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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  • Lee

    "Up there with Notre Dame and Texas A&M"... Kinda funny that they both will be out of the Top 25 this week, just like Marshall :)

  • Richard

    The problem is with you fine Marshall folks is that you think wvu cares about what you do. We really don't because we know the difference in where you play and the teams wvu plays. In your brains, you think football is football and if you win against the teams you play, then you are the same as everyone else who wins. You see, wvu doesn't hate Marshall. You are irrelevant to us. Your fans have made us hate you, but not because of your football team. It's because of your fans and their stupid logic. You are little brother and will always be so. You are sad and jealous to the core. It's really kind of sad because both teams should be able to support each other because wv is a small state who get enough ridicule without us doing it to each other. Many others that I know and myself used to root for both teams but you, Marshall fans, made it impossible to do so by doing the exact things you did the other day in booing Coach Don Nehlen when he came to support your team. And you treated him like dirt when he's never done anything to you. It's sad.

    • Herd98

      I literally laughed out loud to your post. WVU fans dont care lol. Actions speak louder than words Richard. Look at how many WVU fans post on MU articles, look at the attention Cato got from Morganhole when he went up, I think it's clear they care and cant stop talking about the Herd.

    • JT in VA

      I'm a Marshall fan.....have been for years. My father and brother went there. My father also went to WVU. I have all the respect in the world for Don Nehlen. He was a fantastic coach and I believe he was the person that built WVU football. I have no hatred for WVU sports. I have been to WVU games in Morgantown and I wish Marshall could sell out. To have hatred for Marshall because others hate us is sad. It is ashame you can't think for yourself and make your own decision. I think it is great if WVU can go to a higher end bowl and Marshall represents the state well.....

    • Roger

      A few boos from Marshall fans aren't nearly as disrespectful as the ones the WVU fans laid on him in his last few years of coaching.

      • Richard

        Not true at all. Don N was a great coach and everyone loved and respected him. He'd still be there if he hadn't wanted to retire.

  • BubbaGolf

    I just checked the WVSSAC website for the playoff match ups. Huntington and Midland should be a good matchup.

    Didn't see who Marshall is playing. Do they play the winner?

    • Balding Dana

      No, I think you must be confused with the bowl game Wvusucks is going too.

      • BubbaGolf

        No. Don't care about them. How about the Buckeyes. I wish we played the blundering herd

  • Richard

    A little off subject, but what a classless display yesterday at the Marshall game. Coach Don Nehlen showed up for your game yesterday, with his friend bob Pruitt, dressed in Marshall green in support of your team. When he was introduced, your classless clueless fans booed him. And you talk about wvu fans being rude and wonder why wvu fans have grown to really dislike you.

    • Brian

      First off I was at the game. Maybe 20 or so booed him, and those were easily drowned out by fans giving him a standing ovation. Get your story straight before you try to indict. Secondly how the hell can you say anything about fan behavior???? Cato had to have an armed guard and do an I terview from a bus because your idiotic fan base made death threats!!!

    • Snowden

      I was at the game yesterday and I didn't hear any boos of Nehlen.

      Though it did make me curious: how much do Nehlen and Pruitt get paid by "Friends of Coal" for their appearances, like at yesterday's game?

      • Richard

        There were a lot of boos. You must not have been able to hear it over the massive crowd of maybe 20,000

        • Larry

          There were no boos for Coach Nehlen only a standing ovation. The only boos were when Rice came on the field and when the young man from Rice was ejected form the game for targeting. And the Marshall player was lying motionless on the field

  • Joe Jackson

    For all WVU fans, Please follow this link then give your honest, if possible, opinion....

  • Commenter

    Muschamp out at Florida, could Doc return to the sunshine state...

  • Ole Sasquatch

    You see, that Coach should know what he's talking about. We can't discount the jobs both Doc & Rich have done since the love wasn't shown here at WVU.
    We just have to try to move on and hope Dana can get us up there at least even with them. He's had a few more years than Rich. I'm holding on, but I must admit I have a tendency to look back, noting how much success they have achieved at their respective schools. It's something to ponder.

    • Aa

      How do you get that WVU didn't show RR love. They did everything they could to make him happy including upping his salary to $2 million when he flirted with Alabama the year before being told he could not have COMPLETE control of the football program and running off to Michigan. For you to imply RR wasn't shown love at WVU is either ignorance, revisionist history or both.


      • Ole Sasquatch

        Oh yea. Well what about Doc?

        • Aaron

          They made him the highest paid assistant coach in the history of WVU football.

          • Ole Sasquatch

            His secretary?

          • Aaron

            Daniel Nehlen made $81,725.18 last year. Not bad to manage equipment.

            Keep trying though Ole dude.

          • Ole Sasquatch

            Well, ah, ah yeah, what about Don Nehlen's son, he was equipment manager.

  • Drunk Dana

    Clit tricky would be throwing Hail Mary after Hail Mary hoping one connects while the D would look as hopeless as deforest after another special teams melt down. Not this year eerdiot.

  • Mountaineer 83

    Marshall couldn't beat WVU s second team
    Let's be realistic

    • Joe Jackson

      Just follow the link, losers....

    • Dana hair transplant

      Listen bubby. When's the last time WVU went undefeated??? Last year you fellas wanted to bring back Rich Rod who knew better than to stay and be mediocre at WVU. Congrats on finishing this year 6-6.

      • Richard

        Listen bubby, you are a fool if you think Marshall could beat wvu. Check your schedule and then check wvu's. If you honestly believe that Marshall has a better team, then you really are crazy.

  • me

    Kudos to The Herd! When Marshall wins it is a good thing for WV. Some of you Herd haters need to get over yourselves, as do WVU haters.

    • Appikid

      Diddo! Proud of the HERD! And also Proud to be a Mountaineer!

  • jay zoom

    congratulations to the thundering herd. WVU would love to have your record. WVU fans are just Jealous including myself. But credit is due when credit is due. Big bowl possibilities while Holgerson and company are looking at bowls that will cost them more to get to than they will earn. . then OLLIE will cry like a newborn baby wanting to be fed then he can raise the parking fees at the big dome WAKE UP OLLIE as long as WVU is in the big 12 we will be looking up at the pack as long as a dollar comes in you could careless

    • Uncle Unctuous

      So how are things in the Land that Remedial English forgot?

  • Marshall Grad

    I wear Marshall because I actually attended there , you wear WVU cause u shop at Wal Mart.

    • Alonzo Croaff

      I graduated from Marshall with a Bachelor and Masters degree, but I have rooted and supported the Mountaineers since my youth, it really doesn't matter if you attended somewhere or not.

    • Vance

      Attended...code for did not finish. Now works at Wal Mart.

    • richard

      Oh gee, where ever did you come up with that clever remark? Why don't you go to any given store dealing in college merchandise and ask them if Marshall or WVU merchandise sell out more quickly - including stores in the Huntington area.

    • Obviously

      I can tell you went to Marshall based on your vocabulary.

      • Marshall Grad

        If I used vocabulary words such as:
        Undefeated, Top 20, play for championships, and college graduate!!
        I'm afraid you wouldn't understand what I'm saying. Sorry you didn't attend college :(

  • Jay Dunlap

    Oh my gosh. You Mtn queers are just ate up with envy. I mean cum on. It's the best team in the state of Virginia.

    • Mountaineer

      Wow how ignorant. It's WEST VIRGINIA not Virgina. Two totally different states ass clown.

    • Andy

      The stupid oozes from your rambling.

    • Aaron

      I see the ignorant comments go both ways.

    • Indiana Mountaineer

      Marshall is best team no one ever heard of or cares about.
      Do you think WVU would be snubbed in poles if they were undefeated?....No because they play a tough schedule every year.

      • Diamond Dave

        Well, considering WVU will never go undefeated, it's a moot point.

  • John b

    Good for Marshall and its WVU Graduate Head Coach Doc Holliday.

  • Luther

    WVU - Dropped from rankings.

    That's all that needs to be said.

    BTW, that's not watered down beer you're drinking, it's just your tears dripping into the cup.

    • FCP Committee

      At least they were actually there in the poll unlike some team whose green with envy I know of. Play somebody and win a relevant game sometime what don't ya?

    • Andy

      If you're that dense to think its that simplistic we can't have an intelligent debate. That's takes two people and I'm short one.

      • Luther

        Please, tell me what position the Mountaineers hold in any of the current rankings? Each started the season with the same expectation. WVU choked away their chances

        I have two degrees; one from Marshall (history) and one from WVU (education)...and I start my Master's degree at WVU this Spring after kicking butt on the GRE this Fall. WVU fanatics have a huge inferiority complex (an feeling of general inadequacy caused by actual or supposed inferiority in one sphere, marked by aggressive behavior in compensation). While I root for both teams I have to laugh at WVU fans with such unrealistic expectations, that when their team fails to meet those expectations, they have to cut down everyone.

        You, sir, are the one that is short in this debate.

        • Aaron

          I'd be curious Luther on all you arrive at the conclusion that WVU "fanatics have a huge inferiority complex."

          If it is the comments on this particular article, I would suggest you review article over a period of time dealing with each University's football program with a concentration on spring ball stories and then tell me which fans have an inferiority complex.

        • Uncle Unctuous

          That's an astute, albeit unwitting, self-diagnosis.

          • Luther

            You might want to look up unwitting and self diagnosis.

            I understand that multisyllabic words are difficult for those that are not sincere.