Herd still thinking postseason
Originally Published: November 18, 2003By Adam Rittenberg | Special to ESPN.com
For the first time in six years Marshall will not win the MAC East title. Miami (Ohio) spanked the Herd 45-6 last Wednesday. At 6-4, Marshall will likely miss the postseason for the first time in 12 years (stretching back to its days in Division I-AA). With starting QB Stan Hill lost for the season, Marshall generated only 239 yards against a marauding RedHawks defense. "Certainly it is embarrassing to get beat like this when you work hard for it," Marshall coach Bob Pruett said. "It's not embarrassing about our effort. It's just embarrassing to get beat because when you play for championships you want to (win). But there's nothing to be ashamed of because we got beat by an outstanding football team."
Although Marshall has been overshadowed this season by the success of Miami (Ohio), Bowling Green and Northern Illinois, players and coaches haven't ruled out the possibility of an at-large bowl berth. After all, Marshall has a storied bowl tradition and a burgeoning fan base. Although the Herd could finish with the fourth best record in the league, they aren't making winter plans just yet. "There's some bowls out there that are going to be looking for people," Pruett told the Huntington Herald Dispatch. "The thing of it is, they're going to be looking for someone that will bring some people with them. We're the only ones in this conference that will do that." Marshall has participated in six consecutive bowl games, winning five.
Disappointment isn't the only thing Marshall and Central Florida have in common this season. The teams meet Wednesday night in the preview of future Conference USA matchups. Both schools agreed to join Conference USA in all sports, beginning in 2005. "It's fun to go down there," Pruett said. "It will be challenging because they've got real good athletes. All the coaches in our leagues want to play in big ballgames against good teams. I think coach (Mike) Kruczek when he left there said the only thing he wanted to do was beat Marshall. In a way that's flattering."
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