The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 2, 2013

Roadrunner stats misleading, says Marshall’s Holliday

While UTSA is second to Marshall in total offense in Conference USA, the Roadrunners are in the middle of the pack in total defense, allowing 402.6 yards per game. The Roadrunners are among five Football Bowl Subdivision teams not included in national rankings, but if they were, they would be just ahead of No. 68 Iowa State.

Marshall coach Doc Holliday says one look at the teams the Roadrunners have played shows you that stat is a bit misleading.

“They’ve played Oklahoma State and Arizona that put up a lot of yards on them,” said Holliday, whose team will host the Roadrunners at 2 p.m. Saturday. “Houston is one of the top offenses in America, I would think. I don't know exactly where they rank, but figure it to be high after watching them play.”

The Cougars are 10th in the country in total offense.

UTSA (2-3, 1-0) gave up 605 yards in a 56-35 loss to Oklahoma State, 422 in a 38-13 loss at Arizona and 491 in a 59-28 loss to Houston last Saturday.

In their two wins, the Roadrunners allowed 277 at New Mexico (21-13) and 218 at UTEP (32-13).

“A lot of times stats are misleading early on,” Holliday said. “The first three to four games, it’s all about who you played. I think it’s like the rankings as far as the team is concerned. They can be misleading early. You can take a lot of that with a grain of salt.”

One thing UTSA has not done well, regardless of opponent, is create turnovers. In fact, the Roadrunners are next-to-last in the 14-team C-USA turnover margin at minus-9. They have lost the ball 10 times, including seven interceptions, and have just one takeaway.

Marshall (2-2, 0-0) is tied for seventh in turnover margin, breaking even at nine each. Four came in the loss at Ohio and two in the loss at Virginia Tech.

“Anytime you are playing to win, you have to take care of the football,” Holliday said. “If we do that, we’ll be fine. The games we’ve struggled in a bit, we didn’t do a very good job at hanging onto the football.

“We have to make sure we continue to work extremely hard with not turning the ball over. This is one offense that you don’t want to give the ball up to.”

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The Charleston Gazette reported Wednesday that offensive lineman Josh Lovell has left the program. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound junior had been playing behind Sebastian Johannson at left guard.

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In Marshall baseball news, head coach Jeff Waggoner announced Wednesday the addition of Josh Newman as the team’s new pitching coach.

The Ohio State alumnus was on the Colorado Rockies World Series roster in 2007 when they lost to the Boston Red Sox. He is a former All-American and multi-time All-Big Ten honoree, including first-team in 2004.

“We are very fortunate to have Coach Newman and his family as part of our program,” Waggoner said. “It is great to have someone with his knowledge and background, as he has played at a high level. Having someone like him on our staff will have an immediate impact on the development of our guys. Even more impactful than his knowledge and experience is his interest in player development.”

Newman is third all-time at Ohio State in career wins (32), innings pitched (369) and strikeouts (291).

— E-mail: gfauber


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