Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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College Sports

September 21, 2012

Marshall must bounce back from loss to Ohio

BECKLEY —  Will Marshall be able to bounce back from a tough loss to Ohio?

 Coach Doc Holliday knows the answer. “You have no choice,” he said. “You have to.”

 The Thundering Herd (1-2) will kick off its Conference USA season today at Rice. The game will start at 3:30 p.m. Eastern and can be seen on WCHS.

 Marshall will be looking to erase the sting of a 27-24 loss to the Bobcats.  The Herd was looking to avenge last season’s loss in Athens, but Rakeem Cato’s interception with 20 seconds to go stunned the Herd Nation.

 No matter how difficult the loss was, Holliday knows the only way to get over it is to keep playing. He expects nothing less.

 “The one thing I felt (after the game) is that there was a lot of hurt in that locker room,” Holliday said. “I mentioned that after the game. These kids care and these kids want to be good. That’s big.

 “I think we’ll be fine because of it. They are all a bunch of kids that have worked really hard and have a lot invested in it. Bottom line is to win games and we didn’t get that done last week, but our guys want to make sure that happens.”

 What a time it would be for Marshall to win in the state of Texas for the first time ever.

 Holliday likens this scenario to last year after the Her’s loss to Ohio. They lost at home to Virginia Tech the following week, but followed it up with an upset win over Louisville on the road.

 “Not a whole lot of difference,” Holliday said. “I thought they went there and responded well. They have to do the same thing this year against Rice because, No. 1, it’s the next game, and 2, because it’s a conference game. You have to go make sure that you go play every game.”

 Marshall finished C-USA play last season at 5-3, its first-ever winning record in the league. Getting a road conference win would be huge toward duplicating that. “No doubt, the conference game makes it more important,” Holliday said.

 Cato is the nation’s leading passer, averaging 407.3 yards per game.  He has completed 114 of 161 passes and has eight touchdowns and two picks.

 Marshall needs to get its run game going, however. The Owls (1-2) are allowing a conference-worst 290.3 yards on the ground.


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