Marshall football taking advantage of late bye week


The Marshall University football’s team bye week has finally arrived with just one more game remaining in the regular season.

However, considering the ramifications of that final game, a matchup against Western Kentucky University for the right to play in the conference championship, the open date comes at an optimal time, affording the Herd an extra week of preparation and time to get healthy.

Head coach Doc Holliday said reaching the bye week has been a mental and physical challenge, but now that it has arrived, the team has the opportunity to unwind a bit.

“As far as having an open date, it was needed,” Holliday said. “Eleven straight weeks is a grind, so this gives us a chance to catch out breath a little bit. The kids had (Monday) and (Tuesday) off, and we’ll start back with a light practice tomorrow. We have a great challenge ahead, but we’re going to catch our breath a little bit this week and go at it next week.”

Holliday said the players haven’t exactly embraced the off days as a chance to get away from football, but also said great teams have the passion for the game to always improve its craft.

“To be honest, I didn’t want them around (the facility Monday and Tuesday),” Holliday said, “but I look up and they’re all around. You look at them and they’re in the building watching tape on their own, but that’s what great teams do, who have guys who like football, do. You don’t have to worry about them not being mentally sharp and not ready to play.”

Regardless of what the players decide to do with their off days, Holliday said the bye is beneficial in terms of the team getting a few players back who weren’t able to play Saturday in the team’s 52-0 victory over Florida International University, while getting other guys who did play closer to 100 percent.

As the team gets healthier and utilizes its additional week of preparation, Holliday said he isn’t lending Western Kentucky any sympathy heading into the Nov. 27 matchup.

“(Western Kentucky) had a week off last week, so I don’t feel sorry for them not having one this week,” Holliday said. “They had the opportunity last week to do what we’re doing this week, to get their kids back.”

Marshall’s matchup at Western Kentucky Nov. 27 will be a Friday game, scheduled for a noon kickoff.

Bradley Heltzel can be contacted at [email protected]