Depth Chart |
It was a big season of change for the Marshall program with the
beginning of the Mark Snyder era as well as the first season in
Conference USA. While the league was there for the taking, Marshall
couldn't find enough offense and had way too many problems with its
consistency to make much of a dent on the way to the program's first
losing season since the move up to D-I in 1997.
Known for offensive fireworks with players like Randy Moss, Byron
Leftwich and Chad Pennington, Marshall had problems putting points
on the board averaging a league low 18.55 per game with the best
output of the season coming against D-IAA William & Mary.
The optimist looks at
2005 and notices the team was this close to finishing 7-4
with a loss to Kansas State late on an all-time bonehead play, a
Southern Miss in overtime, and a loss to East Carolina by five. The
pessimist looks at last year and notices that MU was five
points away from going winless against D-I teams and finishing 1-10.
Head coach: Mark Snyder
2nd year: 4-7
Off. 23, Def. 25, ST 2
Lettermen Lost: 12
Best Herd Players
1. RB Ahmad Bradshaw, Jr.
2. SS Curtis Keyes, Sr.
3. LB Matt Couch, Sr.
4. DE Albert McClellan, Soph.
5. OT Seth Cook, Sr.
6. LB Dennis Thornton, Sr.
7. C Doug Legursky, Jr.
8. QB Bernie Morris, Jr.
9. DT Juan Underwood, Sr.
10. WR Hiram Moore, Sr.
at West Virginia
at Kansas State
at East Carolina
at Southern Miss
2005 predicted wins
William & Mary
Kansas State L 21-19
W 16-13 OT
at Virginia Tech L 41-14
at UTEP L 31-3
at Tulane W 27-26
L 27-24 OT
at Memphis L 26-3
So which is
it? Is Marshall on the verge of being a contender in Conference USA, or
is it still a few years away from getting the talent to where Snyder and
his staff need it to be? Most likely it'll be a contender.
starters return with the biggest boost in production likely to be on
offense with quarterback Bernie Morris and Jimmy Skinner a year older
and wiser after their first seasons in the new system. four returning
starters to the offensive line, the receiving corps is loaded with
experience, and all-star back Ahmad Bradshaw will do everything to carry
the attack when needed. Top linebacker recruit Josh Johnson and receiver
Darius Passmore provide an instant upgrade to the overall talent level.
The defense should be better against the run with a good linebacking
corps coming back led by Matt Couch and Dennis Thornton (though they
might be combining to play one spot), a big, deep line, and a secondary
that likely won't be too bad if a second corner emerges to help out J.J.
If UCF and Tulsa can rise up and be stars in Conference USA, then a team
with the experience, potential, and coaching staff at Marshall can
certainly play for the title. The program has been too good for too long
to be lousy two seasons in a row.
games are on the road starting out with the one Herd fans really want at
West Virginia. Yes, Marshall played well against Kansas State last
season, but the team has to expect a loss on the trip to Manhattan and at
Tennessee before the Conference USA opener, and most likely, the team's
make-or-break game in the East race against UCF. Missing Tulsa
and Houston from the West helps, but playing UTEP at home isn't a plus. The final three games
are nasty going away to play East Carolina and Southern Miss from the
East, and both are better, to go along with the game against the Miners.
Offensive Player: Junior RB Ahmad Bradshaw. He not only led the team
in rushing, he also led the Herd in receiving as a one-man show at times
for the attack. Most importantly this season, he has to stay healthy
with little in the way of developed depth behind him. He could be the
type of difference maker who finishes as the Conference USA Player of
the Year while carrying the Herd to the title.
Defensive Player: Senior SS Curtis Keyes. Back for yet another year
as an all-star, the senior has to be even better as the only returning
starter to the nation's 12th best pass defense. He's a huge hitting
safety with 233 career tackles, but his production against the pass has
dipped a bit as he has been needed more against the run.
to a successful season: Junior QB Bernie Morris and/or senior QB
Jimmy Skinner. Throw senior Derek Devine in the mix, too. The Herd can't
be in the Conference USA title race if it's another year of musical
quarterbacks. Morris needs to be the star of the show with his running
ability and overall potential to make big things happen, but Skinner and
Devine are better passers. The starter has to crank out more production
than the Herd got last year.
will be a success if ... Marshall wins the East. The league is better, but it's not all
that great with a good team able to rise up in a hurry. Marshall has way
too much experienced to be as bad as last year and needs to make winning
the East the main goal.
Sept. 2 at West Virginia. Of course the divisional showdowns with
UCF, East Carolina and Southern Miss are more important, but a win over
the Mountaineers would probably mean even more to Herd fans than a
Conference USA title. In any event, beating the Sugar Bowl champions and
ruining their national title dreams would be the type of win that could
spark a good Herd team to really big things.
The Last Time
- Fourth quarter scoring: Marshall 75 - Opponents 39
- Penalties: Opponents 70 for 541 yards - Marshall 58 for 426 yards
- Rushing yards per game: Opponents 161.8 - Marshall 127.2
…played in a bowl game…2004 (Fort Worth Bowl vs. Cincinnati)
…missed a bowl game…2005
…pitched a shutout…2003 (Ohio)
…was shutout…2000 (Toledo)
…scored 50 points…2002 (Buffalo)
…won a conference title…2002 (MAC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2002 (Byron Leftwich)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2003 (Earl Charles)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2001 (Darius Watts)
…had a first-round draft choice…2003 (QB Byron Leftwich)