NCAA Football

2010 NCAA Football Preview: Marshall Thundering Herd

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2009 Record: 7-6 (4-4 in C-USA)
2009 Bowl: Little Caesars Bowl (beat Ohio 21-17)
Final 2009 AP Ranking: Not Ranked
Head Coach: Doc Holliday (First Year Head Coach)
Non-Conference Schedule: at Ohio State (9/2), West Virginia (9/10), at Bowling Green (9/18), Ohio (9/25)

2009 Offensive Statistics
Scoring: 21.8 points per game (9th in C-USA)
Rushing Yards/Game: 160 (3rd in C-USA)
Passing Yards/Game: 206 (10th in C-USA)
Total Yards/Game: 349 (9th in C-USA)

2009 Defensive Statistics
Scoring: 24.3 points per game (3rd in C-USA)
Rushing Yards/Game: 134 (4th in C-USA)
Passing Yards/Game: 236 (4th in C-USA)
Total Yards/Game: 371 (2nd in C-USA)

2009 Misc Stats
Turnover Margin: -0.31 per game (9th in C-USA)
Penalties: 68 yards per game (9th in C-USA)

Returning Starters
Offense: 7
Defense: 7
Kicker/Punter: 1

Top Returning Statistical Leaders
Passing: QB Brian Anderson, Sr (231 of 398 for 2646 yds, 14 TD, 13 INT)
Rushing: RB Martin Ward, Soph (81 carries for 390 yds, 4.8 ypc, 3 TD)
Receiving: WR Antavious Wilson, Soph (60 rec, 724 yds, 4.6 rec/game, 3 TD)
Tackles: LB Mario Harvey, Sr (117)
Sacks: LB Mario Harvey, Sr (7)
Interceptions: CB DeQuan Bembry, Jr (3)

2010 Pre-Season Rankings
Athlon Sports: #87
Pre-Snap Read: #79
Sporting News: #93

2010 Pre-Season C-USA East Prediction:
Athlon Sports: #3
Phil Steele: #3 (tied with UAB)
Sports Illustrated: #3

In 2009 Marshall made their first bowl game since 2004. This year Doc Holliday takes over the reigns of the Thundering Herd. He has 14 returning starters so the cupboard isn't bare. We touched base with Herd Fans to find out more about the 2010 Marshall Thundering Herd.

What are the major strengths and biggest weaknesses of the Thundering Herd?

Strengths - would be the depth we have at the skilled positions and the amount of returning experience. I think we have probably some of the best all round talent that we've ever had at one time. I think Doc bringing in Piraino is a major benefit for this team. I think they will be conditioned probably better than any team we've ever fielded at a D1 level.

Also, whoever lands the starting QB job, it's got to be a plus to have the experience that Coach Peterson is bringing to the team.

Weakness - the staff are the rookies so to speak. They will be tested right off the bat with osu. We need to go to the shoe and come out with either a W or a respectable loss. We cannot have a repeat of the 09' vatech debacle. I think the first 2 games are going to show what kind of staff Doc put together. If they can coach as well as they have motivated them, I don't see how we can lose more than 4 games max. Also, I'm very concerned about the secondary.

Looking at the schedule who will be the first major test?

Even though Snyder said OOC games don't count. I think osu and wvu will set the tone for what kind of team and season we will have. The test will be the first game and the play calling, coaching decisions and clock management.

What team on the schedule do you fear the most?

Not because of the caliber of the team but because we have to show there's a new sheriff in town. BUGS worries me. Playing back to back mac teams are must wins IMHO. Doc has to win and win big. No more 14, 17, 21 point totals, we have to score 30-40 points. If we do that against both I think we'll have the momentum going to Southern Miss.

Who is the best player on your team that nobody talks about?

Lee Smith, Vinny Curry

Who is the best offensive player on the team?

I think Martin Ward is just an amazing athlete with a natural gift of vision for viewing the field. As far as RBs go, he has "IT". I think we're looking at a future pro.

Who is the most impactful defensive player on the team?

Mario Harvey

What player(s) needs to step up this year in order for the team to reach it's full capability?

O Line pass protection and Secondary

Who is the top offensive newcomer that can make an impact this year?

Anthony Bonner

Who is the top defensive newcomer that can make an impact this year?

Brian Robinson

Gut feeling on the teams final record at the end of the regular season and what makes this a successful season in your eyes?

8-4 , conditioning and coaching is the bottom line. We have the talent and I think with Piraino we'll see a lot less hand on hips. I know it may sound cliche, but it's going to come down to coaching. We all know the records of the last 5 years could have been far different if we would have had a different captain driving the ship. As he would proll'y say, "if we were lucky, we had a chance, to be, sorta good, maybe win 7 games and don't count the OOC's".

Previous Conference USA Previews: 
East Carolina Pirates
Houston Cougars 
Rice Owls 
SMU Mustangs 
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Tulane Green Wave 
UTEP Miners

Next Up: Wisconsin Badgers

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