Herd football returns to field for rematch against NC State


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.


Marshall football (2-0) returns to Joan C. Edwards Stadium Saturday for its 7 p.m. matchup against NC State (2-0).

“I think it’s a great opportunity for our program, our community and our fan base to showcase Marshall University on a national stage,” Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said. “What better way to do it than to have an excellent ACC team coming in here.”

Though NC State has not played Marshall in Huntington, the teams have played four times at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium. Most recently, Marshall and NC State faced off last season in the first of a home-and-home series. In the game, the Herd held a 20-10 lead over the Wolfpack in the second quarter. NC State then scored 27 unanswered points to close out the game and defeat Marshall 37-20.

Both teams are coming off of an unexpected bye week due to Hurricane Florence. The Herd was scheduled to play South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium, while NC State was scheduled to host West Virginia University at Carter-Finley Stadium last weekend.

NC State’s offense has a new addition in redshirt sophomore tight end Cary Angeline. Angeline (6-feet-7, 254 pounds) transferred from USC and was ineligible to play the Wolfpack’s first two games. Angeline provides Wolfpack redshirt senior quarterback Ryan Finley with another target in a passing game that averaged 367.5 yards through two games. Holliday said Finley is the Wolfpack’s offensive spark.

“It starts with the quarterback Finley,” Holliday said. “He’s thrown over 80 balls and completed 74 percent of them. A lot of people have him picked to be the number one player in the draft, and when you watch him on tape he doesn’t make a bad throw.”

The Herd’s leading offensive player, redshirt senior wide receiver Tyre Brady, has experience against NC State. Last season against the Wolfpack, Brady finished with 11 catches for 248 yards and a touchdown. Brady’s yard total broke a Carter-Finley Stadium record, and it was also the fourth-most receiving yards in a single game in Marshall history. NC State head coach Dave Doeren acknowledged the Herd’s offense in a press conference this week.

“Offensively, they have a great receiver (Brady) that we really struggled against a year ago,” Doeren said. “The newest part of their team is their quarterback (redshirt freshman Isaiah Green), and he’s a young guy that is playing well—five touchdowns and one interception.”

Doeren is 3-1 in road games against Group of 5 teams while at NC State. Holliday has a 3-10 record against current Power 5 teams, with a 1-3 mark at home.

Morgan Griffith can be contacted at [email protected]