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BOGACZYK: Herd, Bearcats Going Home-and-Home

Mike Hamrick
Oct. 22, 2015

By JACK BOGACZYK
HERDZONE.COM COLUMNIST
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –
Marshall’s non-conference football schedule continues to fill with attractive opponents.

The Thundering Herd and Cincinnati today announced a home-and-home series, with games at UC’s renovated and expanded Nippert Stadium in 2017, and a return date to Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards Stadium in 2019.

“We want to play the best power conference teams we can in home-and-home series, but we also want to play the best in the Group of Five – and Cincinnati certainly is one of those programs,” Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said. “It’s also a fan-friendly game for both schools, since only about 150 miles separate Cincinnati and Huntington.”

Marshall’s visit to Cincinnati on Sept. 23, 2017 completes the Herd’s non-conference schedule for that season. The Herd opens against Miami (Ohio) at home (Sept. 2), then visits North Carolina State (Sept. 9) and returns home to face Kent State (Sept. 16) before going to Cincinnati.

“That’s a very attractive non-league schedule for us,” Hamrick said. “We have ACC and AAC teams on the road and our fans will be able to drive to both games, too.”

The Bearcats come to Marshall on Sept. 28, 2019. The Herd is also scheduled for a Sept. 14 home date against Ohio that season.

“Cincinnati is a quality opponent and one our fans should really like,” Hamrick said. “That program has played in bowls in eight of the last nine years, including the Orange and Sugar, and won or shared conference titles in five of the last seven seasons. Coach (Tommy) Tuberville’s team was co-champion in the AAC last year.

“It’s also great for us in that we have a large alumni base in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. It’s another opportunity for us to go on the road and not only play in front of our supporters, but also do fundraising, which is obviously very important.

 

 

“I think our fan following in recent seasons in games at Miami of Ohio, Akron, Kent State and Ohio also shows what kind of Herd support we might have at Nippert Stadium in 2017.”

The Bearcats are the third American Athletic Conference team on Marshall future schedules, joining East Carolina (2020 and ’21) and Navy (2021 and ’22).

Among future games with power conference teams, Marshall finishes a home-and-home with an Edwards Stadium date against Louisville next season, and also plays Pitt (2016 away, 2020 home) and NC State (2017 away, 2019 home).

The Herd ended a home-and-home with Purdue – the first Big Ten Conference football visitor to Huntington -- with a 41-31 victory in this season’s opener.

Marshall also has future home-and-homes with Appalachian State (2021 and ’22), Miami of Ohio (2017 and ’18) and longtime neighboring rival Ohio (2019 and ’20), and remaining Edwards Stadium dates from home-and-homes with Akron (2016) and Kent State (2017).

All of those series were scheduled by Hamrick since his return to his alma mater at AD in July 2009. Cincinnati and Marshall were members of the Buckeye Conference in the 1930s. The teams last played a home-and-home football series in 2007 and ’08, when the Bearcats were members of the Big East Conference.

Cincinnati leads the series, 8-3-1, including a 2004 Fort Worth Bowl loss for the Herd in Coach Bob Pruett’s last game.

“Our goal is to have the best football program in the Group of Five,” Hamrick said. “Playing teams like Cincinnati shows our commitment to that goal.”

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