Marshall closes season against Williams, Tigers

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005



With the hopes of a winning season and possible bowl bid erased with last week's heartbreaking 34-29 loss to East Carolina, the Marshall Thundering Herd heads to Memphis with its pride on the line.

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Memphis (5-5) needs a win to become bowl eligible and to gain some more exposure nationally for Heisman

Trophy candidate DeAngelo Williams. The Tigers star running back is considered a first-round draft pick next spring.

&#8220DeAngelo is the best back we'll see all year and he is one of the best in the country,” Marshall coach Mark Snyder said. &#8220We'll just have to tackle better than we did last week. The thing that impresses you about him is that he can cut on a dime and reverse his feet very quickly.”

Last week, Marshall's poor tackling helped East Carolina rally for 17 points in the fourth quarter to post the win.

But Williams isn't the only concern of the Herd. Memphis quarterback Maurice Avery is an all-around threat.

&#8220Avery is a good football player,” Snyder said. &#8220He's very, very fast. Playing wide out, he was very efficient at what he was doing. Now, he has his hands on the ball every snap and I think it's

a great move by (Memphis head coach) Tommy West.”

Marshall (4-6, 3-4 C-USA) has its own weapon in running back Ahmad Bradshaw who is just 92 yards shy of 1,000 yards. Bradshaw would become the eighth Marshall running back to ever reach 1,000 yards in a season.

&#8220Ahmad's good,” Snyder said. &#8220There are a handful of guys (in the nation) that are good and I think Ahmad is one of the better ones in the country.

&#8220I've coached against a lot of great running backs in the past, but I don't think it is fair to compare them against a lot of those guys. This year, he is one of the better backs in the country.”

The Conference-USA game is set to kickoff at 2 p.m.