Herd, KSU looking to rebound

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Two programs that rebounded once before are hoping to bounce back again.

The Marshall Thundering Herd visits the Kansas State Wildcats Saturday as both teams look to recover from losing seasons last year.

After leaving Marshall, Stan Parrish was 2-30-1 in three seasons at Kansas State from 1986-88. Upon resigning, Parrish said at his press conference that KSU would never win.

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Enter Bill Snyder who ran up 10 winning seasons and turned the Wildcats into one of the top programs in the country.

Marshall went 19 years without a winning season from a 5-5 record in 1965 until Parrish took the Herd to a 6-5 record in 1984.

Marshall had a winning record every season since then until going 6-6 in Bob Pruett’s last year in 2004.

The Herd was 4-7 last year including a 21-19 giveaway loss to Kansas State in the second game.

“I think the stories are key when you look at Marshall and Kansas State. When you look at where we both have come from,” Herd coach Mark Snyder said.

“I think they have one of the greatest turnarounds in college football and so do we. You match those two up and it adds something to it.”

Kansas State comes into Saturday’s game 2-0 with wins over less than formidable opponents, 24-23 over Illinois State and 45-0 last week over Florida Atlantic.

Marshall has had a tougher road. The Herd lost 42-10 to No. 5 ranked West Virginia and then outscored Division I-AA power Hofstra 54-31 last week.

“We’ve improved a bunch. (But) I will tell you these guys (Kansas State) have got some good players. Their tailback and their wideouts are very good. We are going to have to tackle well this Saturday. No question,” Snyder said.

Marshall will have to tackle running back Thomas Clayton who was suspended the first game of the season as disciplinary action dealing with a misdemeanor battery conviction over the summer.

Clayton ran for 89 yards and a touchdown against FAU.

“No question he made a difference,” Snyder said of Clayton’s return. “They opened up the playbook a little bit more.”

Picking up the slack for Clayton was quarterback Dylan Meier who threw for 163 yards and Pierre Rembert who rushed for 105 yards in the opener.

Last week, Meier was 10 of 20 for 125 yards and two touchdowns.

“I think Kansas State is the case of a team between game one and two that has made great strides,” Snyder said. “They have some talent on that team. They have size on that team and they have speed on that team. They are a typical Big 12 team.”