Herd football seeks a second conference win against FAU


Richard Crank

Marshall football player Isaiah Green is all smiles with teammate Brenden Knox in the game against Old Dominion.

After securing its first conference win of the season (3-3, 1-1 Conference-USA), Marshall will look to keep the momentum rolling against Florida Atlantic University (4-2, 2-0 C-USA) with another short week of practice.

The trip for Head Coach Doc Holliday’s team is a home away from home for many of his players. Thirty-two of the Thundering Herd players hail the Sunshine State.

“We have a lot of Florida guys on the team,” Holliday said. “Anytime they get to go play in front of their friends and family, they’re excited.”

The Thundering Herd is coming off of a game where controlling the trenches led them to beat Old Dominion. The team rushed for more yards than any other team ODU has faced all season and accounted for eight total sacks on the quarterback, helping the squad gain confidence in their play. Redshirt sophomore Darius Hodge tied the Marshall single game sack record with four-and-a-half, but said he is already focused on next week.

“I’m not really focused on that record right now,” Hodge said. “We have a lot of work and team goals to finish before personal goals come up. The win was a big stepping stone last week, but we have to forget about it and focus on this week.”

FAU beat Middle Tennessee last week 28-13 through a strong second half by holding the Blue Raiders scoreless. The Owls are led by sophomore quarterback Chris Robison who completed 15-30 of his passes for 145-yards and one touchdown in the win over MTSU. However, Lane Kiffin’s team will bring sophomore quarterback Nick Tronti into the game to add a running threat to its opposition. 

The Owls are on a four-game win streak after opening the season with back-to-back losses against then No. 5 Ohio State and No. 18 UCF. 

The Herd will need continued success out of its young wide receivers to help take away pressure on the run game. Redshirt freshmen wide receivers Corey Gammage and Broc Thompson have both shown they can provide that spark for the offense. Gammage opened the season against Virginia Military Institute leading the team in receiving with 82-yards and one touchdown. Against ODU, Thompson led Marshall with 91-yards on six receptions. 

“We need a lot of young receivers to step up and help out,” redshirt sophomore running back Brenden Knox said. 

The run game will look to strive against FAU, as it has evolved into a one-two-punch between Knox and redshirt sophomore running back Sheldon Evans. Against ODU, Knox accounted for 104-yards and one touchdown and Evans had 50-yards on eight carries. 

“Good things come to those who wait,” Knox said. “Sheldon has definitely waited his turn. It is a settling feeling when you know you can have someone come in when you get banged up or a little tired and get it done.”

Marshall will take on Kiffin’s FAU at 6:30 p.m. EST Friday, Oct. 18 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Brigham Warf can be contacted at [email protected].