Short week testing Herd’s preparation

Due to its season-opener falling on Sunday, the Marshall University football team has less time than usual to prepare for its upcoming rivalry match Saturday against Ohio University.

Head coach Doc Holliday said while Sunday’s game, which aired on national television, was great exposure for the school, it will be difficult for the team to get to where it should be by this weekend.

Holliday said the key is for the team to put last week’s game in the past and focus on its upcoming opponents.

“Any time you play, you got to put it behind you quick,” Holliday said during his press conference on Tuesday. “You have to move on regardless. Our guys are able to do that, and we have to make sure that happens. In our case, it’s a really quick turnaround. We have a lot of catching up to do.”

“We’re prepared to play and prepared to play an extremely physical game, or we won’t have a chance.””

— Doc Holliday

While Marshall’s season kicked off Sunday, Ohio’s season-opener was Thursday, allowing the Bobcats an additional three days of preparation for the teams’ annual Battle for the Bell match compared to the Herd.

“It’s going to be tough going into this week,” Holliday said. “But our guys worked extremely hard yesterday, and we’re going to get back to work today.”

Holliday said he is confident in his team due to its level of maturity.

“We’re prepared to play and prepared to play an extremely physical game, or we won’t have a chance,” Holliday said. “That’s the way those guys always play. And if we don’t, then we’ll get beat. So, we have to figure it out and we will.”

The Battle for the Bell dates back to 1905, when the two teams located around 80 miles apart, met for the first time.  A bell is awarded as the game trophy to the winner.

The Herd emerged victorious last season with a 44-14 victory, piling up more than 700 yards of total offense in its win.

Saturday’s game is set for 7 p.m. at Peden Stadium in Athens, Ohio and will be televised on ESPN3.

Malcolm Walton can be contacted at [email protected]