Marshall, South Carolina to battle Saturday


Richard Crank

Redshirt freshman quarterback Isaiah Green warms up before Marshall's home opener. Green is the youngest Marshall starting quarterback since Rakeem Cato in 2014.


UPDATE (Sept. 12, 5:30 p.m.): Marshall’s game at South Carolina has officially been canceled due to Hurricane Florence. Marshall and South Carolina officials are looking at possible alternative, including rescheduling the game for a later time or scheduling games against other opponents during their respective bye weeks.


Marshall football looks to maintain its undefeated record Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when it heads to Williams-Brice Stadium to take on the South Carolina Gamecocks.

“Every time you go on the road, you have to take your leadership and your toughness,” Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said. “Going into that environment, it’s fun, but you have to make sure you have great leadership and toughness when you walk into a place like that.”

South Carolina (1-1) is looking for a win after losing to No. 3 Georgia last Saturday. This will be the second gridiron meeting between Marshall (2-0) and South Carolina. The Herd won the lone previous matchup between the teams, 24-21, in 1998 on a Billy Malashevich field goal as time expired.

After just two starts into his Herd career, redshirt freshman quarterback Isaiah Green has completed more passes (47) and thrown for more yards (550) than former Marshall legends Byron Leftwich and Chad Pennington had through their first two starts. Coach Holliday said he does not think the big stage will bother Green on Saturday.

“(Green) has got a little (Rakeem) Cato in him,” Holliday said. “He’s overcome a lot of adversity in his life, and walking into arenas like that does not really bother him. He doesn’t seem like he gets rattled a lot. It’ll be exciting to watch him walk in there. I guarantee he will have a smile on his face, and hopefully he will have one after the game.”

South Carolina’s offense will be no easy match for Marshall’s defense. Gamecock wide receiver Deebo Samuel has earned numerous preseason All-America and All-SEC accolades as a wide receiver, kick returner and all-purpose performer. He ranks fourth in the SEC with 6.5 receptions for game. Throwing to Samuel is junior quarterback Jake Bentley, who is now in his third year as a starter for South Carolina. Last week, Bentley completed 30-of-47 passes for 269 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in a loss to No. 3 Georgia last week.

With the threat of Hurricane Florence looming, several college football games Saturday have been canceled. While South Carolina Athletics is monitoring the forecast, Holliday said he is treating this week like any other.

“We just go,” Holliday said when asked how his team is preparing for what could be a unique situation. “As far as we’re concerned, we’re playing. Until they tell us otherwise, we just go full-speed ahead and go. Right now, we’re going as is, as we’re playing.”

Morgan Griffith can be contacted at [email protected]