Sept. 18, 2007
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Marshall will be looking for its first win of the season on Saturday when the Thundering Herd makes the short journey west to Cincinnati to face the UC Bearcats. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and the game will be televised across the state of West Virginia via West Virginia Media Holdings (WOWK-TV in the Huntington/Charleston market). The game will also be available on ESPN GamePlan.
Marshall will be facing another high-powered offense this week . The Bearcats are 3-0 with wins over Southeast Missouri State (59-3), Oregon State (34-3) and Miami (Ohio) (47-10). UC is averaging an impressive 46.7 points per game and limiting its opponents to only 5.3 ppg.
Cincinnati is averaging 427.3 yards per game and last week got a strong performance from Dustin Grutza who replaced the injured Ben Mauk went at quarterback. Grutza went 25-of-35 for 290 yards and two scores while leading UC to the convincing win in Oxford.
Marshall is 3-6-1 all-time against Cincinnati in a series that has been revitalized in recent years thanks to two bowl appearances between the two. UC and Marshall last met in the 2004 Fort Worth Bowl with the Bearcats taking a 32-14 win in that game. Marshall posted a 25-13 win over the Bearcats in the 2000 Motor City Bowl. Prior to those contests, the two schools last met in 1946.
The Thundeng Herd is 1-4-1 in games played at Cincinnati with those games being played between 1906 and 1946.
Marshall should have a significant amount of fan support at Nippert Stadium on Saturday. Several thousand Marshall fans are expected to make the trek over to Cincinnati. in addition, Marshall's Marching Band "The Marching Thunder" will be making the trip.
MU is coming off a tough 48-35 home loss to FCS member New Hampshire. The Wildcats, who own wins over Northwestern and Rutgers in recent years, used a strong performance by 2006 Walter Payton Award winner Ricky Santos to pick up the win. Santos was an efficient 23-of-33 for 289 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried the ball 13 times for 45 yards and a TD.
UNH jumped out to a 24-0 lead before Marshall senior quarterback Bernard Morris, battling a turf toe injury, entered the game and led the Herd to 35 second half points. Morris completed 31-of-42 passes for a career-high 417 yards and three touchdowns. His top targets were sophomore tight end Cody Slate and junior receiver Darius Passmore. Slate finished the day with 11 catches for 177 yards and an impressive 80-yard touchdown reception, while Passmore added eight grabs for 91 yards and another score.