Football Takes on SMU Saturday
Thundering Herd and Mustangs Fighting to Keep Bowl Hopes Alive
Nov. 19, 2010
Marshall travels to Dallas to take on SMU in a key Conference USA football game Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET and video streaming of the game is available through All-Access at Herdzone.com.
Marshall (4-6 overall, 3-3 Conference USA) has won three straight and is fighting for a chance to remain in contention for sixth win and conditional bowl eligibility. SMU (5-5, 4-2 C-USA) would clinch conditional bowl eligibility with a win over the Herd and will be trying to do so in its final home game of the season.
Marshall leads the all-time series with Mustangs, 2-1. The Thundering Herd scored a hard-fought 34-31 win over SMU last season in Huntington. The Herd lost in its only trip to SMU, 31-21, on Oct. 14, 2006.
The game will be televised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area only on Time Warner Cable. All-Access subscribers can see the game through Herdzone.com.
Thundering Herd: Marshall has won three straight games for the first time since the 2006 season with its wins over UTEP, at UAB and last week against Memphis. The last time Marshall put four straight wins together was during a five-game win streak in 2004.
0-For-Texas: Marshall has yet to win a football game in the state of Texas. The Thundering Herd is 0-6 all-time in games played in the Lonestar State and that total includes loses at UTEP in 2005 and 2009, the 2006 loss at SMU, a loss at Rice in 2008, a loss at Houston in 2007. Marshall also lost the 2004 Fort Worth Bowl, in a game played at TCU, to Cincinnati. Interestingly enough, Marshall has never lost to a school from Texas at home. The Thundering Herd is a perfect 7-0 against Texas schools in games played in Huntington. Marshall owns a win over North Texas (1988), a win over Houston (2008), a win over Rice (2007), two wins over SMU (2005 and 2009) and a pair of wins over UTEP (2006 and 2010).
Stepping Up: Marshall managed to post a 28-13 win over Memphis Saturday without two of its regular running backs - Andre Booker and Tron Martinez who were out with injuries. Wideout Troy Evans saw time at running back and performed very well, as did redshirt-freshman Essray Taliaferro, a walk-on running back and Martin Ward.
Big Lee: Marshall senior tight end Lee Smith showed why he was a preseason All-Conference USA pick in the win at UAB and again Saturday against Memphis. Smith, a dominant blocker, had a career-high nine catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns in the win at UAB and he followed that with seven catches for 73 yards and a tremendous 32-yard TD reception in the win over the Tigers. He now has 35 catches for 327 yards and three touchdowns this season.
Mr. Smith: Senior Lee Smith is an imposing six-foot-six, 267-pound tight end that is well known for not only his tremendous blocking ability, but his pass catching skills. Smith has been somewhat overshadowed the last two season's by MU's all-time pass catching leader at tight end - Cody Slate who completed his career last season as a Mackey Award Semifinalist. Despite this, Smith was still voted by his teammates as a team captain a year ago and he earned 10 starts. When Slate was lost to an ACL injury with three games to go, Smith stepped up his role in the receiving game and proved to be a dangerous pass catching threat as well with 23 catches for 335 receiving yards. He earned honorable mention all-conference honors last season and he entered 2010 as the C-USA coaches preseason all-conference selection at tight end. He was named Marshall's prestigious Cam Henderson Scholar for 2010 and has also been nominated for the Allstate Good Works Team for his community service, academic success and athletic achievement. He was also one of 32 tight ends on the preseason John Mackey Award watch list.
Super Mario: Marshall features one of the nation's top linebackers in senior Mario Harvey. The preseason All-Conference USA pick is one of only 15 semi-finalists for the Butkus Award. He was also named to Phil Steele's Midseason All-America fourth-team. This summer the standout linebacker turned heads when he recorded the second faster 40-yard dash time on the team at 4.35 seconds - very impressive considering Harvey is a six-foot, 247-pound linebacker. He currently has 111 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. He is currently tied for 5th in the nation in tackles for game with 11.10 per game, just behind Conference USA leader Jamon Hughes of Memphis, who ranks third nationally, with 11.90. Harvey has 388 career tackles and currently ranks 9th all-time at MU.
Vinny Gets it Done: Thundering Herd junior defensive end Vinny Curry is having a great year with 86 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss and a C-USA leading 10.5 sacks. He was selected to SI.com's Midseason All-America First-Team and was named to Phil Steele's Midseason All-America squad as a third team selection. He currently ranks third in the nation in total sacks with 10.5.
Anderson Moving Up MU Career Charts: Marshall senior quarterback Brian Anderson now ranks ninth all-time at Marshall in career passing yards list with 4,964 just ahead of Stan Hill's 4,711 career passing yards from 2001-04 and behind Bernard Morris' 5,616 yards from 2004-07. Anderson also has 34 career TD passes which now ranks him10th all-time at Marshall ahead of Morris' 31 career TD tosses. Hill needs only one TD pass to tie Eric Kresser for ninth (35 TDs in 1996) and four more to match Hill's 38 career TD passes.