Marshall must win
HUNTINGTON -- When the Marshall University football team takes the field Friday, senior wide receiver Antavious Wilson knows he could be lining up for the final time.
He plans to do whatever he can to make sure it isn't his last time on the field.
Marshall (5-6, 4-3 Conference USA) plays a 2 p.m., Friday game at East Carolina (7-4, 6-1) televised on the CBS College Sports Network, which is Ch. 174 on Huntington cable.
Win, and become eligible for a bowl game. Lose, and the season ends.
"This one being my last one, it's a must that we get this win," Wilson said. "We've got to get it done any way possible. Anything we have to do, we're going to do. We don't want this to end yet."
Wilson is enjoying a resurgent season during his senior campaign -- a complete bounce-back after his 2011 season didn't go as anticipated with injuries and adversity.
This season, Wilson has 62 catches for 698 yards and six touchdowns.
The 62 catches and six touchdowns are both single-season highs for Wilson, and he needs just 26 receiving yards to eclipse his personal single-season mark of 726 set in his freshman year.
Possibly the bigger picture, though, is that Wilson has done a great job of shaking off a 2011 season in which he caught just 29 passes for 462 yards and one touchdown while battling a knee injury.
On this Thanksgiving Day, Wilson is thankful he had one more chance to perform at a top level.
"It means a lot to me, knowing that last year I didn't do that well because of my knee injury," Wilson said. "Not trying to use that as an excuse, but I worked hard in the offseason to prepare for a big season like I'm having this season."
Wilson also knows that he and the other receivers are going to have to step up and have another big game against East Carolina to ensure that it isn't their last time on the field together.
He saw the looks on the faces of East Carolina's seniors as they walked off of the turf at Joan C. Edwards Stadium last year following the Thundering Herd's 34-27 overtime win.
It's embedded in his brain. And, it's not something he wants to experience Friday.
"I know they are going to do the same thing to us -- try and keep us from getting a bowl game," Wilson said. "We're going down there with the right mindset to beat those guys. We have to put up points and our defense will stop their offense to get that win and go to a bowl game."
Wilson said he plans on going after every throw his way like it's his last in a Marshall uniform, and with good reason.
If he and the other receivers don't, it very well could be the last.