadium and it is the first game for new Rams’ head coach Jim Fleming. And like last week against Miami (OH) and new coach Chuck Martin, Marshall must be ready for anything.
“When you look at this Rhode Island football team, it’s very similar as far as preparation goes as this last game we played over the weekend,” said Holliday.
Fleming was hired in December 2013 after serving as the defensive coordinator at UCF. His 27 seasons in college football also include stops at Akron, Kent State and North Carolina to name a few. Fleming added Bill Biel, the former offensive coordinator at Iowa State to the staff and Pete Rekstis the former defensive coordinator at Kent State. Like last week, Marshall’s coaching staff has been watching film on several different teams.
“We are going back and watching from Iowa State and FAU to UCF to Akron film from years ago to try to determine what we are going to get on both offense and defense,” said Holliday.
The similarities don’t end there.
The Rams also have a new quarterback making his debut with the team this Saturday. Redshirt-freshman Mack Lowrie was named starting quarterback for the Rams on Monday. Lowrie is a transfer from Boston College where he was reshirted in 2013.
“They have a quarterback who has transferred from Boston College. He was a highly recruited kid. So, there are some similarities with last week’s game,” pointed out Holliday.
The Herd wants to build on last week’s 42-27 win over Miami (OH) in which it jumped out to a 28-3 lead at halftime only to see that margin shrink to eight points in the third quarter.
“We knew going into that game, they were a much improved football team. They made four or five plays in that game that were just tremendous plays that they hadn’t made all of last year,” said Holliday. “But, I thought it was a good thing that we had some adversity. We were able to find out how we reacted to it. I thought our kids responded well and that will help us down the road.”
And of course, Holliday says the biggest improvement for a football team comes between week one and week two.
“I think it’s important that we go out and get better as a football team this week. We need to correct some of the mistakes we made a week ago and get better as a team. We need to make sure we are a better football team this Saturday than we were last Saturday and to get better every week, which is our goal.”