Not Just Another Game for Holliday’s Herd


Saturday’s game with Southern Miss is not just another game for Marshall.  It is big for many reasons.

1.  It is important that the Thundering Herd recover from a short week of practice. It is not so much the "WVU hangover"  as it is the fact that the second game of the season is about five and a half days after an opening game that was on the road. It is not an easy recovery.

2.  Home conference games are games that the Thundering Herd needs to start winning if they want to get to six wins and bowl eligibility. The problem is that the first Conference USA game is against the team that, arguably, has the best talent in the league.

3.  This is a very unforgiving schedule for Doc Holliday’s young team. If Marshall gets to six wins and bowl eligibility, he and his entire staff deserve raises.

4.   Bowl eligibility is especially important for young teams because of the extra bowl practices that the NCAA allows in December. It is like having another spring practice and the extra reps can be a great help to young players.

5.  The running game for both offensive units in the Marshall-WVU game was almost non-existent. It is important for the Thundering Herd to establish some type of a productive running game against the Golden Eagles 4-2-5 defense to take some of the pressure off of freshman quarterback Rakeem Cato.

6.  A win would be good for the confidence of the young quarterback, Cato.  Marshall needs to get some yardage on first down to keep him out of third and long situations.

7.   It is always good to win the home opener. An exciting game and a good win at home would do a great deal to addto Marshall’s ticket sales for upcoming home games.

8.  There will be some special guests in attendance at the game. Former Marshall basketball stars Mike and Danny D’Antoni will have their number retired at the game.  Their presence should add to the atmosphere and a win would only add to the day’s fun.

9.  Marshall’s defensive front seven was very stout against the WVU running game.  They also had pressure all day on quarterback Geno Smith, but they could not get him on the ground or force him into mistakes.  They could have the same issues with Southern Miss fifth year senior Austin Davis. He can beat you with his arms or his legs and is a veteran player who makes good decisions. Before this year is over, he will break most of Bret Favre’s passing records in Hattiesburg. 


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