Herd faces another ACC foe in N.C. State

Published 7:53 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023


Marshall Associate AD of Strategic Communications


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. –Marshall Football hits the road to Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend to take on N.C. State at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Carter-Finley Stadium in a contest that will be broadcast nationally on The CW.


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ame notes: Marshall | N.C. State
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Marshall’s 2 p.m. contest on Saturday against N.C. State will be the first time that the Thundering Herd has ever played a nationally-televised game on the CW.

N.C. State running backs coach Todd Goebbel is no stranger to the Marshall-N.C. State series. The last two meetings between the Thundering Herd and Wolfpack came in 2017 and 2018 – when Goebbel was the co-offensive coordinator and special teams coordinator for the Herd. This will be his first matchup against Marshall since his departure.

The contest will feature two of the better defensive teams in the nation with both Marshall and N.C. State being in the top-15 in FBS in Opponent Third-Down Percentage. The Thundering Herd is No. 4, allowing just 23.7 percent of conversions while the Wolfpack is No. 14, allowing just 29.7 percent of conversions.


Marshall comes into the game boasting of one of the nation’s top winning streaks, having won nine straight games.

Last week, the Herd rallied from a 21-3 deficit against ODU to keep it streak alive, scoring 28 straight points and getting a career effort from quarterback Cam Fancher to earn a 41-35 win over the Monarchs for their first Sun Belt win of the year.

Fancher finished the game 29 of 35 passing for 278 yards and two touchdowns while also rushing for 102 yards to lead the Herd to the win.

Fancher’s 83 percent completion mark in the game ranked No. 7 in Marshall history and it marked the second time this season that Fancher has completed at least 80 percent of his passes. He is now 10-1 as a starting quarterback.

Defensively, Elijah Alston shined against an Old Dominion team that he grew up just 10 minutes from. The Chesapeake, Virginia native finished with six tackles, three quarterback hurries, a pass breakup and added the game’s biggest defensive play – an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown that pushed Marshall’s lead to double-digits in the third quarter.

For a more in-depth look at Marshall football, visit HERE.


N.C. State comes into Saturday’s matchup with a record of 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the ACC after a 13-10 loss to Louisville on Friday, Sept. 29.

The Wolfpack boast of one of the nation’s top rushing defenses, allowing opponents just 95.6 yards per game on the ground.

The catalyst for that defense is linebacker Payton Wilson, who was the ACC Linebacker of the Week earlier this year and is a Butkus Award candidate, given to the nation’s top linebacker. Wilson has 56 tackles in five games this season and wreaks havoc in the backfield as a disruptive force in the blitz-heavy package of Tony Gibson.

Sophomore quarterback M.J. Morris will take over as the starter – the third of his career – in place of transfer Brennan Armstrong. Morris returns to the starting role after suffering a knee injury last season. Morris shined in games against Virginia Tech and Wake Forest in 2022 prior to his injury against Boston College.


This will be the sixth meeting between Marshall and N.C. State with the Wolfpack emerging victorious in all five previous meetings. The last meeting was the lone meeting in Huntington with N.C. State earning a 37-20 win. While the Herd has not earned a win in Raleigh, Marshall has led in the second half in three of four contests at Carter-Finley Stadium, including leading in the final 10 minutes of two of those games.