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Herd hopes to get piece of Southern Miss at 'The Rock'

Oct. 20, 2012 @ 12:25 AM

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- It is a place called "The Rock."

And it will be rockin' and rollin' Saturday when Marshall University (2-4, 1-1 Conference USA) enters M.M. Roberts Stadium to take on Southern Miss in a conference football showdown at 7 p.m., Saturday.

While many C-USA venues are bigger, but rarely filled to capacity, "The Rock" always has plenty of boisterous fans who like to get after the opposition. Southern Miss is averaging attendance of 27,656 fans in the 36,000-capacity stadium even in a winless season.

M.M. Roberts Stadium got its nickname during a 1938 renovation that involved football players hauling the concrete. From that the stadium was nicknamed "The Rock" in reference to prison work crews -- none of which were used to build the stadium.

Also, it's Homecoming weekend for Southern Miss and the Golden Eagles will wear throwback uniforms from 1970.

"I enjoy playing at Southern Miss," Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson said. "The fans were talking to us, and I like that. I like to quiet down the crowd. It's going to be a fun day down there."

Southern Miss (0-6, 0-2 C-USA) is hungry to get things turned around for first-year coach Ellis Johnson.

Knowing the environment, the circumstances and the importance of the game for both sides has all of Marshall's players ready to get after it down south.

"They're going to come out and have throwback jerseys and it's Homecoming and they're going to fill the house," Marshall wide receiver Tommy Shuler said.

"That's more what we -- me and (Marshall quarterback Rakeem) Cato -- like.

"Really, if there's going to be a crowd, you've got to show up in front of the crowd. Where we come from, the crowd gets you more into the game. With that crowd, it's going to be more enjoyable."

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