By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
Louisville coach Charlie Strong makes it clear that his team bears no resemblance to Virginia Tech. And that has nothing to do with the Hokies’ maroon and burnt orange uniforms.
So Strong isn’t putting much stock into Marshall’s 6-yard rushing performance against Virginia Tech last week.
“We’re not Virginia Tech,” Strong said, laughing. “It’s hard to evaluate them against Virginia Tech, because Virginia Tech always has a good defense. That’s what their staple is.”
Out loud, Strong may be giving the Thundering Herd a pass based on their opponent. But to himself, he just might be snickering.
When Marshall (1-3) visits Louisville at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, it will be facing a team coming off what has to be an encouraging defensive effort.
The Cardinals (2-1) held rival Kentucky to 35 yards rushing in a 24-17 win Sept. 17. Strong, naturally, credits that to his team’s improved line play.
“You have to win the game up front, and you have to be able to block people,” Strong said. “(And) we have to be able to run the football. If we can run the football, we have a chance, and that’s what we did against Kentucky.”
Louisville ran for 181 yards against the Wildcats, led by Domonique Brown’s 91 yards on 14 carries.
The Cardinals’ running game has been a focal point since the game against UK. Three players got significant carries, including co-starters Victor Anderson (eight carries, 41 yards) and Jeremy Wright (7-51).
Strong said Monday that all three will play against Marshall. That includes Brown, who is listed as the team’s No. 3 quarterback behind Will Stein and Teddy Bridgewater.
“There is so much that he can do,” Strong said. “We want to make sure that we take advantage of all of his talent.”
Stein is the starting quarterback, but he left the Kentucky game with a shoulder injury. On the year, Stein is 49 of 79 for 615 yards and five touchdowns. He has been intercepted just once.
Bridgewater was 10 of 18 for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Stein’s stead.
Stein should be back against Marshall, according to Strong.
“Right now, we are preparing him to be able to go Saturday,” Strong said.
The matchup will reunite two former Florida assistants in Strong and Marshall’s Doc Holliday.
“Doc and I have known each other for a long time, even when he was at West Virginia and I was at Florida, and probably South Carolina, too,” Strong said. “During that time, we were both recruiting south Florida and we developed a relationship.
“Then he came to Florida with Urban (Meyer). He is an outstanding football coach and a great recruiter. The thing I like about Doc is he knows exactly what he wants. You look at their team as he continues to build that team, he is going to build an outstanding football program at Marshall.”
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