HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— Rice head coach David Bailiff believes Marshall should be included in the same conversation with the likes of Texas A&M and Notre Dame.

The Owls faced the Aggies and Fighting Irish earlier this year and lost in similar fashion to the 24th and 18th ranked teams in the College Football Playoff rankings.

The rematch of last year’s Conference USA Championship game was supposed to be a close battle. Rice had won six in a row, was allowing fewer than three yards per rush in the six wins. The defense was only giving up 17 points a game over the course of the streak.

Yet, it turned into another Marshall blowout, as the Herd dispatched the Owls 41-14, rushing for 284 yards along the way. Devon Johnson averaged 7.4 yards per carry.

“We came here expecting to win. They out played us. We have played (Texas) A&M and we have played Notre Dame. Marshall is right up there with those guys,” Rice coach David Baliff said after the game. “They are explosive offensively and we couldn’t stop them.”

Marshall’s 581 yards of total offense were more than either Notre Dame (576) or Texas A&M (477) put up in wins over Rice.

More impressive was Marshall’s defense. The Herd allowed just 180 yards of total offense. The Herd’s Devon Johnson had more rushing yards, 199, than Rice’s entire offense. Compare that to Notre Dame, which allowed 367 yards to Rice and Texas A&M, which allowed 481 yards of total offense.

“I would put that defense right up there with Notre Dame and A&M,” insisted Bailiff. “They have a good solid defense that I don’t remember from a year ago.”

Notre Dame’s Everett Goldston threw for 295 yards and two touchdowns in the Fighting Irish’s 48-17 win over Rice, while Texas A&M’s Kenny Hill threw for 300 yards and four scores.

Rakeem Cato had 299 yards and four touchdowns Saturday night.

Rice wideout Taylor Jordan was forced to sit out games against Notre Dame and Texas A&M but echoed his coach’s assessment.

“I don’t see much of a difference at all. These guys are 21 in the country right now (in the Associated Press and Coaches’ Poll) and in my opinion should move up a little bit.”

Baliff expects to see the Herd in the top 25 Tuesday night when the Playoff Committee releases its new rankings this week.

“We came here expecting to win and we have a good football team. We didn’t play very well tonight, but Marshall is a good football team. They deserve to be ranked.”


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  • Bob Pruett

    That's great. marshall is right up there with a 7-4 team and a 7-3 team - both who lost to unranked teams today and will likely also be unranked when the new playoff polls come out Tuesday. Yep. Go herd. Quit whining and play some real teams. Better yet, just go back to 1-AA so you can be in the playoffs that you deserve each year.

  • Coach

    None of this has anything to do with WVU and the schedule that they versus that if Marshall's. Nobody would expect Marahall to run the table versus any one of the big 5 schedules. However, they would win a lot of them this particular year. The unfortunate thing is Marshall has nobody at all on their schedule this year. In past years when Boise was the team, they had games against some good teams from the power conferences and won those games making them have a very legitimate argument for a BCS Bowl game. Marshall can make no claim to that this year despite having a team that can compete with every team in college football this year. What a job Doc is doing in Huntington and what. Player Cato is!

    • Richard

      Compete with every team in the country?? Are you kidding? You don't really believe that?? They couldn't even compete with every team in the state.
      This puts on full display for everyone who reads metronews the exact problem with Marshall fans- they're crazy

  • Pgheer

    Same level as 7-4 Texas A & M or 7-3 Notre Dame lol. Exactly if they played same schedule they would be very lucky to be .500

  • Matt

    Anybody that has actually watched a Marshall game this year and is saying that MU leaves the starters in the entire game to run the score up is an absolute idiot. It is obvious these are WVwho Trolls because our backup QB probably has more snaps than any other backup QB in the nation.

    • Jason

      Exactly. The score just gets out of hand so fast, you don't put backups in to start the 3rd qtr. regardless, this men playing D1 football, not 6 year olds, nobody needs to spare anybodies feelings. Ask the New England Patriots about playing starters. Everybody has a job to do.

  • Rich Osburn

    He compared us to a&m , and notre dame, because they are ranked (unlike wv), and rice played them.
    Wvu fans act like middle school bullies trying anyway possible to pick a fight.
    This is a disaster season for wvu, team, school, town , and students.
    Reputation worse than it ever was.
    Wvu ...the most hated fan base in college sports.

  • WestByGod

    Laughable at best, Marshall would have 6-7 losses playing WVU's schedule this year.

    • Joe Jackson

      And u say what now?

    • Aaron

      Who and why?

      • CFP Committee

        Just start with game one and go from there. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

        • Aaron

          Alabama, loss
          Towson, win
          Maryland, win
          Oklahoma, toss up
          Texas Tech, win
          Oklahoma State, win
          TCU, loss but very close
          Texas, win

          At the very most, I see 3 losses.

          • Aa

            You're entitled to your opinion, which is obviously based in bias and ignorance no matter how wrong it is.

          • Reality Check

            Marshall doesn't have the depth to compete with these teams week in and week out. You're delusional even thinking that they'd have this many wins.

            Oklahoma a toss-up? You're kidding, right? With their offensive line and running backs you'd never see the ball. I'd hate to see what their D-line would do to Marshall's O-line. A win over Texas? That's laughable. Charlie's got them back on a roll now. A close loss to TCU? If the game only lasted one quarter. Maybe TT and MD this year would be toss ups if those were the only Power 5 teams on your schedule and early in the season. MD is beat up now due to the step up in leagues, so maybe you'd have a chance if you played them next week.

            So, to put it perspective for Marshall playing for championships in CUSA and D-1AA? The Cincinnati Reds or the Pittsburgh Pirates just winning their division? A huge story. The WV Power winning a SALLY League championship? Nice story locally but not so much. Just because the Power won a minor league championship doesn't mean they're going to beat the Reds or Pirates even in their worst years.

            It is what it is and you are what you are. Deal with it and ask yourself, would you swap Marshall's place in the world of collegiate athletics with that of WVU's? I doubt that I'd ever hear a Marshall fan say they wouldn't.

      • CFP Playoff Committee

        Just start with game one and take it from there. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

  • WV Grad

    Show 'em herd!

  • Tell your Mom I said hello

    An article about how Marshall might actually be good and here come the haters...please quit worrying about our team and worry about your own. GO HERD!!!

    • Jeff

      Then why respond or post stuff about WVU?

  • Kenny

    I really wish WVU was better this year so they could play MU in the Fiesta or Peach bowl. Well at least they are bowling this year, congrats.

  • Matt

    Please. Maybe in the future they will play a schedule that will prove it.

  • Licky

    Then bring your team on - we're good

  • Linked In

    Maybe this guy said that because he has a job offer from that PR firm CUSA hired to pimp Marshall. Pretty sure he'll be looking for a job at season's end.

  • Holgslover


  • Coach

    Yep I guess they are as good as the Texas A&M that got beat 59-0 and Notre Dame who got beat at home today by Northwestern. Oh brother.

  • John

    Ok, as good as nortre dame who just got beat by northwestern and as good as Texas A&M who has what three losses? Is this a compliment?

    • Jake

      MU always leaves the starters in until late so they can make the score look better. ND and A&M either didn't throw the ball, subbed the starters out, or ran the majority of the 4th.

      • early cuylers

        "MU always leaves the starters in until late so they can make the score look better."

        LOL...Pot meet Kettle.....

        • Jeff

          Well other teams leave their starters in until the end probably because they are playing another top 10 team and the game is close. MU played Rice...not the same.

    • Lucky


    • Geoff

      Maybe they're as good as TCU team who barely squeaked by a terrible 3 win Kansas squad.

      • JJ

        TCU will be in the playoff, MU will not. Beat the team that beat the team that almost beat the team. Comparing another teams sched to MU is laughable. TCU has played several top 25 teams and several teams in a row period. When you actually play someone every week, you get tired.

        • Ben

          MU is tired too....they leave the starters in for most of the game to make it seem like the win was big.

          • Joe Jackson

            Guess u have not watched any MU games. Backups have played and done fairly well. Another good QB on the way..

          • Jason

            MU guy. The ones that post on here care because when MU does well they feel threatened that the MU program is going to steal some of wvu's in state Thunder. Other than that they should either wish MU well or just be indifferent and not care.

          • muguy

            Wow! Since when is taking your starters out in the late 3rd or 4th quarter that late? I swear we could play the hardest schedule in the country and still we would have people saying if we played WVU's schedule we would be 3-9. I NEVER post on a WVU article. Why do WVU fans even care is beyond me. Please somebody explain why they care so much? I just dont get it i could care less.

          • Jason

            Question. How do you "make it seem like the win was big"? If the win was big, wasn't it just a big win?