Grant Traylor: No love lost between UCF and Marshall
It's hard to imagine a rivalry between schools that are separated by more than 850 miles.
But that's exactly what a person gets when talking about Marshall and UCF facing off in anything.
It's not just football.
It's in every sport.
Football, especially in basketball (the Donnie Jones factor), women's basketball, volleyball, softball -- you name the sport.
The people simply don't get along.
And Marshall's football players really have an understanding of how deep the dissent runs.
"If we could put up a sign and say we are hosting tryouts this week for people who want to beat up UCF guys, you know, I think the whole city would come," said Marshall defensive end Alex Bazzie.
The origins started back in 2002 when UCF joined the Mid-American Conference in football and stayed until they and Marshall entered Conference USA in 2005.
At the time, UCF coach Mike Kruczek essentially stated at the Mid-American Conference Media Day the Knights would win the league despite Marshall having dominated for a long time.
Long story short, the statement brought about some bad blood and Marshall proceeded to defeat the Knights in every meeting during the MAC days.
However, since both teams joined C-USA, Marshall has not defeated UCF in football.
With UCF having been a frontrunner in the East Division for years, the Knights always have a target on them.
That's especially true with the Thundering Herd players, who didn't hesitate when asked if they felt like the Knights respected them.
"No, I don't," Marshall captain and defensive end Jeremiah Taylor said. "They feel like they can do whatever on us, and that's fine.
"But come Saturday, there's nowhere to go. We'll be playing in the Joan."
C-USA PLAYERS OF WEEK: When Marshall takes on UCF, the team will go up against two of the reigning C-USA Players of the Week, as announced by the conference on Monday.
UCF running back Latavius Murray was the Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 192 yards on 23 carries with two scores in the Knights' 35-17 win at Memphis. It was Murray's first start since suffering an injury in the season opener against Akron.
Teammate A.J. Bouye was named as the Defensive Player of the Week after forcing a pair of turnovers to stretch the game out in the second half. Bouye's interception stopped a Memphis drive deep in UCF territory and preserved a lead for the Knights and his 79-yard fumble return for a touchdown clinched the game later on in the half.
TICKET PROMOTION: To celebrate the Marshall Athletics Facebook page reaching 14,000 "likes" over the weekend, Marshall's athletic department is offering a ticket special.
Until noon, Wednesday, people can visit a website to purchase $15 end zone tickets and $20 sideline tickets for the 8 p.m., Saturday, contest against UCF.
Saturday's contest will go a long way toward deciding the East Division champion at season's end.
The website people can access is: http://ev12.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=HG&linkID=marshall&shopperContext&caller&appCode.
The promo code for the deal is MUFAN.
Grant Traylor is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).