Herald-Advertiser, Oct. 3, 1971.
OXFORD, Ohio -- The final whistle had just sounded when Marshall University head coach Jack Lengyel lined his club up on the field and made them take a long look at the scoreboard.
What the Young Thundering Herd saw wasn't pretty. The Miami Field scoreboard read: Miami 66, Visitors 6.
"I wanted them to know ... to realize what the score was," he said softly outside the Marshall locker room.
It is doubtful if any member of the Young Herd that was on the field on this stifling day will ever forget what happened. Some day, perhaps, they'll get a chance to erase that memory.
But for the time being, they've got to live with it.
"We knew there would be Saturdays like this," Lengyel said. "The big test now is to see what we do next week against Northern Illinois."
"We've got seven games remaining, and each game is a new season," he added. "It will be a test to see if we can stand the challenge."
The Redskins, rolling up their highest point total since Ara Parseghian's 1953 team beat Toledo, 81-0, scored 10 of the 13 times they had possession of the football.
Miami backs scored nine touchdowns and Dale Wernecke kicked a 29-yard field goal. David Graham, son of former Cleveland Browns quarterback Otto Graham, kicked nine consecutive placements.
Bob Hitchens, Miami's 5-10, 195-pound sophomore fullback, scored three times, backup quarterback Steve Williams scored twice and third unit fullback Dean Harmony scored twice.
Marshall's defensive unit scored the Herd's only touchdown.
In the fourth quarter, Dave Smith barreled in to block Graham's punt for the Miami 40 and Felix Jordan caught the ball on the fly and streaked 36 yards for the score.
"We knew we could block their punts," smiled Lengyel. "We just didn't have enough opportunities.
"It was a case of the boys playing the men," he added, "and the boys didn't do too well."
Miami scored 17 points in the first period and tacked on two scores in the second period for a 31-0 halftime bulge for 12,649 who showed up for Band Day.
Starting quarterback Stu Showalter got the first score on an 18-yard run to cap a 61-yard drive off the opening kickoff.
The next time the Redskins got the ball, they had to go only 39 yards as Ron Eshbaugh was forced to punt from his own end zone. Hitchens went the final five yards. Wernecke got his field goal with 3:18 left.
Hitchens made it 24-0 on a five-yard run and Williams scored with 2:01 left in the half.
The Marshall offense, missing quarterback Reggie Oliver who was not in uniform, did not generate a first down until the third quarter, getting that one on a 15-yard penalty against the Redskins.
Lengyel decided after Friday's practice not to suit up Oliver who had received a blow to the elbow against Xavier and then injured his shoulder in practice on Wednesday.
"We watched him throw the ball Friday afternoon," said Lengyel, "and he just couldn't, so we decided not to suit him up. He should be ready to play against Northern Illinois."
All told, Marshall had a total of two first downs, both coming on the same series. Three plays following the penalty, Jim Pry passed to Lanny Steed for a first down at the Miami 48.
That drive reached the Redskin 40 before Brent Barker picked off a Pry pass at the 34. That was the only time Marshall was able to penetrate Miami territory.
"We always had good field position," said Miami coach Bill Mallory. "I didn't want to get that high, though. Not having Oliver hurt them I'm sure."
It was the most points ever scored by a Mallory coached team. The previous high was 48 against Northern Illinois last year.
Marshall showed a total of two yards net of offense picking up 23 through the air but showing a minus 21 on the ground.
Miami, meanwhile, running off 90 plays to Marshal's 30, had 359 yards on the ground and picked up an additional 84 in the air.
"We were fortunate in that we got on top in a hurry," said Mallory. "We were able to keep fresh people in the game and they were tired, especially their defensive unit."
Hitchens had 92 yards in 17 carries and Harmony, carrying the ball for the first time in his two year career, had 85 yards in 12 carries.
"We created a lot of problems ourselves," laughed Lengyel. "We lost our composure at times, but in defense of them, that is something that can be expected of a young team.
"I don't feel Miami is 60 points better than us."
It was the fifth worst loss in school history. Marshall lost to Denison 94-0 in 1917, West Virginia 92-6 in 1915, 70-0 to Marietta in 1909 and 65-0 to Penn State in 1930.