HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—It hasn’t happened yet this year and Doc Holliday and company are hopeful this is the week that Marshall puts together a complete game on the road. Marshall is 2-3 away from Joan C. Edwards Stadium this year and mistakes, turnovers, and lackluster special teams have highlighted losses on the road at Ohio, Virginia Tech and Middle Tennessee State.
You’ve got to go out there with the mentality that we can make this away trip like our home game. If we don’t, we’re not going to have fun and will be struggling,” says defensive lineman Alex Bazzie. “When you’re the away team you have make sure everybody on your team is prepared and block out the distractions.”
While last week’s five turnovers will give Doc Holliday nightmares, the good new is The Herd figured out a way to win the game despite the mistakes and that may not have been the case in the past.
“I know I haven’t had a team that has the leadership that when things started going like they did at Tulsa, would have hung together like they did and comeback to win that football game. They were hit right in the face with adversity and they found a way to win that football game.
“You can see the way they’ve matured and grown up. Cato is a totally different guy now. A year ago or two years ago when things started to go bad he wouldn’t have handled it like he has. He’s out there with the defense, he’s out there with the kickoff team, encouraging them. Now, we’re finding ways to win games instead of lose them.”
Marshall is looking to win back-to-back road games for the first time since 2004. Defensive Coordinator Chuck Heater says to do so, The Herd simply needs to focus on execution.
“We’ve not played the same on the road as we have at home. We’ve done the things that give you problems on the road. We weren’t able to get off the field at Middle Tennessee. We couldn’t make the play when we needed to at Middle Tennessee,” says Heater.
At FAU, Marshall’s offense sputtered throughout most of the game. It wasn’t until the final minutes that it started to click and led to a game-winning Justin Haig field goal. Last week, turnovers nearly derailed The Herd’s season. However, Marshall stepped up on both sides of the ball, making a stop on defense then the offense went to work.
“We feel like on defense we have more pressure on us, especially in the fourth quarter. We know if we make that one stop the offense will put some points in the board,” says linebacker Neville Hewitt.
Doc Holliday has preached to his players they must avoid all the noise surrounding the team right now and their sole focus must be on FIU and The Herd can’t be looking ahead to East Carolina next week.
“If this team worries about anything else other than playing FIU we’ve got problems. We don’t want to be one of those teams you read about on Sunday that lost a game it shouldn’t.”