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MU Notebook: Herd becoming road warriors

Nov. 07, 2012 @ 12:59 AM

This weekend, Marshall University's football team has the opportunity to do something that it has not done since some of the most successful times in the program's history.

With a win at UAB on Saturday, the Thundering Herd would start 3-0 on the road in conference play for the first time since 2001 when the team finished 11-2 and ended the year with the exciting 64-61 double-overtime win at the GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala.

The Herd has never won three road games in a Conference USA season -- let alone three straight to open the year.

Yet, that is what Marshall has the ability to accomplish with a win in Birmingham.

The road effort is something head coach Doc Holliday is proud of as the Herd prepares for the venture to historic Legion Field.

"It'll be a great challenge going into that arena and playing," Holliday said. "Our kids having the opportunity to go to Southern Miss and play like we did and go to Rice and find a way to win that game, we have to do the same thing this week."

It isn't only that the Herd has gone on the road and come out with victories. It is also how the victories have come about.

The Herd has been nearly unstoppable offensively in its two conference road games, putting up 113 points in the two wins.

Against Rice, the Herd put up 54 points in a double-overtime win over the Owls, 54-51, in front of a sparse crowd at Rice Stadium.

They followed that solid road performance in conference by heading to Hattiesburg, Miss., and planting a 59-24 beatdown on Southern Miss.

What is the correlation between the two contests?

Marshall was completely balanced with their offensive output.

Against Rice, the Herd notched 593 yards -- 334 rushing and 259 passing.

In the win over Southern Miss, Marshall had 629 yards of total offense -- 275 rushing and 354 passing.

That averages out to an offensive output of 611 yards per road contest -- 304.5 rushing yards and 306.5 passing yards.

It is a perfect balance offensively that has led to a perfect road record heading to Birmingham.

DOBSON QUESTIONABLE: Holliday said during Tuesday's press conference that wide receiver Aaron Dobson is questionable for this week's contest against the Blazers.

Dobson injured a knee when he was bent awkwardly on the first play of last week's contest against Memphis. He missed the rest of the game and sported a brace on his right knee after being looked at by trainers.

HERD LANDS COMMIT: Marshall got a much-needed commitment for the Class of 2013 at wide receiver over the weekend when Fort Pierce Central (Fla.) wide receiver Josh Knight gave his verbal to the Herd.

On the season, Knight has 23 catches for 324 yards and four touchdowns, ranking him 13th in the Palm Beach circulation area among large-school receivers.

According to the Palm Beach Post, Knight and teammate Joe Figueroa visited Marshall for the Memphis game and Knight verbally agreed with the Herd soon after.

Figueroa is still highly interested in the Herd and lists his top five schools (in no order) as Marshall, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan.

QB CLUB: This week's Quarterback Club meeting is Thursday in the Foundation Hall at the Erickson Alumni Center on campus.

Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. with lunch scheduled to begin at noon. Cost is $15 for non-members and $12 for members.

Grant Traylor is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or gtraylor@herald-dispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).

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