"It's nice to know that even at an elite educational institution, you can still act like you're in junior high," writes reader Mike, who caught this ESPN sign among Rice fans at Saturday's Conference USA title game.
It all comes down to defense for Marshall. The Thundering Herd put up points with the best of them in 2012, but the defense gave up points with the worst of them.
Marshall ranked first in passing offense, sixth in total offense and seventh in scoring offense. The Herd was 104th in rushing defense, 101st in total defense and 119th in scoring defense. Hence the team's 5-7 record.
Nearly all of the key players are back on offense, so the worries are few there. And one has to believe the defense can't get worse. Conference USA observers have Marshall making a run at the title, but let's see what happens with the defense.
Click the poster for an enlarged view. Thanks to Ty.
It was homecoming at Marshall, where the Thundering Herd played host to Texas El Paso in a Conference USA game, and Wiz correspondent Greg Laughlin was in attendance to take in all the festivities. Tron Martinez's one-yard scoring run with 1:47 remaining gave Marshall a 16-12 victory and dealt a blow to the Miners' hopes of becoming eligible for a bowl.
Texas El Paso is 5-4 and must beat either Southern Methodist, Arkansas or Tulsa to reach the magic sixth victory currently needed to play in a bowl. The Miners have lost three in a row in what could be Mike Price's final season as coach.
On Friday, Marshall's Aaron Dobson scored on a 96-yard pass play against West Virginia. On Saturday, Notre Dame's T.J. Jones caught a 53-yard scoring pass against Michigan. Both players dropped the ball before crossing the goal, but both plays were ruled a touchdown.