10:06am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

Biggest game in a decade lives up to hype


HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—For a moment I thought it was 1999 again.

Joan C. Edwards Stadium was buzzing with excitement, the crowed was roaring, and The Herd was dominating.

Ever since the week 11 win over FIU the matchup with East Carolina was hyped as the biggest game since the 2002 Mid-American Conference Championship.  It didn’t take long for fans to quickly start reminiscing about the days of Bryon Leftwich, Chad Pennington and Bob Pruett when it was a expected The Herd would show up for a big game.

“This is huge,” said Chris Japserse.  “People were saying ‘thank you’ and ‘this means the world to us’ so we now have to go win a championship.”

For fans, has been a long time coming.  Marshal football has come close to winning a conference title since that 2002 MAC Championship game and they were anticipating a big day.

“It was one of the best I’ve been around,” said quarterback Rakeem Cato. “The fans were in and they were a big part of our win.”

The crowd turned out, despite students being on vacation for Thanksgiving break.  Parking lots were full of kelly green clad tailgaters who brought the energy into the stadium in a game that actually lived up to the billing.

“It’s about time for Marshall to get back on the map and we’re one win away from doing that,” said Cato.

And that was the message from all the Marshall players after the game.  Winning the East Division title was great and doing it in front of the Marshall fans was even better.  But the job isn’t done yet.

There’s still one more game and to win that game will truly make it feel like 1999 again.

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