The big state of Texas is home to many football teams from high school to college to the pros. The Marshall football team with endure travel to a state that has not been a friend to the Thundering Herd. Marshall plays Rice in Rice stadium this weekend to kick off Conference USA play.
Marshall is 0-8 in Texas going back all the way to 2004. Players and coaches are aware of this fact making this time a chance at redemption. Marshall and Rice football head to head series has resulted in a 2-1 lead for Marshall, but with both of those wins in Huntington. Players say they are not influenced by not having won. A quote from the Charleston daily Mail from Marshall Player Aaron Dobson gives a glimpse, "We don't really even discuss that," Dobson said. "It's brought to our attention, and we see it in the papers, but we don't look at it in that way."
Both teams are 1-2 on the season with disappointing losses. But with the high octane offense of Marshall coming in and the dual threat quarterback Rice has this game could turn out deadly. The last time Marshall was in Houston happened to be last year against a very good Houston Cougar Team.
Rice stadium which was built in 1950 will try to be the place the Rice Owls even the series against the Marshall Thundering Herd. In this stadium in 2008 Rice notched a win against the Herd. The irony in it all is that Marshall is undefeated in Huntington against any Lone Star team.
The last time these two teams met was in Huntington in the 2011 season. The Herd got a win past the Owls 24-20. The team was led by then senior defensive end Vinny Curry who had 3.5 sacks that game. It was also the game former Marshall player AJ Graham had his first collegiate start.
Players have said there is no excuse for the losing streak in Texas. Charleston Daily mail said that even six year guard John Bruhin could not pin point why the Herd has struggled so much in the lone star state. John Bruhin was quoted having said "I can't really put my finger on it," he said. "Just going down there is a long trip. There may be the lag time over it, but that's no excuse."
Along with John Bruhin Marshall’s leading tackler Dominick LeGrande added courtesy of Herdzone the Herd goal isn’t focused on the program’s first win in history in Texas. “It’s about winning, period,” he said. “We need to win, to get that tough loss (to Ohio) out of our heads. One-and-oh in the conference is what we need now.”
With Conference play wide open for both teams it is not a win all loss all situation. But for the Herd it is clear the stigma of not being able to win in Texas must end. As these two teams will continue the series that started in 2007