Four consecutive winning seasons and Conference USA coach-of-the-year honors weren’t enough for Doc Holliday to keep his gig. Those 33 victories, from 2013 to ’15, also might have spoiled a few football faithful in and around Huntington.
The hierarchy hired Charles Huff, a former assistant at Penn State, Mississippi State and Alabama, and the early returns have been boffo for the first-time head coach.
We had previously highlighted 11 offensive linemen or tight ends who returned with a combined 57 years of collegiate experience. That almost doesn’t make sense, but the X-factor is this season’s one-off sixth-year seniors.
That’s as steady of a front line that exists in the college game, and it will punish East Carolina.
East Carolina Pirates
In all of college football, the Pirates are ranked in the 90s in points per game (18), yards per game (322), points per play (0.263) and yards per play (4.7). Its 51.5% pass completion is No. 109.
Appalachian State and South Carolina have pummeled East Carolina, which now gets its first true road game against Marshall.
The last time it played in Edwards, in 2013, East Carolina yielded 539 yards and lost, 59-28.
Linebackers Charlie Gray and Eli Neal lead a voracious Thundering Herd defense that turned in nine sacks against Navy and will rattle East Carolina junior quarterback Holton Ahers.
A tilt against North Carolina Central resembled a varisty–jay vee scrimmage for Marshall, which is allowing opponents to score only 20 percent of the time, third-lowest average in the nation, it gets into the red zone.
And Marshall foes complete only 31.3% of their pass attempts. Get the aspirin ready, Pirates training staff, for Ahlers and the rest of his teammates.