Thursday, November 29, 2012

Marshall Football: Mark Barr Commits to Herd

According to, St. Thomas Aquinas high school (FL) wide receiver Mark Barr has given a verbal commitment to Marshall's football staff.  Barr visited the Thundering Herd on November 17th for MU's game against Houston. A two star prospect, he also had scholarship offers from Mississippi State, Indiana, and Boston College among others.

Standing in at six feet tall, 160 pounds, Barr has caught 12 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns this season.

For more on Barr, including a highlight video, follow the links below. profile profile

ESPN profile

Highlight video

St. Thomas Aquinas 2012 stats

Recapping two crazy days in C-USA

Over the past two days Conference USA has lost two schools, including a charter member, and added two new institutions. Here is a recap of all the action including what the league will look like going forward.

On Tuesday, East Carolina and Tulane accepted invitations to join the Big East. Tulane enters the Big East in all sports while ECU will just play football. With the move, the Pirates have to find a new home for their other athletic programs, presumably in the Southern Conference. Both schools will exit C-USA after the 2013-2014 academic year.

In response to losing two members, C-USA added a couple on Wednesday, Middle Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic, from the Sun Belt Conference. MTSU and FAU will hold press conferences today announcing their moves. Although it is not known for certain, you can presume that they will join C-USA following the 2013-2014 academic year.

Later on Wednesday, a rumor broke that Western Kentucky and New Mexico State are on standby to join C-USA. The league would prefer to be at 14 members but, if it suffers further defections WKU and NMSU are waiting in the wings.  

Moving forward, here is the composition of C-USA over the next three years.

2013 - 2014

1) Marshall
2) ECU
3) Southern Miss
4) UAB
5) FIU
6) Tulane
7) Louisiana Tech
9) North Texas
10) Tulsa
11) Texas San Antonio
12) Rice

* Old Dominion and Charlotte will place their Olympic sports in C-USA including basketball but, they will play FCS football.

2014 – 2015

1) Marshall
2) FAU
3) Southern Miss
4) UAB
5) FIU
6) Middle Tennessee State
7) Louisiana Tech
9) North Texas
10) Tulsa
11) Texas San Antonio
12) Rice

* ODU and Charlotte play their last year of FCS football.

2015 - 2016

1) Marshall
2) FAU
3) Southern Miss
4) UAB
5) FIU
6) ODU
7) Charlotte
8) Middle Tennessee State
9) Louisiana Tech
10) UTEP
11) North Texas
12) Tulsa
13) Texas San Antonio
14) Rice

Marshall Basketball: Herd Tops Morehead St. 70-67

Using a strong defensive and rebounding effort, Marshall (4-3, 0-0) topped Morehead State (4-3, 0-0) 70-67 in the Cam Henderson Center Wednesday evening.

Senior forward Dennis Tinnon lead the Thundering Herd with a double-double, scoring 12 points while grabbing 16 rebounds. As a team, Marshall held Morehead to just 36.6% shooting and won the rebounding battle 53-46.

The Herd returns to action on Saturday as they host UNC Wilmington, tip-off is scheduled for 7pm.

For more on Marshall’s win over Morehead, follow the links below.

The Herald Dispatch

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Charleston Gazette

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Marshall Football: Larry Jefferson has enrolled at MU

It has been rumored for quite some time but, it finally became official today, former Louisville commitment Larry Jefferson enrolled at Marshall in August.

An all state selection at tight end in Georgia, Jefferson was a three star prospect according to Standing in at 6-foot-5, 218 pounds, Jefferson is projected to play defensive end or outside linebacker at the collegiate level. 

After failing to meet the NCAA's minimum academic eligibility requirement, Jefferson never set foot on Louisville's campus, deciding to enroll at Marshall instead. If he can get his academic house in order, Jefferson could become eligible as early as spring practice.

For more on Jefferson, follow the links below. - Player page

Highlight video     

FAU Set to Join C-USA

Per multiple reports, Florida Atlantic University will accept an invitation to join Conference USA and begin play in 2014.

Why FAU?

FAU has invested heavily in its football program. The Owls play at two year old FAU Stadium, a $70 million facility built on campus. Under first year coach Carl Pelini, son of Nebraska’s Bo Pelini, FAU sits at 3-8 with one remaining game this season.

Veteran basketball coach Mike Jarvis lead the Owls to a Sun Belt regular season championship during the 2010-2011 season that included an NIT appearance.

What it means for C-USA

With today’s additions of FAU and Middle Tennessee, C-USA will host 12 football playing members during the 2014 season. In 2015 Old Dominion and Charlotte will also move its football programs into the league, growing the number of participants to 14.

Middle Tennessee Joining C-USA

Per Harry Minium of the Virginia Pilot, Middle Tennessee State University has accepted an invitation to join Conference USA. The Blue Raiders are currently a member of the Sun Belt Conference.


MTSU has enjoyed a recent string of success in college athletics major revenue generating sports. The football team is one win away from securing this year’s Sun Belt championship and they made bowl games in 2010 and 2009.

In basketball, the Blue Raiders won the conference regular season title last season, advancing to the NIT quarterfinals, beating Marshall and Tennessee in the process.  

What it means for C-USA

Assuming MTSU joins C-USA in 2014, the league will have eleven football playing members with Old Dominion and Charlotte coming onboard a year later. With an odd number of teams, expect C-USA to add another school in the next few days. Minium writes that Florida Atlantic and New Mexico State are strong possibilities.

Marshall Basketball: Herd host Morehead State

Marshall’s (3-3, 0-0) basketball season continues as Morehead State (4-2, 0-0) visits the Cam Henderson Center. While the schools are only separated by 60 miles of I-64 pavement, tonight’s meeting will be the first since 2007.

The Eagles are lead by senior small forward Milton Chavis who is averaging 18.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 2.7 steals per game. The Herd will also have to contend with point guard Devon Atkinson, a talented distributor that dished out seven assist in Monday’s 73-67 win over Norfolk State.

Morehead’s head coach Sean Woods returns to the bench tonight after being suspended one game for pushing one of his players during last week’s loss at Kentucky.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7pm, for more information on tonight’s game follow the links below.

Morehead State

The Herald Dispatch

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Charleston Gazette

Johnson out at USM & Tulsa AD involved in FBI probe

After a winless season, Southern Miss fired football coach Ellis Johnson yesterday. Johnson was in the first year of a four year contract to lead the Golden Eagles.  

The Hattiesburg American sites a number of potential replacements including North Carolina offensive coordinator Blake Anderson, Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken, Louisiana-Monroe coach Todd Berry, and Louisiana Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth.

In other Conference USA news, Tulsa athletic director Ross Parmley was suspended with pay on Tuesday after the FBI tied him to an illegal gambling operation run by an Oklahoma City bookie.

In a interview with the FBI, Parmley admitted to betting on college and professional football games for years before stopping in 2010. Parmley has worked in Tulsa’s athletic department since 2005 and was named athletic director last January.

At this time no criminal charges have been filed against Parmley.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Marshall Football: Cross Minter & Dunlap off Coordinator List

Per the Charleston Daily Mail's Chuck McGill, former Marshall assistant coaches Steve Dunlap and Rick Minter are not being considered for the Thundering Herds vacancy at defensive coordinator.

Minter held the defensive coordinator position at Marshall from 2008 through 2009, replacing Minter who left to take his current job at WVU following the 2007 season.

One interesting rumor hit the message boards today, linking former Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley to Marshall's opening. Bradley coached at Penn State for 30 years, spending the last 11 coordinating the defense. He served as interim head coach for three games in 2012 after Joe Paterno's dismissal.

Tulane & ECU Leaving for Big East

Tulane will hold a 2pm ET press conference today announcing their departure from Conference USA for the Big East. Per multiple reports, the Green Wave will begin competing in the Big East during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Not to be left behind, East Carolina has scheduled a 5pm ET press conference to announce its football program will join the Big East in 2014. With the move, ECU will also need to find a new home for its other athletic programs.

Without Tulane and ECU, C-USA will be down to ten football playing members in 2014, Marshall, Southern Miss, FIU, Louisiana Tech, UAB, Tulsa, Rice, UTEP, Texas San Antonio, and North Texas. Two other programs, Old Dominion University and the University of Charlotte are slated to begin playing C-USA football in 2015.

If C-USA desires to have 14 members, they could turn to Sun Belt Conference schools Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee State for expansion. Slated to become a football independent because the Western Athletic Conference will no longer support football following this season, New Mexico State is another option. Also, C-USA could target schools like ODU and Charlotte that want to grow their football programs from the FCS to the FBS level.   

We will have more on this story as further details become available.

Marshall in the NFL, Week 12

Weekly review of Marshall Alumni in the NFL.

1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, New York Giants

Splitting reps with fellow Giants running back Andre Brown, Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for 58 yards on ten carries with a touchdown during New York’s 38-10 win over the Green Bay Packers. Bradshaw also caught two passes for 61 yards.

2. C.J Spillman, Safety, San Francisco 49ers

C.J Splillman recorded one special teams tackle in the San Francisco 49ers 31-21 victory at the New Orleans Saints.

3. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers reserve offensive lineman Doug Legursky got an unexpected start at left guard when Willie Colon was scratched just before Pittsburgh’s 20-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns.  

4. Byron Leftwich, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

After suffering a pair of cracked rips during last week’s start against Baltimore, Byron Leftwich was held out of Sunday’s loss to the Browns.

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

In a wild, 16-13 overtime win over the San Diego Chargers, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Albert McClellan recorded two assisted tackles.

6. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Sunday’s game was big for Lee Smith as he caught his first NFL touchdown pass, a one yard reception from Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Unfortunately for Buffalo, Smith’s touchdown grab was not enough as they fell to the Indianapolis Colts 20-13.

7. Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers

Targeted just once, Randy Moss did not recorded a catch during the 49ers road victory in New Orleans.

8. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

Active for the first time this season, Vinny Curry lead all Philadelphia Eagles defensive lineman with five tackles in Monday night’s 30-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

9. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Mario Harvey was inactive for the second consecutive week and did not participate in Sunday’s win over Buffalo.

11. Chris Crocker, Safety, Cincinnati Bengals

Chris Crocker recorded his third interception of the season with three tackles and a pass defended in the Cincinnati Bengals 34-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Marshall Football: Potential Defensive Coordinators

After three years under the leadership of Chris Rippon, Marshall's defense will be under new management next season. While it might be cruel to speculate on Rippon’s replacement immediately following his resignation, here are a few names Thundering Herd head coach Doc Holliday could consider for his next defensive coordinator.  

1) Steve Dunlap

Steve Dunlap’s name has been mentioned often in regards to Marshall’s vacancy at defensive coordinator. The veteran assistant worked with Holliday at WVU and NC State, not to mention his one year stop as the Herd’s defensive coordinator in 2007. Since 2007, Dunlap has been a assistant with the Mountaineers, coaching linebackers, safeties, and special teams. During Dunlap’s  one year as Marshall’s defensive coordinator, the Herd finished 107th in total defense, giving up 450.83 yards per game.

2) Tommy Restivo

A former Marshall graduate assistant, Tommy Restivo is a first year defensive backs coach at Louisville. Prior to this season, Restivo spent three years (2009-2011) as the Cardinal’s defensive quality control assistant. Although Restivo and Holliday have never served on the same staff, Louisville head coach Charlie Strong binds the two together. Strong and Holliday served on Urban Myers staff at Florida, helping the Gators win the 2006 National Championship.

3) David Lockwood

After a extended stint as WVU’s cornerbacks coach (2008-2011), David Lockwood was hired by Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez for the same position prior to this season. Lockwood has a long history as a defensive assistant, also working at Memphis, Wyoming, Notre Dame, Minnesota, and Kentucky in a variety of capacities. A WVU graduate, Lockwood played defensive back for the Mountaineers from 1984-1988 when Holliday was the wide receivers coach on Don Nehlen’s staff.

4) Bill Kirelawich

Another Arizona assistant, Bill Kirelawich has 43 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level. Kirelawich and Holliday coached together at WVU from 1979 to 1999 under a variety of roles. Currently, Kirelawich leads the Wildcats defensive line.

5) Rick Minter

A veteran defensive mind, Rick Minter should be a familiar name to Herd fans. Minter served as Marshall's defensive coordinator in 2008 to 2009 and interim head coach after Mark Snyder's dismissal. For the past two years Minter has been the defensive coordinator at the University of Kentucky. Unfortunately for Minter, Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips and his entire staff were let go following Saturday's game against Tennessee.

6) Bob Pruett

As Marshall's head coach from 1996 to 2004, Bob Pruett compiled a record of 94-23 including two undefeated seasons, a 1-AA National Championship, five Mid-American Conference championships, and five bowl victories. After stepping down following the 2004 season, Pruett did not coach again until 2008, when long time friend and then University of Virginia head coach Al Groh hired him as defensive coordinator. The job only lasted one year as Pruett retired following the 2008 season.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why we were out......

Recapping the past few days in Marshall athletics.

1) Marshall's football season ended with a 65-59, double overtime loss at ECU. The Thundering Herd finished the year 5-7, one win short of bowl eligibility.

2) After three years at the helm of Marshall's defense, defensive coordinator Chris Rippon resigned Saturday.

3) Marshall got its basketball season back on track with a 89-82 victory over Nevada. The Herd won despite the absence of Robert Goff and Yous Mbao. The big men collided during Tuesday's practice, sending both to the hospital. Goff was on the bench in street clothes while Mbao sported a neck brace, sitting in a wheel chair. Mbao could be out for the season.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gone Fishing

The Marshall Thundering Blog will not be updated from Tuesday November 20th to Sunday November 25th. For updates on Marshall's football game at ECU and other Thundering Herd news this week, please visit the websites listed under "Marshall University Athletic Links".

Marshall Football: Week 12 Game Notes, ECU

Like Brent Musburger once said, this one is for all of the Tostitos. Marshall travels to ECU on Friday with bowl eligibility in the balance. Win, and the Thundering Herd will play in December but, a loss secures head coach Doc Hollliday’s second losing season in three years. The Pirates also have something to shoot for, with a victory over Marshall and a UAB win at UCF, the boys from Greenville will represent Conference USA’s Eastern division in the league championship game.

ECU runs a high scoring spread offense conducted by first year starting quarterback Shane Carden. The Texas native has thrown for 2,399 yards and 18 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. Although you won’t see it often, Carden will pull the ball down and run, he has recorded five rushing touchdowns this year.

Carden’s favorite target is wide receiver Justin Hardy. Only a sophomore, Hardy has caught 67 passes for 875 yards and ten touchdowns. No other ECU pass catcher has over 58 receptions or 301 receiving yards.

On the ground, ECU is lead by junior college transfer Vintavious Cooper. Averaging 5.5 yards per attempt, Cooper has run the ball 177 times for 978 yards and five touchdowns.

Looking at the Pirates defense, ECU is allowing 28.1 points per game, good for fourth in C-USA. ECU has struggled against the pass,  giving up 2,856 yards through the air, ranking next to last in the league. Compounding the problem, the Pirates have only picked off seven passes. ECU does a good job against the run, giving up just 139 rushing yards per game. In contrast, Marshall allowing 211.

The Pirates don’t have one player that standouts out defensively but, linebacker Jeremy Grove, an all C-USA first team preseason selection, and safety Damon Maqazu lead the team with 65 tackles.

On special teams, kicker Warren Harvey has converted 12 of 17 field goal attempts including a long of 54 yards. Punter Trent Tignor is averaging 42.1 yards per attempt and has not had a punt blocked this year.

Kickoff is scheduled for 2pm with TV coverage provided by the CBS Sports Network.  

Marshall in the NFL, Week 11

Weekly review of Marshall Alumni in the NFL.

1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, New York Giants

Bye week.

2. C.J Spillman, Safety, San Francisco 49ers

C.J Splillman and the San Francisco 49ers play tonight on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears.

3. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Pittsburgh Steelers

Doug Legursky participated in the Pittsburgh Steelers goal line and special teams packages during Sunday nights 13-10 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

4. Byron Leftwich, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Getting his first start of the season, Byron Leftwich completed 18 of 39 passes for 201 yards and one interception, he was also sacked three times. The highlight of the night was Leftwich scrambling for a 31 yard touchdown in the first quarter.  

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

Getting the start, Albert McClellan recorded three tackles and one pass defended in Sunday’s win over Baltimore.

6. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

After catching one pass last week, Lee Smith did not register a reception in the Bills 19-14 win over the Miami Dolphins.

7. Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers

Randy Moss and the San Francisco 49ers play tonight on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears.

8. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

Despite ranking 29th in team sacks, the Philadelphia Eagles have not activated second round draft pick Vinny Curry for a single game this season. As such, Curry was held out of Sunday’s 31-6 loss to the Washington Redskins.

9. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts
Mario Harvey was placed on the inactive list for the first time this season and did not participate in the Indianapolis Colts 59-24 loss to the New England Patriots. 
11. Chris Crocker, Safety, Cincinnati Bengals
Playing the offensively inept Kansas City Chiefs, Chris Crocker recorded two tackles during the Cincinnati Bengals 28-6 victory.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Hofstra Outlast Herd in Double OT 103-100

Despite a triple-double by DeAndre Kane, Marshall lost to tournament host Hofstra in Sunday's finale of the 2K Sports Classic, falling in double overtime 103-100.

Kane recorded the forth triple-double in Thundering Herd history, scoring 33 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assist. Even with Kane's impressive numbers, Marshall could not overcome a poor rebounding performance as Hofstra won the battle of the boards 57-43. The Herd also had trouble at the free throw line, only converting 61.9% (26-42) of their chances.

Marshall returns to the hardwood this Saturday at the Cam Henderson Center for a 7pm tip-off against Nevada.

For more on today's game follow the links below.

Box Score

Herd Falls at Hofstra 103-100

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Marshall Basketball: South Dakota St. Beats Herd 78-77

Despite a two point lead with just ten seconds left in the game, Marshall could not hold off South Dakota State Saturday afternoon in the 2K Sports Classic at Hofstra University. Jackrabbit Chad White converted a three point attempt as the clock wound down to zero, putting SDST ahead 78-77 and securing Marshall's second loss of the season.

The Thundering Herd wraps up this weekends tournament tomorrow against Hofstra, tip-off is scheduled for 3pm ET.

For more on today' game follow the links below.

Box Score

The Associated Press

South Dakota State 3-pointers beat Marshall 78-77 

Marshall Football: Herd Tops Houston 44-41

Taking a 31-10 into halftime, Marshall did not anticipate a close game in the fourth quarter but, that is exactly what they got. Houston fought its way back to a 41-41 tie with seven seconds left on the clock when Thundering Herd kicker Justin Haig walked onto the field for a 45 yard field goal. Facing a career long attempt, Haig converted, sealing Marshall's 44-41 victory.

With the win, Marshall (5-6, 4-3) can secure bowl eligibility by beating East Carolina next Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2pm ET, TV coverage will be provided by the CBS Sports Network.

For more on today's 44-41 win over Houston follow the links below.

Box Score

Haig Boots Herd to 44-41 Win over Houston

The Charleston Gazette

Marshall Football: Herd squeaks past Houston, 44-41

The Herald Dispatch

Marshall beats Houston, keeps bowl hopes

The Associated Press

Cato, Marshal hold off Houston, 44-41

Friday, November 16, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herd Takes Down UDC 80-58

Using a strong second half effort, Marshall was able to defeat the University of the District of Columbia 80-58 at Hofstra University's Mack Sports Complex Friday evening.

The Thundering Herd started slow as UDC, a division two school, lead 37-36 entering halftime. The Firebirds remained in control until the 15:49 mark when Marshall started a 38-10 run, turning a 48-42 deficit into a blowout victory.

The Herd was lead by forward Dennis Tinnon's impressive performance from the bench, recording a double-double with 17 and 12 rebounds.

Marshall returns to the Mack Sports Complex tomorrow for their third game in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project, matching up against South Dakota State. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30pm ET.

For more on today's game follow the links below.

Box Score

Big Second Half Helps Marshall Beat UDC

Marshall Basketball: Beware of Jackrabbits

Marshall travels to Hempstead New York for three games in the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project this weekend. Tonight’s game pits the Thundering Herd against the University of the District of Columbia, a division two school. The difficulty level ratchets up the next two days as Marshall takes on South Dakota State and tournament host Hofstra.

While the tournament does not feature any premier names, the Thundering Herds matchup against SDST should not be overlooked. A NCAA Tournament participant last year, the Jackrabbits return a talented squad in 2013.

South Dakota is lead by do everything point guard Nate Wolters, the only player in division one to average 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists last season. He is buoyed by three other returning starters, Jordan Dykstra, Chad White, and Brayden Carlson who all averaged at least seven points per game in 2011-2012.

A strong shooting team, the Jackrabbits shot 46.8% from the floor last year, good for 40th in the country. They were also dangerous from the three point line, converting 39% of their shots beyond the arch.

As with most opponents, Marshall holds a size advantage over South Dakota St. The Jackrabbits don’t feature a starter over six-foot-eight and their bench does not provide much height either.  

A win over SDST could be big in March when the NCAA tournament field is selected. South Dakota St. finished last year ranked 50th in the RPI and they were picked to repeat as Summit League champions this season.

2K Sports Class Schedule, Marshall  

Friday – UDC, 4:30pm ET
Saturday – SDST, 2:30pm ET
Sunday – Hofstra, 3pm ET

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Canty Ruled Ineligible by NCAA

Per his Twitter account, Marshall freshman point guard Kareem Canty has been declared academically ineligible for the 2012-2013 season by the NCAA. Canty’s academic problems came to light when he was held out of the Thundering Herd’s exhibition game against Bluefield for what coach Tom Herrion called “an initial eligibility issue”.

Canty’s secondary education took him to four different institutions in four different states. He attended two schools last year, beginning at Westwind Prep in Phoenix Arizona before transferring to Faith Baptist Christian in Brandon Florida. Prior to last year, he was enrolled at Maine’s Bridgton Academy and Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School in Brooklyn New York.

To become eligible, Canty can sit out this season as a academic non-qualifier while getting his academic house in order. He could also leave Marshall and attend a junior college. His plans are not known at this time.

Marshall Football: Week 11 Game Notes, Houston

Two desperate teams enter Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday afternoon as Marshall (4-6, 3-3) host Houston (4-6, 3-3). The winner will have a chance to secure bowl eligibility next week while the losers postseason hopes are dashed.

Houston is lead by a strong offense, they rank second in Conference USA behind Marshall in yards per game (473.4) and passing yards per game (324.6).

With the departure of last year’s C-USA offensive player of the year, quarterback Case Kennum, sophomore David Piland has taken control of the Cougars offense. Piland has thrown for 2,927 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Although his stats are impressive, Piland’s INT’s have hindered Houston as the Cougars are minus eight on turnovers this year.

Piland’s favorite targets are five-foot-eleven receivers Daniel Spencer and Dewayne Peace. Together, Spencer and Peace have hauled in 83 passes for 1,037 yards and five touchdowns. The Cougars also have a tall possession wide receiver in six-foot-three Deontay Greenberry. The true freshman has put together an impressive rookie campaign, recording 412 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

Charles Sims is C-USA’s leading rusher at 106 yards per game but, he has missed the last two weeks with a ankle injury. If Sims cannot play, expect a heavy dose of Kenneth Farrow. The freshman rushed for 54 yards on 15 carries during last weeks, 41-7 loss to Tulsa.

Houston features an aggressive defense that has registered 29 sacks. C-USA’s leading sack artist is Cougars linebacker Phillip Steward, he has taken down opposing quarterbacks nine times this season. More than just a pass rusher, Steward has also recorded 104 tackles and two interceptions.

Houston attacking style has produced a lot of takeaways, they rank second in C-USA with 13 interceptions and 23 total turnovers caused. Their big playmaker in the secondary is cornerback D.J Hayden, C-USA’s 2011 defensive newcomer of the year. This season, Hayden has already picked off four passes and broken up twenty balls thrown his way.  

The Cougars also feature two special teams standouts. Senior Matt Hogan is C-USA’s all time leading scorer among kickers with 388 points. He has connected on 14 of 19 field goal attempts this year with a long of 52 yards. Punter Richie Leone is also a weapon, he leads the league with an average of 45.7 yards per punt.

For more on this week’s match-up, including quotes from both coaches, follow the links below.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Smith Signs NLI

We told you about his verbal commitment in September and it became official today, junior college basketball player Shawn Smith signed his letter of intent with Marshall University's basketball program. A six-foot-six forward, Smith is entering his second season at City College of San Francisco.

For more on Smith follow the links below:

Smith Signs NLI with Marshall

The Marshall Thundering Blog

Marshall Basketball: Shawn Smith makes verbal commitment to Herd

We Are...Marshall

Forty two years ago today, November 14th 1970, a plane carrying 75 members of the Marshall University family crashed short of Tri-State Airport in Kenova W.V., killing all on board. Like every November 14th since it’s dedication in 1972, the Marshall community will gather at the memorial fountain on campus to mark this tragic anniversary. Lets never forget those true son’s and daughter’s of Marshall who lost their lives that day.

From the ashes we rose, We are... Marshall.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Marshall in the NFL: Week Ten

Weekly review of Marshall Alumni in the NFL.

1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, New York Giants

Ahmad Bradshaw split carries with fellow Giants running back Andre Brown during New York’s 31-13 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a tough game for Bradshaw as he only attempted 10 runs for 57 yards. He also fumbled in second quarter after a hit from former WVU and current Bengal defensive back Adam Jones.

2. C.J Spillman, Safety, San Francisco 49ers

In a rare 24-24 tie with the St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers safety C.J Spillman recorded three tackles on special teams.

3. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Pittsburgh Steelers

Doug Legursky appeared in goal line and special teams packages during the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-13 overtime win against the Kansas City Chiefs

4. Byron Leftwich, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

After Steelers starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger went down with a shoulder injury in the third quarter, Byron Leftwich got his first action of the season. Leading Pittsburgh’s aerial attack, Leftwich completed seven of 14 attempts for 73 yards.

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

In a 55-20 blowout win over the Oakland Raiders, Ravens linebacker Albert McClellan recorded four tackles and recovered a fumble.

6. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Lee Smith caught his first pass in a number of weeks, hauling in one reception for five yards during the Buffalo Bills 37-31 loss to the New England Patriots.

7. Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers

Randy Moss was targeted twice in Sunday’s tie with St. Louis, catching both passes for 19 total yards.

8. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

You should know this story by now, Vinny Curry was inactive, as he has been for every game this season. The Philadelphia Eagles fell to the Dallas Cowboys 38-23.

9. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

Playing special teams, Mario Harvey did not record a tackle during the Indianapolis Colts 27-10 over the Jacksonville Jaguars.  

11. Chris Crocker, Safety, Cincinnati Bengals

Chris Crocker recorded five tackles, four of them assisted, in Sunday’s win over the New York Giants.

Monday, November 12, 2012

C-USA Football: Week 11 Review

El Paso Texas is a long way from Orlando Florida but, it was a successful trip for UCF as they took down UTEP 31-24 on Saturday. The Knight’s can lock up Conference USA’s East division by winning one of their two remaining games (at Tulsa & UAB) or with an ECU loss.

West division leader Tulsa is in a similarly strong position after beating Houston 41-7. If the Golden Hurricanes earn a victory over UCF or SMU, they will be playing for a chance to represent C-USA in the Liberty Bowl.

In other league action, Memphis recorded its second win of the season, taking down Tulane 37-23. Tigers quarterback Jacob Karam threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns while gaining another 51 yards on the ground.

SMU held Southern Miss to just 178 yards of offense during a 34-6 win and UAB was able to outlast Marshall’s second half comeback attempt, holding onto a 38-31 victory.


1) UCF: 8-2, 6-0
2) ECU: 6-4, 5-1
3) Marshall: 4-6, 3-3
4) Memphis: 2-8, 2-4
5) UAB: 3-7, 2-4
6) USM: 0-10, 0-6

1) Tulsa: 8-2, 6-0
2) SMU: 5-5, 4-2
3) Houston: 4-6, 3-3
4) Rice: 4-6, 2-4
5) Tulane: 2-8, 2-4
6) UTEP: 2-8, 1-5

Marshall Basketball: D’Antoni hired by Lakers

Marshall University Hall of Famer Mike D’Antoni has been tabbed as the Los Angeles Lakers next head coach. D’Antoni takes over for Mike Brown who was let go after Los Angeles started the season 1-4.

A Mullens West Virginia native, D’Antoni played for the Thundering Herd from 1970-1973, and still holds Marshall’s career assist per game record with 8.23 per contest. Marshall retired his jersey number, ten, in 2009, becoming the seventh player to receive the honor.  

During his ten year stint as a NBA head coach, D’Antoni has amassed a record of 388-339 with the Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and New York Knicks. He also served as an assistant coach on Mike Krzyewski’s gold medal winning, USA basketball team during the 2012 London Olympics.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herd falls at Villanova 80-68

In it's first test against a quality opponent this season, Marshall was unable to earn a win, falling at Villanova 80-68.

The Herd was done in by a poor defensive effort, allowing Villanova to shoot 50% from the floor (23-46) and 40.9% (9-22) beyond the three point line. A quality rebounding team, the Wildcats out-muscled Marshall on the boards 37-23. The discrepancy was especially apparent on the offensive end where the home team grabbed nine rebounds compared to the Herd's three.

Taking advantage of Marshall's lack of depth at point guard, Villanova forced the Herd into 17 turnovers. Four of those giveaways belong to DeAndre Kane, who started his second straight game directing the Thundering Herd offense. Overall, it was a poor game for Kane, he was limited to four points, converting two of ten attempts from the field while missing all five of his three points shots. Kane's four points matched a career low set against Binghamton during his freshman season.

Marshall's three starting players in the front court, Nigel Spikes, Robert Goff, and Dennis Tinnon were dominated by their Villanova counterparts. Combined, they only registered 17 points and 13 rebounds. Spikes and Goff were marred in foul trouble, both picked up three personals before the half. Neither player saw over twenty minutes of playing time.

The Herd did receive one standout performance, junior college transfer DD Scarver scored 22 points while converting five of seven three point attempts.

Villanova was lead by freshman point guard Ryan Arcidiacono who scored 20 first half points on his way to a 25 point performance. He also added four rebounds and six assist. Also scoring in double digits, James Bell contributed 19 points along with 15 from Darrun Hillard. 

Marshall returns to action next weekend for the 2K Sports Classic benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project at Hofstra University. The Herd will play three games in three days, starting with Friday's 4:30pm tip-off against the University of the District of Columbia (division II). That game proceeds Saturday's contest against 2012 NCAA Tournament participant South Dakota State (Saturday 2:30pm) and Sunday's 3pm start against Hofstra.

Box Score

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Marshall Football: UAB Blazes Through Herd 38-31

Despite a valiant fourth quarter comeback, Marshall could not pull themselves out of a deep hole as UAB defeated the Thundering Herd 38-31 at Legion Field Saturday night.

Marshall opened the scoring with a two yard, Remi Watson touchdown run that was set up by a Blazers fumble. Unfortunately for the Herd, UAB would score the next 24 points and prevent the visitors from responding until the third quarter. 

The Blazers took advantage of a pours Marshall run defense as they racked up 209 rushing yards. Most of the damage was inflicted by running back Darrin Reaves, who gained 184 yards on 32 carries with two touchdowns. 

Through the air, UAB was lead by the redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Brown. Despite throwing three interceptions, Brown completed 20 of 34 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. 

Down 24-7 exiting halftime, the Herd turned to quarterback Rakeem Cato to close the gap. Cato lead four second half scoring drives, closing the gap to 38-31 with just over a minute and a half remaining in the game although, that was as close as it would get. Needing an onside kick to keep their hopes alive, Marshall was unable to covert and UAB keeled out the clock to secure their third win of the season. For the game, Cato completed 25 of 34 attempts with two touchdowns and one interception.

One of Cato's favorite targets, wider receiver Aaron Dobson did not play due to a knee injury sustained in last weeks win over Memphis. Picking up the slack, Tommy Shuler caught five passes for 77 yards. Proving he is more than just a red zone threat, tight end Gator Hoskins recorded four receptions for 44 yards and one touchdown.

On the ground, Marshall used 41 rushing attempts to gain 121 yards. The Herd was lead by freshman Kevin Grooms who toted the ball 16 times for 75 yards and a touchdown. 

With the loss, Marshall (4-6, 3-3) must win it's next two games, at home against Houston and on the road against ECU, to gain bowl eligibility. The Herd has not won back-to-back games this season. 

Game Notes: Defensive tackle Ken Smith did not travel to UAB, presumably because of injury - UAB's Jackie Williams returned a Tyler William's, first half punt 79 yards for a touchdown - Marshall defensive tackle Brandon Sparrow blocked a 52 yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter - Not to be outdone, UAB blocked a first half punt - Cato only attempted 13 first half pass attempts, a season low.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Herd cuts down Longwood 81-47

Marshall earned a 81-47 victory in it's season opener against Longwood at the Cam Henderson Center Friday night.

The Herd dominated their opponent in almost every aspect of the game, holding the Lancers to 29.8% shooting from the field (17-57) while forcing 18 turnovers. Marshall held a huge advantage on the glass, out rebounding Longwood 49-27.

The individual performance of the night belong to Thundering Herd freshman shooting guard D.D Scaver. Playing and starting his first game at the division one level, Scarver converted three of four attempts beyond the arch on his way to 18 points. He also registered three steals and three rebounds.

Dictating the offense at point guard, all Conference USA preseason selection DeAndre Kane scored 18 points with eight assist, four rebounds, and three blocks.

Leading Marshall on the glass, starters Robert Goff and Nigel Spikes both recorded nine boards. Still settling into his new spot at small forward, Dennis Tinnon struggled, scoring four points and contributing five rebounds of his own.

Despite the blowout victory, Marshall was forced into 19 turnovers while only converting 17 of 28 attempts (60.7%) from the free throw line.

The Thundering Herd returns to action on Sunday at Big East member Villanova. Tip-off is scheduled for 1pm ET with live streaming coverage available online at

Box Score

Marshall Football: A Look Behind Enemy Lines, UAB

Marshall travels to Legion Field tomorrow for a 4:30pm ET kickoff against UAB. The game will be broadcast by CSS.

Let’s take a look at the Blazers before Saturday’s showdown.

Record: 2-7, 1-4

FBS Rankings
Passing Yards: 18th (312.4 yards per game)
Rushing Yards: 111th (111 yards per game)
Points For: 57th (29.8 yards per game)
Points Against: 111th (36 points per game)

Players to Watch on Offense
Leading Passer: Austin Brown (146-252, 2086 yards, 12 TD, 7 INT)
Leading Rusher: Darrin Reaves (151 carries, 744 yards, 11 TD)
Leading Receiver: Jackie Williams (39 receptions, 674 yards, 1 TD)

Player to Watch on Defense
Marvi Burdette, Linebacker: Ranks second in the FBS with 115 tackles. Burdette also leads UAB in tackles for loss, nine, and is tied for the lead in sacks, two.

In the Press

The Charleston Gazette

The Charleston Daily Mail

The Herald Dispatch