Football

Herd Football Schedule Features Two MACs, ACC and AAC Games In 2017

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HUNTINGTON – The Marshall football team will make September trips to an old Atlantic Coast Conference foe in the Wolfpack of NC State and the American’s Bearcats of Cincinnati in a schedule released Thursday by the Conference USA offices in Irving, Tex. The Herd will host two former MAC opponents, Miami-Ohio and Kent State, in September, at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium, then will meet Old Dominion, FIU, WKU and Southern Miss in Conference USA home games. The Golden Eagles will be replacing the Hilltoppers as the final Herd game of the season.

MU will travel to Charlotte, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic and UTSA in C-USA away games. The game versus the Wolfpack on Sept. 9 is the beginning of a home-and-home series that the two schools announced in August of 2014. NC State, the first team as a current member of the ACC to sign a home-and-home series with the Thundering Herd, will travel to Huntington on Sept. 22, 2018.

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The Thundering Herd and Doc Holliday will look to take the Herd back to its former successes after a 3-9 season in 2016. (Herd Insider photo by Greg Perry)

Louisville completed a home-and-home with the Thundering Herd last season, but was a member of the Big East Conference when the deal was signed, as well as during the 2011 game, which Marshall won 17-13 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. When Marshall signed a 2-for-1 with Virginia Tech in 2004, the Hokies were in the middle of moving to the ACC, and played in Huntington in 2011 with games in Blacksburg, Va. in 2009 and 2013.

Marshall also played two games at now ACC member Wake Forest and one game in Huntington with the Demon Deacons (then a member of the Southern Conference until the ACC was began in 1953, and the Herd was also in the SoCon from 1977-97) in 1939-40-41 under head coach Cam Henderson. The Herd has also won at Clemson (1999), played at North Carolina (2000), at Miami, Fla. (2007, the last year for the Hurricanes’ in the historic Orange Bowl) and beat Maryland in the 2013 Military Bowl in Annapolis, Md. in the Terps’ last year in the ACC before moving to the Big Ten.

MUFB 1991 Pete Woods vs. NC State

Pete Woods, No. 76 and center for Marshall, takes on a NC State lineman in the 1991 game at Carter-Finley Stadium, one of three for the Herd against the Wolfpack, also playing at NC State in 1993 and 1995. (HI file photo)

State’s trip to Huntington in 2018 also gives Marshall home dates with three power conference teams over four seasons as Purdue (Big Ten) came to Huntington of Sept. 5, 2015, nationally-televised season opener at Edwards Stadium, falling to the Herd, 41-31, and Louisville visited this past season in Sept. 24, beating the Herd 59-28. Marshall will also host Pittsburgh of the ACC in 2020.

One of Marshall coach Doc Holliday’s previous coaching stops was NC State, from 2000-04, and the Herd has played the Wolfpack three times during MU’s NCAA Division I-AA days, taking all losses at Carter-Finley Stadium. The game in 1991 came down to a controversial late flag after Marshall stopped the Wolfpack on fourth down late in the game, a 14-7 game.

Many also remember numerous players too sick to play the week following at Chattanooga (a 38-31 loss for MU) from eating post-game sub sandwiches which spoiled in a delivery van (with no air conditioning) that sat over three hours in the North Carolina State Fair traffic (the fairground being beside the stadium, and the fair opened that day) waiting to get to the Herd’s locker room. The Herd also lost at then Herd Head Coach Jim Donnan’s alma mater (which is how the I-AA Herd got three games with NC State) in 1993 (again by a touchdown, 24-17) and in 1995 (33-16).

MUFB J.T. Rembert vs. UC in Ft. Worth Bowl

The late JT Rembert makes a tackle on the Cincinnati Bearcats player in the 2004 PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl at TCU. (HI file photo by Greg Perry)

Marshall’s Sept. 30 game at Cincinnati will be played in the renovated and expanded Nippert Stadium the week after an open date (something the Herd did not have last season, when Marshall finished at 3-9), with a return date to Huntington set for Sept. 28, 2019. The Herd has a long series history with the Bearcats, playing UC starting in 1906 (a 0-0 tie at Cincinnati) through six years in the Buckeye Conference (2-4, 1933-38).

This year’s game, however, is the fifth game since 2000 (and sixth since 1946), including a Herd win 24-14 in the Motor City Bowl in Pontiac, Mich. in 2000 and a Bearcat win in the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl, 32-14, in what was the Herd Coach Bob Pruett’s last game at Marshall in 2004 in Texas. Pruett’s replacement, Coach Mark Snyder, lost both games in 2007-08 with the Bearcats, at UC in 2007 (40-14) in front of a sellout crowd at Nipert Stadium and 33-16 in 2008 at the JCE Stadium in Huntington.

The 2017 game with the Bearcats will be the third game in September against a Buckeye State-based school. Miami-Ohio comes to Huntington to kickoff the season on Sept. 2, in a series that goes back to 1905. The Golden Flashes of Kent State follows two weeks later, coming to “The Joan” on Sept. 16.

Goddard sacks Miami QB

The Herd and Miami-Ohio had many good games in the series, and here the late Johnathan Goddard sacks the Miami QB in the 2004 game, one of Marshall’s last as a member of the MAC. (HI file photo by Greg Perry)

Marshall has a long history with both schools, thanks to playing in the Buckeye Conference 1933-39 and the Mid-American Conference from 1953-68, then from 1997-2005 (Miami has belonged to the MAC since its third year, 1948). The RedHawks (formerly Redskins, 1888-1997), lead the series with Marshall 30-12-1, but the Thundering Herd has won 8-of-10 since ’97. Kent and Marshall began playing in 1952, just before the Herd entered the MAC in 1953 and the year after the Flashes joined the MAC in 1951, and the series is tied 18-18. Marshall has won the last 11 games in a row (back to 1980), including an overtime win at Kent, Ohio, 36-29, in 2015.

Marshall’s bye is Sept. 23, then the Thundering Herd will have the road game at UC (Sept. 30) followed by league road games at Charlotte, N.C. against the 49ers (Oct. 7), at the Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee (Oct. 21) in Murfreesboro, Tenn. and at the Owls of Florida Atlantic (Nov. 4) in Boca Raton, Fla. and all members of the Herd’s East Division. The Herd will also head to UTSA (Nov. 18) for the final road trip of the regular season, traveling for the first time to the nation’s seventh largest city, San Antonio, for football.

Marshall will welcome four C-USA teams to the Joan C. Edwards Stadium including the Monarchs of Old Dominion (Oct. 14), the Golden Panthers of FIU (Oct. 28) and defending back-to-back Conference USA and East Division champions in the Hilltoppers of WKU (Nov. 11), all members of the East Divison. The Herd will meet Southern Miss (Nov. 25) for the 13th time in conference, playing the Golden Eagles every season the Herd has been in C-USA (2005-17), with the series at 6-6.

MUFB 2015 Game-5 10-3-15 vs. ODU, 27-7, RCH, yurachek3595-X2

Ryan Yurachek scores against Old Dominion in the Herd’s 2015 game against the Monarchs at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium, 27-7. (HI photo by Rick Haye for Herd Insider)

Seven of the Thundering Herd’s 2017 opponents played in bowls in 2016. “This is another schedule that will, once again, energize our student-athletes, coaches and fans,” said Holliday. “Our fans are second to none when it comes to supporting our program and we look forward to seeing them in Joan C. Edwards Stadium this fall.”

At this point, all of the Marshall’s 2017 games are on Saturdays. However, it is important to note that all  games featuring Conference USA schools are subject to date changes and some are expected to move in the coming weeks in order accommodate national and regional television, as the league has deals with ESPN/espn3.com, beIN SPORTS and American Sports Network.

2017 Thundering Herd Football Schedule

Sept. 2 MIAMI-OHIO RedHawks

Sept. 9 at NC State Wolfpack, Raleigh, N.C.

Sept. 16 KENT STATE Golden Flashes

Sept. 23 Bye

Sept. 30 at Cincinnati (Ohio) Bearcats

Oct. 7 at Charlotte* 49ers, Charlotte, N.C.

Oct. 14 OLD DOMINION* Monarchs

Oct. 21 at Middle Tennessee* Blue Raiders, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Oct. 28 FIU* Golden Panthers

Nov. 4 at Florida Atlantic* Owls, Boca Raton, Fla.

Nov. 11 WKU* Hilltoppers

Nov. 18 at UTSA* Roadrunners, San Antonio, Texas

Nov. 25 SOUTHERN MISS* Golden Eagles

*Conference USA game

HOME GAMES – BOLD

Marshall Athletics and Conference USA added to this story

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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