— By Bill Cornwell
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — If you were hoping to attend the Marshall-Virginia Tech football game in Huntington on September 23, the only way to do so is by acquiring tickets through alternate locations.
Marshall announced the Thundering Herd’s much-anticipated matchup with the Hokies as a sellout. However, university officials are encouraging fans to take advantage of an option to purchase tickets through SeatGeek.
The Hokies’ visit to Huntington will be the first by a Power 5 Conference team since 2018, when North Carolina State defeated Marshall, 37-20.
The last sellout at Edwards Stadium came in 2016, when Louisville beat Marshall 59-28 in front of 40,592 fans.
“We are super-grateful for this outcome — our first sellout of the 2023 season,” Marshall Director of Athletics Christian Spears said. “We expect more of these and are planning for them.”
Marshall and Virginia Tech have played 14 previous times, including three in Huntington. Marshall has won twice on its home field.
The Hokies last visited Huntington in 2011, coming away with a 30-10 victory over a Doc Holliday-coached Herd team.
Marshall and the Hokies last met in Blacksburg in 2018, a 41-20 victory for VT, which leads the all-time series, 11-2.
Spears hopes the sellout isn’t a one-time thing for the Herd football program and believes the overall experience this year at MU home games will be enhanced over past years.
“When this community honors us with their presence, it inspires us to deliver them an awesome in-game experience,” Spears said. “Our team appreciates the commitment of our fan base. They play for them, they play for each other and they play for Marshall. That’s what makes us all part of it! Together, we cannot lose!”
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Marshall junior running back Rasheen Ali and redshirt sophomore linebacker Stephen Dix, Jr. were two of 100 athletes named to the 2023 Comeback Player of the Year Watch List.
The list was released recently by College Sports Communicators in association with the Associated Press and the Fiesta Bowl Organization.
Both come into the 2023 season with high expectations after battling back from injuries in 2022.
Ali missed much of Marshall’s 2022 season due to injury, but returned for the final three games to split carries with Khalan Laborn. Down the stretch, Ali helped lead a Marshall ground game that rushed for 205 yards per game on average.
Over those final three games, Ali rushed for 273 yards and a touchdown — a stretch that included winning MVP of the Thundering Herd’s 28-14 win over UConn in the Myrtle Beach Bowl.
Dix will be entering his first season with the Thundering Herd after transferring to Marshall from Florida State.
The 6-foot-1, 237-pound linebacker missed all of the 2022 season due to injury, but played in all 12 games with 14 tackles and one pass breakup as a redshirt freshman for the Seminoles in the 2021 season.