The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

October 20, 2012

Herd, Golden Eagles desperate for a win

BECKLEY — A lot of people are surprised, some dismayed, by Marshall’s 2-4 record. But for coach Doc Holliday, everything is still there for the taking.

Coming off a well-placed bye week, the Herd will begin work toward repeating what has shown to be a trend in the Holliday regime — a strong second half of the season. Marshall will visit Southern Miss at 7 p.m. Eastern today in a game that will be televised on CBS Sports Network.

Turnovers and a suspect defense have contributed to an unexpected slow start for Marshall, which beat the Golden Eagles 26-20 last season. Holliday said injuries have also contributed, which made the week off that much more beneficial.

“There’s no doubt (the season) is a grind,” Holliday said. “That’s six straight weeks where it’s football and classes and that’s about the extent of it. You get some guys banged up and you get some guys practicing that probably shouldn’t be practicing. Instead, they should be sitting and watching.

“It (the bye week) gives you an opportunity to catch your breath and to self-scout a little bit to make sure what you are doing offensively and defensively and on special teams and in those areas that need improvement.”

A game with Southern Miss usually has huge Conference USA East Division implications. But the Golden Eagles have likely played themselves out of the divisional race.

Southern Miss, under first-year coach Ellis Johnson, is an uncharacteristic 0-6, including league losses to East Carolina and Central Florida. The Eagles are playing with a very young roster, and the growing pains have been obvious.

Holliday, though, admires what the team has done given the circumstances.

“Ellis Johnson, with what he had to face with a young quarterback, had his hands full,” Holliday said. “He’s got Nebraska. He’s got Boise. He’s got Louisville. He goes to Western Kentucky, a team that is 5-1 and beat Kentucky. He’s got Central Florida. He’s got East Carolina. But he hasn’t lost his players. He has held them together. They’re playing extremely hard. That’s a tribute to him and that’s a tribute to that team.”

Marshall, meanwhile, is 1-1 in C-USA play and wants to finish strong. Last year’s team won five of its final seven games in the regular season, finished with a winning record in C-USA for the first time and defeated Florida International in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.

“This time a year ago, our football team was sitting right exactly in the same position,” Holliday said. “That football team had a small group of seniors, but those seniors played their best football the last six or seven weeks of the season ... and finished on a positive note. That’s exactly the same place we are right now. So, it’s important that our kids understand that our goals are out there.”

— E-mail:

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 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