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MU Notebook: Trip to FAU offers press box with view

Oct. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Marshall's tour of "new" Conference USA began here on Saturday.

What a good start.

Besides, the Thundering Herd defeating Florida Atlantic, 24-23, on Justin Haig's 41-yard field goal with no time remaining at FAU Stadium, the venue as well as the surrounding area were both spectacular hits.

For starters, no one is going to complain about a football game located in a beach community. That alone makes FAU a good addition to C-USA.

But, then, there's FAU Stadium.

Imagine sitting in a new 30,000-seat arena where the view is dominated by the Atlantic Ocean on the horizon. That's what the press box side of FAU Stadium offers. No other collegiate football stadium in American features a view so picturesque and enticing.

Then, there's the fan-friendly atmosphere. FAU Stadium offers a special section called "The Cove," which occupies one corner on the playing field. On Saturday, for example, "The Cove" was hosting a "lu-OWL" for spectators and, particularly students.

And guess what?

It even includes palm trees at field level. It also features FAU coeds tailgating while wearing bikinis.

So, what's not to like?

Sure, it's not enough to make Hemingway wax poetic like Key West did, but the beach, the unique view and the weather are more than enough to please any Marshall football fan.

So, count Florida Atlantic as a welcome addition to C-USA.

Next stop, Middle Tennessee State in Murfreesboro, Tenn., on Oct. 24.

The Blue Raiders have a tough act to follow.

NO BUTLER: Marshall head coach Doc Holliday rather cryptically remarked at his weekly press conference on Tuesday that seldom-used running back Remi Watson would play against FAU.

That comment flew below the radar at the time because Watson played in only two of Marshall's previous five games and has only eight carries for 24 yards all season.

But when it became obvious during pre-game Saturday that running back Stew Butler didn't make the trip here, Holliday's remark suddenly became much more noteworthy.

What's the issue with Butler?

There was no answer or explanation, leaving only conjecture.

Also not making the trip were safety Corie Wilson and defensive end Joe Massaquoi.

NO ANDERSON: True freshman quarterback Kevin Anderson is being redshirted, but he still was hoping Marshall would bring him here for the FAU game.

That's because the 6-foot-2, 199-pound Anderson is a native of Boca Raton, Fla. In fact, he actually lives nearby.

"My home is just down the street from the stadium," said Anderson.

Although Anderson has done an exemplary job of playing quarterback on Marshall's scout squad during practice the last few weeks, he wasn't included on the trip.

That's a shame.

Particularly, since visiting teams are permitted to travel with 70 players. How many did Marshall bring for the FAU game?

Only 66.

WHITE OUT: Marshall wore white-on-white uniforms Saturday. The last time the Herd wore that combination was during a 20-10 win over FIU in the 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's bowl game in St. Petersburg, Fla.

White-on-white must be Marshall's "Florida Look."

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.



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