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Marshall will be looking to end the 2006 regular season on a high-note and become bowl eligibile when it travels to Southern Miss Saturday in an important Conference USA season finale. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (EDT) and the game will be televised nationally by CSTV.
Marshall has won four of its last five games and is coming off of a 49-21 win at home over UTEP. After starting the season 1-5, the Thundering Herd has won four of its last five games and now has a chance to notch win number six and gain bowl eligibility.
Standing in the way, however, is an impressive Golden Eagles team that holds one of the best home field advantages in C-USA and is battling for the right to represent the East Division in the C-USA Championship game.
Marshall's Ahmad Bradshaw rushed for a career-high 261 yards and five touchdowns on a career-high 40 carries in Marshall's win over UTEP. Bradshaw's 261 rushing yards are the second-highest single game total in Marshall football history, just one yard shy of Ron Darby's school record of 262 yards that was set against Western Carolina on Nov. 12, 1988. Bradshaw's five rushing touchdowns are the most by an MU running back since College Football Hall of Famer Jackie Hunt rushed for five touchdowns against Detriot Tech in 1940. With his performance, Bradshaw has now rushed for 1,414 yards this season, which is the fifth-best single-season rushing total in school history. He also moved into sixth-place on Marshall's all-time career rushing list with 2,878 yards.
Bradshaw leads Conference USA in rushing and now ranks fifth in the nation with 128.5 rushing yards per game. He also leads C-USA in scoring and ranks second in the nation with 10.9 points per game.
Defensively for Marshall, sophmore defensive end Albert McClellan continues to shine. He recorded three sacks against UTEP to raise his season sack total to 11.5 for a loss of 80 yards. The native of Lakeland, Fla., also has amassed 18.5 tackles for loss to anchor the Thundering Herd defense.
Southern Miss counters with an impressive running game of its own that is led by freshman running back Damion Fletcher. He has rushed for 1,089 yards and eight touchdowns this season for the Golden Eagles and is contributing 119.6 all-purpose yards per outing.
Defensively the Golden Eagles lead C-USA in scoring defense, allowing only 19.7 points per game. USM's top tackler is Gerald McRath who has 71 stops this season.