Herd To Face Louisville in GMAC Bowl

Herd To Face Louisville in GMAC Bowl


MOBILE, Ala. -- Last December spectators watched in wonder as Marshall and East Carolina combined to score an NCAA Bowl Record 125 points. Last year's game featured two big-time quarterbacks -- Marshall's Byron Leftwich and ECU's David Garrard -- and so it seems that formula for success will continue in 2002.

Louisville and quarterback Dave Ragone have accepted an invitation to battle Leftwich and the Thundering Herd in the 4th Annual GMAC Bowl.

"The GMAC Bowl is excited to have two Heisman Trophy candidates, and two high powered offenses showcasing themselves in Mobile," GMAC Bowl president Jerry Silverstein said. "Leftwich and Ragone, two portential first round NFL Draft choices, will give the GMAC Bowl a national viewing audience and should provide Mobile with another exciting game."

Louisville, who has appeared in five consecutive bowl games, will make their first trip to the Port City. The Cardinals finished the season with a 7-5 mark and a 5-3 record in Conference USA. The Cardinals made plenty of noise this season with a big overtime win over then fourth ranked Florida State.

Marshall currently stands 9-2 on the season and will face Toledo this Saturday, Dec. 7, for the Mid American Conference title. That game will be televised by ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m. The Herd will be making their sixth consecutive bowl trip, and second straight trip to Mobile.

Ragone, the Cardinals' senior quarterback, is Louisville's unquestioned leader. The two-time Conference USA Player of the Year has put up incredible numbers over his career, throwing for 8,371 yards and rushing for another 566. Ragone led the Cardinals to back-to-back C-USA titles in 2000-01.

Leftwich, a semifinalist for both the Unitas Golden Arm Award as well as the Davey O'Brien Quarterback Award, is nearing the top of the all-time NCAA passing lists. He has thrown for 11.250 yards in his career and 81 touchdowns. He is already the all-time leader in total offense in Mid-American Conference history, and needs only 50 yards to break the conference career passing yards record.

Louisville and Marshall will meet in a bowl for the second time. The two schools hooked up in the 1998 Motor City Bowl in Detroit, Mich., with Marshall taking a 48-29 victory over the Cardinals.

Marshall fans interested in purchasing tickets for the GMAC Bowl tilt against Louisville may contact the Marshall Athltic Ticket Office at 800-THE-HERD or 304-696-HERD. All tickets for the game are $45.

Herd fans who want to support the team, but who are unable to attend the game, can participate in the Marshall Proxy Plan. Under the plan, tickets purchased for the game can be donated and will be distributed to military personel on Mobile area bases.