Snyder: Marshall can#8217;t commit turnovers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 3, 2007

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Halloween is over, so Marshall coach Mark Snyder doesn’t want his team to give out any treats.

Since beating Central Florida in a loud, hostile environment is hard enough, Snyder said the Herd can’t give the Knights any extra chances.

“This game is going to be about turnovers. The team that turns the ball over the least is going to win,” said Snyder.

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UCF is playing in new facilities. Snyder, a former graduate assistant at Central Florida, said the Knights coach George O’Leary talked about the facilities at the preseason league meetings.

“They had superior facilities when I was there as a GA. (O’Leary) said it is unbelievable. Coaches I’ve talked to say it’s a very hard place to play and the students get into it,” said Snyder.

Central Florida makes it difficult for opponents whether the game is at home or away because of the team’s talent.

Led by a strong offensive line and running back Kevin Turner, the Knights are 5-3 and 3-1 in Conference USA.

Smith has 1,260 yards on 240 carries and has scored 16 touchdowns.

“They’re going to run Kevin Smith. He’s a very good player. They’ve been running him for three years now,” said Snyder. “(Coach O’Leary’s) team controls the line of scrimmage, plays good defense and good special teams. That’s why coach O’Leary is winning.”

Quarterback Kyle Israel has been another valuable weapon for the Knights. He has completed 58 percent of his passes, hitting 104 of 180 for 1,229 yards and eight touchdowns. He has been intercepted just four times.

Rocky Ross with 29 catches and 355 yards and Kamar Aiken with 22 grabs for 402 yards headline the receiving corps.

The offense has had some impressive wins such as 34-17 over Southern Miss, 44-23 over Tulsa, 56-20 against Memphis, and 37-19 over Louisiana Lafayette.

However, the defense has disappeared against good teams. The Knights lost 64-12 to South Florida, 52-38 to East Carolina, and 35-32 to Texas.

The best win so far was 25-23 in the season opener against N.C. State.

Snyder expects a good Knights’ defense for Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

“It’s mano y mano. It’s good old-fashioned football,” said Snyder. “If you want to be good, you have to be able to defend against it all and that’s what UCF is doing right now. They can defend against the spread or the power run teams.”

Marshall is looking for its second win. The Herd is 1-7 and 1-3 after beating Rice 34-21 last week.