MAC East Title At Stake When Herd Hosts RedHawks on ESPN





MAC East Title At Stake When Herd Hosts RedHawks on ESPN

11/9/2002

  • Miami Game Notes

  • Live Game Stats


    Stan Hill

    Entering the 2002 season many people circled Nov. 12 as a big date on the road to the Mid-American Conference title.

    For Marshall and Miami, it is the biggest day of the year. The winner takes control of the East Division of the MAC while the loser has to think about what could have been. It is, for all intents and purposes, an elimination game in the race to host the MAC title game on December 7.

    Miami enters the game with the momentum of a three-game win streak. The RedHawks have the best chance of anyone since Marshall joined the MAC to knock the Herd off the throne of the East Division.

    The Herd, on the other hand, enters the game battered and bruised. For the first time since joining Division I-A in 1997, the Herd will likely enter a game without either Chad Pennington or Byron Leftwich under center. Pennington, a 1999 Heisman Trophy finalist, now leads the New York Jets in the NFL. Leftwich, a leading contender for the 2002 Heisman, is still very doubtful for the game after suffering a lower left leg injury in a stunning loss at Akron last week.

    If Leftwich is unable to play, the Herd will put their fate into the hands of sophomore Stan Hill. The Tupelo, Miss., native will likely make his first start since leading the Golden Wave during his senior year of high school.

    For Hill, the object will not be to fill the shoes of Leftwich, but to give the Herd a chance to win. This season he has completed 16 of 27 attempts for 140 yards.

    While much attention has been focused on the health and availability of Leftwich, the Herd came out of the Akron game banged up. The Herd?s two primary running backs, Franklin Wallace and Brandon Carey, are dealing with nagging injuries, the Marshall receiving corps have been severely depleted by the loss of Curtis Jones and Brad Bates for the season and, despite very rarely practicing, defensive tackle Toriano Brown continues to display great courage by suiting up for action on game days.

    Few people who witnessed Marshall linemen Steve Sciullo and Steve Perretta carrying Leftwich down the field last week will ever forget it. The Herd hopes to have some more heroic efforts this week in order to take a step closer to their sixth straight MAC East crown.

    Tickets for the game between Marshall and Miami are available through the Marshall Athletic Ticket Office. Two locations, at the main Henderson Center Ticket Office and the Marshall Stadium Ticket Booth, are open daily through Tuesday night.

    Tickets for the HerdZone section of Marshall Stadium are also available at both locations for just $12. Call 1-800-THE-HERD for ticket information.