Tough schedule should help Herd against UCF

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Comparing the Marshall Thundering Herd schedule to that of the Central Florida Golden Knights, there’s no comparison.

But the early schedules won’t matter when the two teams kickoff at 7:30 tonight in a Conference USA game at Marshall’s Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

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The Golden Knights won their opener 35-16 over Villanova but have since lost three straight to Florida (42-0), South Florida (24-17) and Southern Mississippi (19-14) in a C-USA game.

Marshall is also 1-3, but the Herd has faced one of the toughest schedules in the country.

The Herd lost 42-10 at West Virginia, beat Hofstra 54-31, then lost 23-7 at Kansas State and 33-7 at Tennessee in a game that was closer than the final score.

Coach Mark Snyder shook his head at the difficult schedule and said “I have never played, at anywhere I have been, a schedule like this.”

Still, the Herd head coach said there was both good and bad that resulted in the first four grueling games.

“The most disappointing part is going 1-3. That hurts deeply. You have to be careful because winning is a habit and so is losing,” Snyder said.

“What I am most pleased with is we came out of it healthy against some really good competition. I also think I have a pretty good feel for my football team in terms of where we are at.”

Snyder said the tough schedule has helped prepare his team, but he said Central Florida will be just as difficult as the previous four teams.

“We know the challenge ahead of us. Coach (George) O’Leary has turned that program around in a hurry. We can’t make mistakes against them if we’re going to have a chance to win,” Snyder said.

O’Leary took over UCF two years ago and did not win a game. Last season, he guided the team to the C-USA East Division title and its first-ever bowl game.

Central Florida beat Marshall 23-13 last season

The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 with Rece Davis, Lou Holtz, Mark May and Holly Rowe serving as announcers.

“We Are Marshall” movie star Matthew McConaughey and director McG will also attend att end the game and participate in the pregame Thunder Walk.