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Marshall opponents announced for 2013

Jan. 24, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- League opponents for Marshall University's 2013 football season were announced Wednesday by Conference USA when administrators and athletic directors concluded their winter meetings in Miami.

Matching seven-team divisions were also announced for the 14 football members. Each team will play eight conference games, with six against divisional opponents and two crossover games.

"Our conference alignment for the 2013 football season is favorable and exciting for our program and our great Marshall following," said Thundering Herd athletic director Mike Hamrick. "We look forward to a great season."

Marshall remains in the East Division of the realigned conference for the 2013 football season where it is joined by East Carolina, Southern Miss and UAB along with new members Florida Atlantic, Florida International and Middle Tennessee State.

The West Division will have Rice, Tulane, Tulsa and UTEP joined by newcomers Louisiana Tech, North Texas and UT-San Antonio.

"We had extremely productive meetings and we are fortunate to have such a great group," said C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky. "Our new members bring added competitive strength, especially in the areas of football and basketball, and we have dramatically increased the size of our television footprint."

The Marshall football schedule in 2013 has C-USA home games in Joan C. Edwards Stadium against East Carolina, Southern Miss, UAB and UT-San Antonio while the Herd travels to play Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Middle Tennessee State and Tulsa.

Marshall also has its non-conference schedule set -- Aug. 31, vs. Miami (Ohio); Sept. 7, vs. Gardner-Webb; Sept. 14, at Ohio; and Sept. 21, at Virginia Tech.

C-USA loses Memphis, UCF, Houston and SMU to the Big East Conference this year while East Carolina and Tulane follow in 2014. Old Dominion and Charlotte join in July for all sports except football. The Monarchs and 49ers will begin playing C-USA football in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

While the conference will have 14 football-playing schools in the 2013-14 academic year, it will have 16 basketball members.

C-USA officials determined basketball members will play 16 league games in 2013-14, with each team playing one member twice. Marshall's home-and-home opponent will be Old Dominion.

"Having a chance to play each of our member schools once in basketball makes for a very intriguing season that our fan base will enjoy," Hamrick said. "We have wonderful new additions to our conference, in particular Old Dominion which has a rich basketball history."

Marshall's football schedule offers some destinations of interest for the fans.

The Herd travels to Florida twice in 2013 -- once to Miami for the Florida International game and once to Boca Raton to play Florida Atlantic.Herd fans can also visit Nashville when the team plays Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro.

"There's excellent places to go to watch Marshall play football," Hamrick said. "Like I said all along, this is a more regional conference for us. I think our fans will find the travel very friendly. Trips to Florida, Nashville and our non-conference trips are places fans and players alike will find exciting."

While the situation around C-USA is ever-changing, Hamrick said the transition with the new members has been a success.

Hamrick said it's a strong start for a new beginning.

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