2012 MARSHALL FOOTBALL PREVIEW:
The Marshall Thundering Herd's rich history and raucous fan base make it one of the most dangerous teams in Conference USA, and they're likely looking to improve upon a 7-6 2011 season. Marshall is known to be a tough out, whether they're playing a conference or Top 25 opponent, as head coach John "Doc" Holliday leads a disciplined and energetic group of young players. With a slew of underclassmen and a smattering of experienced juniors and seniors, the Thundering Herd is bound to be a major stumbling block on many team's schedules this fall.
Marshall's spread offense attack will be back in full swing, as freshman sensation Rakeem Kato will once again take the reins at quarterback. He will be joined in the backfield by Tron Martinez and Travon Van, who emerged as one of the best 1-2 punches in Conference USA in 2011. While the skill positions seemed to be fairly stacked on offense, the Thundering Herd's biggest question mark entering the year is its offensive line, which loses three starters from the previous year.
The Thundering Herd will certainly miss the recently drafted Vinny Curry's pass-rush on the outside, but they have plenty of promising defensive linemen, like Brandon Sparrow and Jeremiah Taylor, ready to carry the load. The team will have to replace two outside linebackers, but will be able to rely on the steady play of Jermaine Holmes in the middle. Finally, the secondary looks to be a major question mark, as two major starters will need to be replaced with a slew of underclassmen options. The loss of Omar Brown and Rashad Jackson will be difficult, so coaches are hoping that the team's deep defensive line can cover up some of the deficiencies of the secondary.
Looking ahead to the Thundering Herd's 2012, schedule, the team has an opening weekend showdown with the West Virginia Mountaineers as well as a homecoming matchup with the University of Tulsa. The team also finished second in the Conference USA rankings based on conference record, so the Thundering Herd is likely looking to improve upon this mark by knocking out up-and-coming programs like the University of Houston and the University of Southern Mississippi. Though the team is quite young, Marshall has one of the most impressive rosters in their conference and Herd fans should expect their fair share of high-flying offense and stingy defensive play in the coming year.
MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD INFORMATION:
First Season: 1892
Location: Huntington, West Virginia
Stadium: Joan C. Edwards Stadium
Conference: Conference USA
Rivals: Memphis Tigers, Southern Miss Golden Eagles, West Virginia Mountaineers
Mascot: Marco the Buffalo
Notable Alumni: Randy Moss, Chad Pennington, Byron Leftwich
Notable Bowl Games:
Marshall first began playing football in 1898. The Thundering Herd football program saw some dark times between 1964 and 1983, as Marshall posted dozens of losing seasons, was kicked out of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) for NCAA violations, and lost nearly its entire team and coaching staff in a 1970 plane crash that required the program to be resurrected from freshmen and athletes from other sports. Marshall would then put together 21 winning seasons under coach Bobby Pruett, along with winning 2 Div I-AA National Titles. The Herd then moved up to Division I-A in 1997. Chad Pennington and Randy Moss led Marshall to a MAC Championship, and the program would win 5 MAC titles in all. Byron Leftwich is another big-time NFL player to play for Marshall in recent years.
The Marshall Thundering Herd plays their home games at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, also known as “the Joan”. The stadium holds more than 38,000 fans and luxury and club seating as well as a high-tech press box. One of only two stadiums in college football named for a woman, Joan C. Edwards Stadium has witnessed some amazing drama as the home field of the Thundering Herd. Buy Marshall Thundering Herd tickets today and watch this legendary program make yet another return to prominence!
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Marshall Thundering Herd Ticket Information:
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