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Thundering Herd deserves credit for bowl win over Bobcats

They won one for the Gipper. Or, at least the Snyder. Marshall players and coaches dedicated their 21-17 win over the Ohio Bobcats to Mark Snyder who resigned as the head coach under pressure after the final regular season game.

Snyder made the final decision, but he was pushed hard. Instead of being treated like one of the Sons of Marshall, he was beat around more like a stepson.

While there were critics of the Herd’s win who didn’t understand a more conservative approach in the second half, let it be known that Marshall was playing without tight end Cody Slate, their starting right guard and their top two centers — one being their best offensive lineman in Chad Scoffield.

Marshall was pinned back in its own territory for most of the second half and there was no way the coaches — led by interim head coach Rick Minter — were going to let Ohio get a turnover. The Bobcats lead the nation in turnovers and they turn those mistakes into scores.

Remember the fumble they ran back for their first touchdown?

And give Ohio credit. They had a real good defense. Linebacker Noah Keller can play and Marshall had no one who could block 6-foot-1, 342-pound defensive lineman Marcellis Williamson.

Marshall has a wealth of talent returning that gained a lot of valuable experience this past season. Snyder left the program in a lot better shape than he found it.

Former coach Bob Pruett once said he was glad Marshall wasn’t in Conference USA because the Herd couldn’t compete week after week. But Snyder began building a program that could win.

It’s a shame he won’t be around to reap the benefits of his hard work.

—— Sinatra ——

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.