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MCGILL: Herd Football Game at Cincinnati Gets New Date

Michael Clark.
Oct. 10, 2016

By Chuck McGill

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Marshall’s 2017 football schedule has received one minor tweak.

The Thundering Herd will now play a non-conference game at the University of Cincinnati on Sept. 30, 2017. The game with the Bearcats was originally scheduled for one week earlier.

Marshall’s 2017 non-conference schedule now looks like this: Sept. 2 vs. Miami University (home); Sept. 9 at North Carolina State; Sept. 16 vs. Kent State (home); and Sept. 30 at Cincinnati.

The home-and-home series with Cincinnati was announced Oct. 22, 2015. UC's return game against Marshall is scheduled for Sept. 28, 2019 at Huntington’s Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The Bearcats hold an 8-3-1 series advantage in the previous 12 meetings.

Clark continues climb

Marshall sophomore wide receiver Michael Clark, a former Division I basketball player who is making his debut this season for the Herd football program, is enjoying quite the breakout.

Clark followed up his four-catch, 147-yard performance at Pittsburgh on Oct. 1 with an eight-reception, 122-yard game against North Texas last Saturday. In five games Clark has two 100-yard games, which is tied for fourth-most in the Doc Holliday era. The names ahead of Clark on the list: Tommy Shuler, 12; Davonte Allen, 5; Aaron Dobson, 4.

Clark’s 269 yards in consecutive games is the third best two-game total since Holliday arrived in 2010, trailing Allen (344 yards in a two-game stretch in 2015) and Shuler (289 yards in back-to-back games in 2012).

Clark’s numbers are making a national impression, too. He is No. 56 among receivers on 128 FBS teams with 76.8 yards per game, and No. 21 in yards per reception (20.21). In the month of October, the 6-foot-7 Clark is fifth nationally with 269 yards.

“It’s a team sport. At the end of the day it’s about winning,” Clark said. “The numbers look good, but if you’re not winning, it doesn’t matter.”

Marshall (1-4, 0-1 Conference USA) hosts Florida Atlantic (1-5, 0-2) this Saturday at 7 p.m.

Thompson and the record books

In case you missed it, Herd senior defensive end Gary Thompson is joining some exclusive company with his climb of the career sacks list. Thompson had two solo sacks and shared in another against North Texas, which gives him 3.5 for the season.

Thompson has 17.5 career sacks, which puts him at No. 9 on the program’s career sacks list. In the game against North Texas, Thompson passed Rodney Garrett, Nick McKnight, Tony Bolland and Ralph Street to vault into the top 10 in that category. He is two sacks behind Jamus Martin (2001-04, 19.5 sacks) for No. 8 on the all-time list.

Thompson has a longer climb to join the top 10 in career tackles for a loss. Entering this Saturday’s game against FAU, Thompson has 27 tackles for a loss at Marshall. No. 10 on the all-time list is John Duncan, who had 38 tackles for a loss from 1993-96. If Thompson can catch Duncan and finish somewhere inside the top 10, he’ll be one of seven players who appear on both the career sacks and career tackles for loss list.

The others: BJ Cohen, Johnathan Goddard, Billy Lyon, Vinny Curry, Jamus Martin and Albert McClellan.

Mountain State connections

This Saturday’s opponent, FAU, has a pair of assistant coaches with Mountain State ties. The Owls’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, Travis Trickett, graduated from West Virginia University in 2007. He spent time as a graduate assistant at Alabama, which is coached by West Virginia native Nick Saban, and Florida State, which is coached by West Virginia native Jimbo Fisher.

Trickett’s father, Rick, is Florida State’s offensive line coach. Rick Trickett was born in Masontown, West Virginia.

FAU’s offensive line coach is Garin Justice, a native of Gilbert, West Virginia, who played at WVU and also coached at Florida State with Fisher and Rick Trickett. Before landing in Conference USA as an assistant coach, Justice spent five seasons as the head coach at Division II Concord, which is located in Athens, West Virginia. Justice finished 40-17 and won two Mountain East Conference championships.