Marshall extends football series with Ohio


Marshall vs Ohio 2015 Photo Courtesy of Marshall Athletics

The football rivalry known as the “Battle for the Bell” between Marshall and Ohio returns for the 2025 and 2027 football seasons, the Marshall Athletic Department announced Wednesday morning in a news release.

The Thundering Herd will face the Bobcats in Huntington on Sept. 20, 2025, while the Herd will travel to Athens on Sept. 11, 2027, according to the Marshall Athletic Department’s news release.

“This is a great matchup to continue in the future, both for our football program and our fan base,” Athletic Director Mike Hamrick tweeted as a part of the announcement.

As part of a previous home-and-home agreement, the Herd and the Bobcats will face off this season on Sept. 14 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium and next season on Sept. 19 at Peden Stadium, the home of the Bobcats.

Ohio defeated Marshall in Athens, 21-10, in their most recent matchup in 2015. Ohio leads the all-time series 33-20-6, and in their last five meetings, Ohio has come away with the victory four times.

Marshall dominated the series between 1980 and 2010, winning 12 out of 15 matchups. That time span includes the time Marshall spent in the Mid-American Conference, when they played Ohio every year.

The first game in the series’ history was in 1905 when Marshall defeated Ohio, 6-5.

In total, they have played each other 59 times, making them Marshall’s longest standing and most played rival.

In 2012 and 2014, the last two times Ohio visited Huntington, it resulted in the highest attendance numbers in those years.

Only two other home games have had a higher level of attendance since the 33,436-person attendance of the 2012 Ohio game. Those two games were 2016’s matchup with number three ranked Louisville and 2015’s matchup with Big 10 opponent Purdue.

“Local proximity should be enough for the teams to play every year,” Ohio University graduate and former West Virginia resident Colton Henson said. “Both fan bases travel the 80 miles well, so it is a shame they do not meet every year.”

On the Bobcats side of things, there has not been a higher recorded attendance at Peden Stadium since Ohio’s home 2015 matchup with the Herd.

Even though the attendance numbers are consistently at the top for both schools, they do not play annually as they did when they were in the same conference.

The game should serve “as a point of pride for not only the team but for the students as well,” Aaron Coleman, a Marshall fan and producer of the “Runnin’ With the Herd Podcast,” said.

Marshall faces Ohio this season at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Grant Goodrich can be contacted at [email protected].