Herd can’t look too far ahead

Published 11:29 am Tuesday, September 16, 2008

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Last year the Marshall Thundering Herd began the season with seven straight losses. Most prognosticators had written the Herd off with doom and gloom.

But after three games, Marshall is 2-1 including 1-0 in Conference USA after beating the Memphis Tigers 17-16 last Saturday night.

Marshall coach Mark Snyder cautioned everyone not to get too excited or too far ahead of the task at hand and that is a C-USA game at Southern Mississippi this Saturday afternoon.

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“We’ve got nine games left. I’m not concerned with must-win games. We already shifted our attention to Southern Miss,” said Snyder.

If last Saturday is any indication of what’s ahead, Marshall could have some good months ahead.

Memphis beat Marshall last year throwing to their 6-foot-4 receivers. Although Carlos Singleton had 11 catches for 158 yards and Duke Calhoun five receptions for 72 yards, the Tigers did not have a receiving touchdown.

“With the kind of offense they have, they can strike at any time. They put points on the board. Holding them to field goals was our goal,” said Snyder.

Marshall’s defense — especially its maligned secondary — held Memphis to its lowest output of the season.

“We played a very good Memphis team and we played very hard. They gave us their best shot, they gave us everything they had,” said Snyder.

“I’m proud of our guys. Unlike last week (at Wisconsin), we handled adversity better. We took another step (Saturday) because we got down and were able to get back up.”

Darius Marshall ran 27 times for 140 yards for Marshall (2-1, 1-0 C-USA). He had a 40-yard touchdown run just one minute into the game that gave the Herd a 7-0 lead.

“(Darius Marshall) had a good game. He got a lot of yards on his own,” said Snyder. “I can see the effects of the extra strength and weight he has put on over the course of this year.”

Quarterback Mark Cann completed 14 of 28 passes for 224 yards and the go-ahead touchdown.

Darius Passmore caught six passes for 128 yards including an 18-yard touchdown pass with four seconds left in the third quarter that put the Herd up 17-13.