— by Bill Cornwell
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Trips to Huntington from Pittsburgh, Boise State and defending Conference USA champion Florida Atlantic highlight Marshall’s 2020 football schedule.
The slate is a challenging one as eight of Marshall’s 12 opponents played in bowl games this season.
The Herd will play six home games next fall and hit the road six times. This season, Marshall had seven home contests.
Head Coach Doc Holliday, who led Marshall to an 8-5 record in his 10th season, is already looking ahead.
“Our program is excited for the 2020 season,” Holliday said. “This is the best non-conference schedule we’ve played and Pitt and Boise will be two of the top non-league opponents to ever visit Huntington. It’s great to be able to bring these quality opponents to Joan C. Edwards Stadium and our players and coaches are looking forward to this most challenging schedule.”
Marshall opens the season on the road Sept. 5 at East Carolina, an opponent the Herd faced often when both were members of Conference USA. The teams have played 15 teams in the past, with ECU winning 10 of the matchups.
Marshall begins the home portion of its schedule by hosting the Panthers on Sept. 12. The game will be the second half of a contract with Pitt which began in 2016 when the Herd lost to the Panthers 43-27 at Heinz Field.
The Herd and Ohio renew the Battle for the Bell in Athens, Ohio on Sept. 19. Marshall beat the Bobcats in Huntington, 33-31 in Sept. 2019. The old rivals have played 60 times with 33 wins for Ohio, 21 for Marshall and six ties.
The non-conference slate wraps up Sept. 26 with a highly-anticipated visit by traditional Group of 5 power Boise State. The Broncos slipped by Marshall 14-7 this season in a contest played on the blue turf at Albertsons Stadium.
Marshall’s Conference USA home schedule includes October visits by Rice and FAU and consecutive November games at Joan C. Edwards Stadium against Middle Tennessee and Charlotte.
The MTSU contest on Nov. 14 will have extra significance as it will be the 50th anniversary of the Marshall football plane crash.
Marshall’s league road games will be at rival Western Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, FIU and Old Dominion.
The visit to Louisiana Tech’s Aillet Stadium on Oct. 17 will MU’s first visit to Ruston, Louisiana in 78 years. Marshall’s only other game at Tech came in 1942, 26-0 loss to the Bulldogs.
2020 Marshall Football Schedule
Sept. 5 at East Carolina
Sept. 12 PITTSBURGH
Sept. 19 at Ohio
Sept. 26 BOISE STATE
Oct. 3 RICE*
Oct. 10 at WKU*
Oct. 17 at Louisiana Tech*
Oct. 24 FLORIDA ATLANTIC*
Oct. 31 at FIU*
Nov. 7 Bye
Nov. 14 MIDDLE TENNESSEE*
Nov. 21 CHARLOTTE*
Nov. 28 at Old Dominion*
*Conference USA game