Issuu on Google+

herdinsider.com

November 25, 2016

BACK IN

BLACK

MARSHALL RETURNED TO A WINNING WAY OVER MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE, DONNING BLACK JERSEYS AND THROWBACK HELMETS

Page 8


UP FRONT 11.25.16 VOLUME 19 NO. 7

The Thundering Herd athletic program had a perfect weekend on Marshall Memorial Weekend. Marshall women’s basketball opened the season with a upset win at Illinois, 53-52, when Shayna Gore blocked a three with one second left by the Illini. Marshall volleyball won its fifth match in a row with a 3-1 win at UAB early Saturday, after a home win on Senior Night on Thursday against UTEP, and the Herd is now 22-7, 11-3 in C-USA. Volleyball’s win, with Cassie Weaver earning an 11th double-double of the season (16 kills and 14 digs), came around the same time men’s basketball earned a 81-69 win in the season and home opener against NC Central. Terrence Thompson recorded his first double-double (20 points, 10 boards) in the win. Then football made it a perfect weekend with a win with the 42-17 win over Middle Tennessee. Marshall game captains for Middle Tennessee, as selected by Doc Holliday and staff, were running back Tony Pittman, linebacker Chase Hancock, tight end Ryan Yurachek and defensive end Ryan Bee. The Thundering Herd defense held visiting Middle Tennessee to 283 yards of total offense – the first time MT hasn’t eclipsed 300 yards in 20 games (275 vs. No. 1 Alabama on Sept. 12, 2015). The 283 yards allowed is also Marshall’s best performance against a Football Bowl Subdivision team this season. Middle Tennessee running back I’Tavius Mathers was held to a season-low 45 rushing yards. The Marshall defense was plus-four in turnover margin for the fifth time in Doc Holliday’s seven seasons with the program (88 games). It is the first time in Holliday’s head coaching

compiled by Woody Woodrum, HI senior editor

career his team has forced four turnovers without the offense committing at least one. Marshall’s rushing offense finished with 207 rushing yards – a season high against FBS opponents – and running back Anthony Anderson finished with a career high 109 rushing yards. Fellow running back Tony Pittman added a season high 88 rushing yards. Quarterback Chase Litton’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunt in the second quarter extended Litton’s streak of consecutive games with a passing touchdown to 25. Litton finished with four passing touchdowns, the fourth time he has accomplished that in his two-year career. Litton had never at least four touchdown passes without throwing an interception against an FBS opponent. Herd senior defensive back Terry Richardson snagged an interception in the first quarter, which was his second this season and the 26-yard return was the longest of his career. MU running back Hyleck Foster’s first quarter touchdown run was his first since Nov. 27, 2015 at Western Kentucky, and his first at home since Oct. 24, 2015 against North Texas. Foster’s touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was his first since Nov. 28, 2014 against Western Kentucky. Justin Hunt caught touchdown passes of 25 and 28 yards – his second two-touchdown game this season – and established a new career high for receiving yards with 87 (previous career high: 68 yards on Sept. 19, 2015 vs. Norfolk State). He also tied a career high with five receptions. Tight end Ryan Yurachek hauled in a pass in the third quarter to extend his streak to 28 consecutive games with a reception.


November 25, 2016 / HERD INSIDER /

WHAT WE’VE GOT

3

11.25.16 VOLUME 19 No. 7

This page: Marshall honored the 1971 team with these helmets for the Middle Tennessee State game. photo by Rick Haye On the cover: Tony Pittman ran wild during Marshall’s 42-17 win over Middle Tennessee State in November. photo by Rick Haye

COLUMNIST

4

Bob Pruett

It’s easy to think that Marshall fans are the only ones struggling with football in 2016. There’s quite a few other programs in the same boat.

FOOTBALL

8

BACK in BLACK

A win over Middle Tennessee State in mid-November gave Marshall some of their swagger back, and helped turn a season slightly around.

555 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 (304) 523-8401

General Manager Mike Kirtner

15 TAKING THE FIGHT VOLLEYBALL

Marshall volleyball is headed to the C-USA tournament, prepared to take the fight to any opponent they face.

Publisher Greg Perry

First Subscriber: Geoff Sheils

Associate GM Reeves Kirtner

20 HERBERT BLAIN

WHAT I’VE LEARNED

A 90-year old Marshall fan made the trip back to Huntington to enjoy a football game. We picked his brain in between tailgating events. Senior Editor Woody Woodrum

Printing: Printograph - Hebron, KY

Web Operations Alex Hackney All contents ©2016 Kindred Communications, Inc


/ November 25, 2016

Beckley, WV Register-Herald photo

4 / HERD INSIDER

COACH BOB PRUETT

COLUMNIST

The Season’s The Same For Marshall And The Big Boys

Well, the turnaround against Middle Tennessee State in early November sure was fun, wasn’t it? Marshall looked like the team they hoped to be in August, running over and away by a 42-17 margin. The Marshall Thundering Herd came out in its black jerseys and “75” on the back of the helmets to show remembrance of the 1970 team lost in the terrible tragedy back on November 14 of that year, coming home from East Carolina. It was an awful toll on Huntington, Marshall University and the football program for nearly 15 more years. In addition, current-day Marshall displayed it’s Young Thundering Herd logo on the sides of their helmets that have had the 1971 stripe on them since 1993, and they honored the club of Coach Jack Lenygel and that team of mostly true freshmen that kept the program going after the worst sports airline-related tragedy in American sports history. That team went out and beat Xavier, 15-13, in the first home game and then upset Bowling Green and my Monday night show buddy, coach Don Nehlen (a BGSU grad, if you didn’t know) in the Homecoming game, 12-10. The team of Doc Holliday said all the right things after the win, remembering the 75 and saluting the group that played against terrific odds in ’71, losing eight other games and being out-scored on the season, 295-57. Say what you will about this season (more on that in a moment), but Doc’s team is very aware of the tragedy and loss. While he is not a Marshall grad like Mark Snyder and myself, Doc has taught his team about the loss and tragedy of the 1970s team well, as my teams were (especially during the creating of “Ashes To Glory” by Debra Novak and John Witek during the 1999-2000 seasons) and as coach Snyder’s teams were during the filming of We Are Marshall.

Speaking of We Are Marshall…I’d like to tip my hat to everyone who helped the Marshall University Alumni Association raise over $100,000 with the tenth anniversary showing of the movie at the Keith Albee Theatre on the Friday before the Middle Tennessee game on Saturday and the 46th anniversary of the crash the following Monday. I can promise you, Marshall athletics did not talk about the plane crash when I was hired to be on coach Sonny Randle’s staff, and while there was a ceremony at the fountain, the football team and athletic department were somewhat shielded from that, as the wound was too big and too recent to be brought up more than a moment of silence at a game of the yearly playing of the MMI (Marshall Memorial Invitational) in basketball, which was run by the alumni for many years. But with ESPN and other networks coming along in the late 1970s and early 1980s, they found out about the Marshall story and told it in three or four videos that were made starting on the 20th Anniversary. We even had a group follow us all season for the Running With the Herd video. It is good, as we hit the 46th year, that the memory of the crash will never go away. There were some Herd fans who were wishing this season would go away before the win over Middle Tennessee State. That win bumped Marshall up to a 3-7 record at the time, out of contention for the Conference USA championship and a bowl game for the first time since 2012. And while the fans are hurting over the record, no one is hurting continued on page 5


COLUMNIST more than those players, coaches and administrators at Marshall. The thing you have to do there, however, is put those losses — or wins — behind you and start preparing to try to win the next game and the next game. Fans live much longer with a bad season and lost games than coaches and players do, although they hurt more after they come up short in wins and losses. These coaches and players know what they are doing. Sometimes, for a multitude of reasons, a season just can’t be fixed, but you know these same players and coaches have won three straight bowls, two division titles and one conference title in the last three years as well as averaging 10 wins a year.

Who are the only unbeaten teams in college football? Alabama and Western Michigan of the MAC! Michigan State is 3-7 in green uniforms, just like Marshall. Dantonio is 90-40 in his career, 108-57 counting his years at Cincinnati. He is 5-5 in bowls. His team is 1-6 in the Big Ten, just beating Rutgers this past weekend

November 25, 2016 / HERD INSIDER /

the 2012 Rose Bowls and the 2013 Fiesta Bowl. As a head coach, he went 11-2 and beat Texas in the Alamo Bowl in 2013, played again for the national championship in 2014 with a 13-2 team, and was 9-4 in 2015, earning a trip back to the Alamo Bowl where the Ducks lost in triple overtime to TCU. This year, 3-7, another green (or gold or silver or neon) team struggling this year.

What does all that mean? Well, every one of those teams (as well as Marshall) are going to try and win those final games.

A lot of the time it is something simple. You know, not the Xs and Os, but not having the Jimmies and Joes (as I mentioned in an earlier HI column on these very pages). The Herd has only about seven or eight in the two-deep that are seniors this season, and too many hurt players can also hold you up — and especially losing such a good combo as Clint Van Horn, the former Beckley tackle, and Michael Selby means the Herd is missing the right side of the offensive line. But Marshall certainly is not alone in having a down year. If misery loves company, there are a number of teams who are not meeting the expectations their fans had due to the good years of 9 and 10 win seasons, conference championship games and winning bowl games. If you think Doc and his coaches are not winning coaches after 10 games, how about Mark Dantonio of Michigan State? How about Brian Kelly of Notre Dame? How about Oregon and Coach Mark Helfrich? Would you take any of these winning coaches if they would come to Marshall? Of course you would, but right now their fan bases are as mad about the season as some Marshall fans are. Look at the second weekend in November, for example. No. 2 Michigan lost to Iowa and No. 3 Clemson lost to Pittsburgh on last-second field goals. No. 4 Washington lost at home to unranked USC. No. 8 Auburn was upended by Georgia and No. 10 Texas A&M was beat by Ole Miss.

after an 0-6 start with the Spartans. Brian Kelly is 59-29 at Notre Dame. Overall 230-86-2 with stops at Grand Valley State, Central Michigan and Cincinnati. He is 5-4 in bowls, 11-4 in Division II playoffs at Grand Valley. Right now, the Fighting Irish are 4-6, and he has win over Virginia Tech and win at USC to advance Notre Dame to a bowl. Oregon has Helfrich, who is 36-15 since 2013 after being the offensive coordinator for Duck teams from 2009-12 that went to the National Championship in 2011, the 2010 and

5

What does all that mean? Well, every one of those teams (as well as Marshall) are going to try to win those final games. The coaches will meet with the head coach, and staff changes may or may not be made. The head coach will meet with the AD and/or the president of those schools and someone may or may not be fired. The fans will be mad either way.

They will recruit, lift, have a great signing day, a really good spring football, nice summer of workouts with the program, come back in August of 2017 and try to win them all. Doc, Mark (both of them) and Brian will try and convince everyone that they have the right players, assistants, facilities and support to win them all next season — because that’s how it is done at Alabama, Michigan,Michigan State, Notre Dame, USC, Ohio State, Louisville, and Kentucky every year. Just like it is at Marshall.


/ November 25, 2016

/ HERD INSIDER /

9


8 / HERD INSIDER

/ November 25, 2016

BACK

photographs by Rick Haye and Marilyn Testerman-Haye for Herd Insider

in

BLACK

MARSHALL RETURNED TO A WINNING WAY OVER MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE, DONNING BLACK JERSEYS AND THROWBACK HELMETS IN HONOR OF THE 1970 AND 1971 THUNDERING HERD TEAMS. IT WORKED.


November 25, 2016 / HERD INSIDER /

9

by Woody Woodrum HI senior editor

“When we put on the black jerseys and put the 75 on our helmets, we’re going to play for them for the whole game, no matter what happens.”

arshall football wore its black jerseys and the No. 75 on the back of its helmets to honor the 75 persons lost in the Nov. 14, 1970 Herd football airline charter crash just short of Tri-State Airport, and wore the logo of the “Young” Thundering Herd team from 1971 of Coach Jack Lengyel to thank that team for keeping football going at Marshall University in the wake of the worst air-related sports tragedy of all time. Then Marshall played like teams in who won National Championships in I-AA in 1992 and 1996, as well as the No. 10 ranked and 13-0 1999 team and the more recent 2014 team that was 13-1. The Herd played the best game of the year against Middle Tennessee and rolled to a surprising 42-17 rout of the Blue Raiders in front of 20,841 on a cool November evening.

But the real story might have been the Marshall defense, who allowed one rushing touchdown, one receiving touchdown and a field goal to Middle Tennessee, 17 points that gave the Blue Raiders the halftime lead, 17-14. But in the second half, the defense shut out Middle – forcing a punt, getting a fumble on the next drive, forcing another punt, then gaining back-to-back turnovers on a fumble and an interception – forced by and picked off by senior safety Corey Neely, who had 13 tackles, seven solo, and a pick with a forced fumble in the game – before Middle punted after its final two drives.

M

Marshall improved to 3-7 on the season, 2-4 in Conference USA and 3-3 at home this season at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium – where Marshall has never posted a losing record at the stadium since it opened in 1991. Middle fell to 6-4, 3-3 in C-USA play and probably out of contention to win the C-USA East Division as WKU improved to 5-1 in league play with Old Dominion at 4-1. But Marshall wasn’t worried about a losing season or any of the other things fans of the team had discussed at length, as the Herd outscored the Blue Raiders by 28-0 in the second half in picking up the win. The Herd also had its first back of the season rush for 100-ormore yards as sophomore Anthony Anderson put up 16 carries for 109 yards while redshirt junior Tony Pittman nearly did as he rushed for 88 yards on 15 carries in the game.

In all, Middle Tennessee gained only 88 yards in the second half as Marshall controlled the time of possession in the second half with 19:21 to only 10:39 for MTSU. The Blue Raiders could not get anything going against a fired up Herd defense that held Middle to 15 first downs, a season low 63 yards rushing and under 300 yards for the first time in 20 games. Doc Holliday was thrilled with the win. Especially as the Herd head coach has taken steps to insure his football team understands what it is to earn its stripes on the helmet each year and to put the 75 on the helmet, along with those Young Thundering Herd logos this year. “I am just proud of our players, proud of the way they played,” Holliday said. “That was the most complete game we’ve played. Some guys stepped up, I thought our quarterback was sensational. We were plus four in the turnover margin. We took the ball away from them four times and we did not turn it over. We were able to run the ball extremely well and we made great decisions out there.

Justin Hunt hauled in one of his five catches against Middle Tennessee State. Hunt Herd quarterback Chase racked up 87 yards and scored two touchdowns in the 42-17 late-season win. Litton had one of his best outing of the season, passing for 21-of-37 for 246 yards, four touch“I am just so happy that on this occasion, our guys went out and played downs and no interceptions. Catching touchdowns were senior slot like they did. I am happy for our fan base and our school that we honJosh Knight (leading MU with 6 catches for 73 yards total) with a 9-yard ored the young Thundering Herd and played the way we played. We score, junior running back Hyleck Foster catching a 22-yard touchdown have to build on this and continue to become a better team. through the air (as well as a 3-yard rushing touchdown) and senior receiver Justin Hunt caught two touchdowns, a 25-yard score in the “I think it starts with the defense. You see some of these guys out there second quarter, and a 28-yard touchdown in the third quarter. that have great abilities. Most of that defense are all young guys and there all back which is encouraging. Offensively, I thought Anthony “This game was only or the 75. We talked about it all week,” Hunt said. continued on page 13


10-Year Anniversary Showing Photos

Above: The Keith Albee Theatre hosted the 10-year anniversary showing of We Are Marshall. Top Right: Red Dawson talked with Reggie Oliver. Middle Right: Marshall president Jerome Gilbert and Huntington mayor Steve Williams walked the green carpet prior to the showing of the movie. Below Right: Matt Hayes of the Marshall University Alumni Association and president Dr. Jerome Gilbert thanked senator Bob Plymale for his unrelenting efforts raising funds for the showing of We Are Marshall. All funds from the showing go toward scholarships at Marshall University. photos by Rick Haye for Herd Insider


football continued from page 9 Anderson looked like the back we thought he was today. Unfortunately, it is game number ten. He has a great future ahead of him. I thought Pittman ran the ball well and some receivers stepped up and made plays. It’s a positive and we will continue to build off this.

Litton, who wore his freshman No. 14 for the game instead of the No. 1 he switched into in the spring after a 10-3 season last year, may have summed the game up best. “I feel like we were cheating a bit. We had 75 angels playing for us tonight. We just went out there and had fun,” Litton said. “I sat here a year ago and said that nobody wanted to play us on this day and nobody wanted to play us with these jerseys.

I feel like we were cheating a bit. We had 75 angels playing for us tonight. We just went out there and had fun.

“You have to finish and just keep doing what you’re doing. Our offensive line was sensational, we have so many young guys on “It’s what we’ve been exthat field with (Michael) pecting all year. Finally, we Selby out, (Clint) Van Horn —Quarterback Chase Litton put the pieces together and out and all those guys that’s what happens. We mixed up the formations. We had a tremenwent in there and played well. Same thing on defense, there were two dous run game and had a tremendous offensive line who opened up freshmen defensive ends, (Damien) Dozier and (Ty) Tyler, made a lot of holes for those guys.” plays. I saw a lot out there today that I have not seen all year. Again, we just have to build off this and move forward.”


November 25, 2016 / HERD INSIDER /

Black Jerseys, Horses and Dogs. Oh my.

Marshall entered the field arm-in-arm to take on MTSU in black jerseys. Prior to the game, the Budweiser Clydesdale horses did a drive-by of Joan C. Edwards Stadium. photos by Rick Haye for Herd Insider

15


Exhibition Win A Flashback for D’Antoni

November 25, 2016 / HERD INSIDER /

17

Marshall basketball is now underway, and one of the early exhibition games was against University of Charleston aka Morris Harvey. For the coach, it was like taking a trip back in time.

story by Woody Woodrum photos by Greg Perry

I

f you are a long time Marshall fan, you remember the great Marshall-Morris Harvey College rivalry, especially on the hardwood courts of the Veteran’s Memorial Field House in Huntington and the Eddie King Gym on the campus that is now known as the University of Charleston. Marshall and Morris Harvey started playing in the 1907-08 season, back when MHC was in Barboursville and was a Herd opponent in basketball, baseball and football. Marshall coach Danny D’Antoni didn’t have to be reminded about those battles between the Golden Eagles and the Thundering Herd, back when he played in the 1960s and coached into the early 1970s at Marshall. He was happy to get away with a win in his second exhibition game, 100-76, over the University of Charleston but said those maroon and gold UC jerseys sent him down memory lane to those games which the Herd split 3-3 with then Morris Harvey while D’Antoni was a point guard for MU from 1966-69. “I was having flashbacks to Morris Harvey,” D’Antoni said after the game. “To that (Roger) Hart kid that lit us up back then.” Hart was a three time first team All-WVIAC and first team All-WVIAC Tournament, WVIAC Athlete of the Year and All-NAIA Tournament first team and a NAIA second team All-American, averaging 21.8 points per game for the 1966-67 No. 4 Golden Eagles in the final NAIA rankings for their legendary coach, Rick Meckfessel. “We were supposed to be pretty good then, but they came down and gave us a run every time they came to play us.” Pretty good would be an understatement for D’Antoni, who led the 1966-67 Herd to the Final Four of the NIT, then back for a first round overtime loss in the 1967-68 NIT for Coach Ellis Johnson. The Golden Eagles split with the Herd in 1966-67 with Marshall winning the first game in Huntington, 110-87, but Hart scored 24 points in a 86-79 Morris Harvey win in Charleston. But then it was back from the walk through memories as D’Antoni talked about his team playing well and continued on page 21


18 / HERD INSIDER

/ November 25, 2016

Taking The Fight To Conference USA Heading into the Conference USA tournament in late November, coach Mitch Jacobs and The Herd are set to take their brand of fight directly to every opponent that comes their way.

photographs by Greg Perry/HI staff

M

Senior Cassie Weaver went up for a kill against UTEP during Marshall’s senior night match win at the Henderson Center.

arshall volleyball wrapped up its 2016 home season in the best possible fashion — on fire and headed toward a Conference USA tournament with all the momentum in the world. The Herd earned its 12th sweep of the season in mid-November, blanking the UTEP Miners, 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-14), on senior night at the Cam Henderson Center. The Thundering Herd improved to 21-7 overall and 10-3 in Conference USA. The Miners dropped to 8-20 overall and 5-9 in Conference USA with the loss.

The Herd jumped out to an early 4-2 lead in the second set. UTEP took three of the next five points to cut the Marshall lead to 6-5 but a pair of kills by Hill and a pair of Miners’ attacking errors pushed the Herd lead to 10-5, forcing UTEP to call a timeout. Kills by Hill and Walker pushed the Herd lead to 13-7. UTEP came within five points of the Herd multiple times in the set, but Marshall closed the set by taking the final seven points, winning the second set 25-13 and taking a 2-0 lead into the intermission. Walker, Hill, Cole and Craft each had a kill during the seven-point run.

Seniors Ally Kiekover and Cassie Weaver led the Herd with ten kills apiece. Madison Hill tallied nine kills and Jac’cara Walker added eight kills. Kiekover had a .692 hitting percentage and Hill had a .667 hitting percentage. Reigning Conference USA Freshman and Setter of the Week Madelyn Cole added 39 assists. Audrey Shannon had 11 digs and senior Allie Kellerman added ten.

Marshall started the third set by taking seven of the first nine points, including six consecutive points. Kiekover had three kills during the six-point run. A Kassidy Lemons’ ace and a kill by Lauren Mattmuller pushed Marshall’s lead to 11-4, forcing UTEP to call a timeout. UTEP cut the Marshall lead to 15-9, but Marshall took the next five points to increase the lead to 20-9, forcing the Miners to burn their final timeout. Kills by Kiekover and Weaver increased the Herd lead to 24-13. A Miners service error gave Marshall a 25-14 third set win, clinching the 12th sweep of the season for the Herd.

UTEP took the first two points of the opening set on a pair of Herd attack errors. Marshall captured the next three points to take a 3-2 lead. The Herd and Miners exchanged points until kills by Hill and Justice Craft and an ace from Kellerman gave Marshall an 8-6 lead. UTEP remained within a couple of points of the Herd until Marshall took six consecutive points to build a 17-10 lead. Cole had a pair of aces and Weaver had a pair of kills during the Herd run. UTEP cut the Marshall lead to 21-17, but kills by Hill and Weaver helped the Herd take the first set, 25-20.

It has been a solid season thus far for coach Mitch Jacobs and team. Heading toward the Conference USA tournament in late November, all eyes are on The Herd. “We have to just stay focused,” Jacobs said prior to Marshall’s latein-the-season match against UAB. “We don’t know where we are going to be in the tournament yet. ”


Marshall volleyball’s Madelyn Cole made Conference USA history the last week of the season by becoming the first-ever player to be selected for two awards in the same week, earning Setter and Freshman of the Week. “Everyone is so proud of what Madelyn has been able to do for the team,” head coach Mitch Jacobs said. “And she’s done so with great poise. But her success isn’t an accident. Madelyn comes to practice everyday to get better and works hard. She’s been putting in time all semester studying film and so when we needed to go to the 5-1, with Kayla having to rest her foot, Madelyn was ready to do whatever the team needed. I’m very proud of her and the team for performing the way they have. This is going to be a fun finish.”

kills while hitting at a .346 clip for the weekend and six blocks. Cole ranks 10th among Conference USA leaders in league matches with 8.13 assists per set. She holds a team-best 654 assists this season. This is the second freshman of the week award for Cole, while it’s her first setter of the week honor. She earned her first freshman of the week award on Oct. 31. This is the first setter of the Week award that Marshall has earned since Sammie Bane (2011-14) in 2013. The Thundering Herd has won at least one award in eight out of 11 weeks this season, a total of 11 awards.

“It’s been a remarkable season for this group. I know they out-did most people’s expectations but we felt as a whole we could be pretty good,” coach Marshall volleyball coach Mitch Jacobs (right) coached Ally Kiekover during Marshall’s Mitch Jacobs summed up. late-season win over UTEP at the Henderson Center. Cole continued her “I’m so proud of these guys impressive play late in the for fighting together and season with her seventh and eighth double-double of the season. Back now we need to bring that fight and play a lot better in Rice’s gym [host in her home state, the Dallas native recorded 50 assists and 13 digs of the C-USA tournament] than we did the last time.” against North Texas. Cole only improved from there, at Charlotte by —compiled from Marshall Sports Information releases setting a career-high 61 assists and 20 digs. She also contributed 10


basketball continued from page 17 putting up a total of 193 points in two exhibitions with W.Va. State (93-70) and UC (100-75). He also was impressed with the Charleston effort, as they jumped out to a 17-point lead in the first half that the Herd slowly removed to lead by two at the half. “My hat is off to Coach (Dwaine) Osborn and his team, those kids for him extended their play and came in to win the game today. I don’t know if they shoot that well every night, but if they do they should do pretty well this year in their league.” Charleston was led by Elliott Cole, listed as a 5-foot-11 guard from Chicago who came to UC from Chicago State University, where he scored 9.0 points per game and shot 37 percent from the field and 34 percent from three. Against the Herd, however, he hit 12-of-24 from the floor, 7-of-16 from three and scored 32 points to go with a rebound, assist, block and steal for UC, picked to finish fifth in the preseason Mountain East preseason rankings. Marshall outscored UC 54-32 in the second half, a total of outscoring the Eagles by 41 points in the last eight minutes of the first half and the 20 minutes of the second half. They

November 25, 2016 / HERD INSIDER /

Ryan Taylor drove the ball during Marshall’s exhibition win over University of Charleston in early November.

21

also forced 10 of 17 turnovers by UC in the second half. Marshall was led in scoring by senior guard Stevie Browning, familiar with the UC players from his two years at Fairmont State and playing in the Mountain East. Browning put up 31 points to lead the Herd, hitting 12-of-18 from the floor (67%) and 7-of-10 from three (70%), and had five assists against no turnovers. “We knew that was going to happen. Charleston is a good team, and they have always been a good team,” Browning said. “Basketball is a game of runs and we had to weather the storm. We did that and we got back in the game. The Herd’s first away game is at Ohio State on Nov. 25, a game which will air on the Big Ten Network. The Herd will have many former and current rivals on the schedule for November and December. Marshall will also host former MAC rivals Ohio (11/30) and Toledo (12/10) as well as a game with Mountain East member West Virginia Wesleyan (12/19). The Herd will be making trips to a number of old Herd rivals including being at EKU (12/3), and at Chattanooga (12/6).


22 24 / HERD INSIDER

photograph by Greg Perry/HI staff

/ November 25, 2016


November25, 25,2016 2016 // HERD HERDINSIDER INSIDER // 23 / November 25

WHAT I’VE LEARNED:

HERBERT BLAIN At the ripe young age of 90, Herbert Blain came back to watch a Marshall football game. It had been decades since he had watched his last one. Blain — who currently resides in Florida— enjoyed himself at a tailgate in the West Lot of Joan C. Edwards Stadium prior to the Marshall-Charlotte game. He took a a break from a tailgate given in his honor by two Herd Insider subscribers, to talk with HI publisher Greg Perry and reminisce on life, The Herd, and other topics on that warm afternoon of October 22, 2016. And then, he wasted no time getting back to the tailgate. HI: It’s been a while since you’ve been back to Marshall. How long has it been? HB: A long time. I graduated in 1958, then went another year and a half of grad school, and I haven’t been back since. I did watch Marshall play at Miami once, when I lived in central Ohio. HI: You’re a veteran, served in World War II and Korea, right? HB: Yes. They liked me so well they invited me back for another year and a half (laughing). Sent me above the 38th Parallel. HI: How do you keep up on Marshall sports? HB: Facebook. It keeps me up on what’s going on. Gives me something to do. There’s a couple Marshall sites on there that keep me informed. HI: Speaking of Facebook, how do you view technology, having seen the growth from radio to television to internet? HB: It’s overwhelming, really, the changes. I grew up here in West Virginia, and naturally, in 90 years there’s a lot of changes. Technology is the main one. I’m amazed at some of the things that’s showed up. I can’t believe them, but they’re there. HI: 90 years young, back for a Marshall game and I hear you’re going to watch the game upstairs in one of the boxes, correct? A: Yes. I’ve never done that before. The first game I saw here was either 1938 or 1939, a Thanksgiving day. They played Morris Harvey (now University of Charleston). And, it snowed. That was a traditional Thanksgiving day game, Marshall and Morris Harvey. But that was a long time ago. HI: Back then, did you think Marshall would ever become what it has become? HB: I started Marshall in 1943, when I was 16. And, there were 3,300 students. I remember my tuition for the semester was 52 bucks. I made it delivering papers. Times have changed, haven’t they? HI: It must be amazing to have lived a life and watched this place grow from what you just described. HB: It’s a lot of people these days. continued on page 25


Herbert Blain continued from page 23

HI: You say you started in 1943 and graduated in 1958? HB: I’m a slow learner. [laughs] I did get interrupted by two wars, a wife, and four kids. I got there. It took a while, but I got there. HI: Education must be important to you. HB: I worked at the post office, and I complained and complained about how dull it was. A guy sitting next to me suggested I either shut up or get back to school. I came back to school in 1954 and I ended up pretty well, grade-wise.

November 25, 2016 / HERD INSIDER /

25

HB: I started doing woodworking. The wife and I bought a place in North Carolina, had a workshop built with all the tools, and had fun. I built stuff for anybody that came along. HI: All along, and you still bleed green. HB: What do they say? I’ll bleed green until I die. I saw that on Facebook. [laughs]

HI: In your 90 years, through two wars and a career, what have you learned about life? HB: It’s very transitory. For some reason, I thought I’d HI: What did you do for a never live to be 60. My wife got career? tired of that, and gave me a big HB: I went to work for the birthday party at 60. What I Air Force after I graduated, in mean is…we’re not here long. personnel management. I left Herbert Blain enjoyed the tailgate prior to the Marshall-Charlotte game. Let’s face it, even 90 years isn’t that and moved down to Florida that long. at the eastern test range. I ended up the budget officer. I don’t know how I got there, but that’s what I was. I hated the job. I was HI: If you could talk to a 22 year old who was just about to there temporarily, and they told me I’d have to take it permagraduate from Marshall and begin their career…what would your nently or lose my job. So, I went to personnel, put in my papers, advice be to them? and told them goodbye at age 53, and I retired. HB: Go for the moment. Don’t wait for something next week. Go for what’s there, now. To me, the now is what’s importHI: So, you’ve been retired for 37 years. What do you do in ant, really. Expectations don’t always get fulfilled. retirement?



Herd Insider Magazine vol 19 #7