The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

November 23, 2012

It’s do-or-die once again for Marshall

While Christmas shoppers all across the country try to avoid jarring collisions in Walmart and Kohls, Marshall will try to turn this unofficial holiday into Green-and-White Friday.

A win today at East Carolina (2 p.m., CBS Sports Network) would be like escaping a crowded store with the last iPad. It would be the Thundering Herd’s sixth victory of the season, which equates to bowl eligibility.

Of course, for that to happen Marshall (5-6, 4-3 Conference USA) will have to win on the road in a venue that hasn’t exactly been kind. The Herd has lost all six games the teams have played at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

“It’s the same as last year, just in a different place,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said.

Indeed, it was nearly one year ago to the day that the Herd needed a win over the Pirates to break even, finish with a winning record in league play and stamp a bowl berth. All three goals were met, but that 34-27 win was in Huntington, and the Herd needed overtime to do it.

Now Marshall faces the task of beating an ECU team that not only is already bowl eligible, but also has an outside shot of playing for the C-USA championship. A win over the Herd and a Central Florida loss to UAB on Saturday would have the Pirates (7-4, 6-1) meeting Tulsa Dec. 1.

And, it will be Senior Day in Greenville, N.C.

Holliday said his players are familiar with all the scenarios.

“We are going to prepare the same as always,” Holliday said. “We have an opportunity as a football team to do something, and that really helps us. The kids understand that if we go win, then something good is going to happen for them. I think that helps our preparation.”

Holliday, who will make his second appearance at ECU as Marshall’s head coach, knows how difficult it will be for his team.

“Going back through the years, when Marshall has gone down there, East Carolina has had some really good players,” he said. “You combine that with a great facility and great fanbase, it makes it tough. Teams with good players, at their house with it packed, is a tough situation to go into. They’ve won a bunch of games down there and have had a bunch of great players. Those things sure contribute to make it a tough place to play.”

One of the latest good players for the Pirates is junior running back Vintavious Cooper, who has 978 yards and five touchdowns on 177 carries this season.

Receiver Justin Hardy has been sophomore quarterback Shane Carden’s go-to player, but Hardy has been slowed by injury the last two weeks. He still has 67 catches for 875 yards and 10 touchdowns.

“Our guys are going to have to go there prepared to play and be ready to go,” Holliday said.

— E-mail: gfauber@

register-herald.com

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • Trickett takes uncertainty away from WVU quarterback position

    Since the day Geno Smith was selected with the 39th pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, West Virginia’s football team has found itself in a rare position — searching for a starting quarterback.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fred Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.

    July 27, 2014

  • Herd featured prominently in website’s preseason honors

    Marshall received several nods in the CollegeSportsMadness.com preseason All-Conference USA awards released Saturday.

    July 27, 2014

  • Miners stop Lorain County 5-1

    The West Virginia Miners received a strong outing from starting pitcher Patrick LaGanke, and scored one run in each of the final five innings to defeat the Lorain County Ironmen 5-1 Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Some topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers

    July 25, 2014

  • 072514 WVU Replacing Sims a challenge for WVU

    Every year, almost every college football preview publication available lists one key statistic that most use to evaluate the prospects for any given football team — returning starters.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp