This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features West Virginia University Mountaineers taking on Marshall University Thundering Herd in Huntington home of the Herd.
The Mountaineers are led by Bill Stewart, now in his third season at the helm and they cruised past Coastal Carolina as expected by a 31-0 final. There are 16 starters back between the offense and defense. While many starters do return for West Virginia, Geno Smith is a fresh face under center. In the opener against Coastal Carolina, Smith was 20-27 for 216 yards 2 touchdowns and 1 INT.
Senior running back Noel Devine ran for 111 yards and one touchdown and the speedy back now has nearly 3,500 rushing yards in his brilliant collegiate career. Senior Jock Sanders was the leading receiver for the Mountaineers as his pulled in 8 catches for 71 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively West Virginia held the Chanticleers to 186 total yards on 60 offensive plays. Of the 14 third-down conversion attempts that Coastal faced in the tilt, only two of those were successful. Sophomore defensive back Terence Garvin lead the way with 7 tackles.
As for Marshall, which is a member of Conference USA, it had the unenviable task of taking on Ohio State in Columbus to open the season last week. The Thundering Herd fell to the Buckeyes in a 45-7 that lopsided defeat spoiled the debut of head coach Doc Holliday.
Holliday’s offense posted just 199 total yards and recorded 11 first downs against Ohio State, which possesses one of the best defenses in all of college football. The Thundering Herd were 4-of-14 on third-down conversion attempts and turned the ball over three times.
A major problem for Marshall was that its receivers dropped far too many passes. Both Brian Anderson and backup Eddie Sullivan saw time under center, and both were victimized by the drops. Anderson was 17-28 for 135 yards 1 INT.
On the defensive side of the ball Marshall was simply over powered by the Ohio State offense. The Thundering Herd were thrashed for 529 total yards as the Buckeyes where able to hold the ball for nearly 35 minutes of the contest. If there was one bright spot on the defense it was the performance of senior linebacker Mario Harvey who recorded 10 total tackles and junior defensive end Vinny Curry who had 2 sacks.
West Virginia has won all nine previous meetings with Marshall, including double-digit victories over the Herd in each of the last four seasons.
PICK: West Virginia University Mountaineers
It’s that time of year again and I’m back for another year of Primetime College Football posts. For those that weren’t regular visitors of this site during this time last year, you might not be familiar with the whole objective of these posts. First, breakdowns only come of Primetime games during the season. Bowl season is a different story and every bowl game will get it’s own moment. Second, I don’t root for any particular college team just a fan of all 120 Division 1A and no I won’t call it Football Bowl Subdivision. Third, these are just observations I collect throughout the year and notes I’ve compiled through the years on players. I did somewhat OK last year going 66-27 and slightly above .500 during the bowl season.
Oh and if you have any pictures of TALENT decked out in school gear,doesn’t matter which school, feel free to send them my way. So let’s kickoff the 2010 NCAA Division 1-A Football Season.
The Big Ten Network kicks off the first game of this years Primetime College Football and it’s between Ohio State Buckeyes and Marshall University Thundering Herd. A lot of experts have the Buckeyes in contention to play for a BCS National Championship Game this year but it all starts here.
Marshall starts the year off with new coach Doc Holliday, who inherits a Thundering Herd squad that finished 7-6 a year ago, including 4-4 versus Conference USA competition. Marshall’s last victory was a 21-17 win over Ohio in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. Holliday a longtime assistant and regarded as one of colleges best recruiters returns 13 starters. Senior quarterback Brian Anderson is one of them after throwing for 2,646 yards and 14 touchdowns 13 INTS last year. Anderson main target is Antavious Wilson, who lead the team in catches with 60 catches for 724 yards and 3 touchdowns as a freshman.
On the defensive side of the ball for Marshall they will have to lean heavily on defensive end Vinny Curry, 59 tackles and 3.5 sacks as a sophomore, and senior linebacker Mario Harvey, 117 tackles and 7 sacks. The Thundering Herd will have to go about this season without one of their best play-makers in the secondary after DeQuan Bembry, 3 INTS, was kicked off the team after being charged with assault on a police officer.
Jim Tressel is currently 9-0 in season openers at Ohio State and will watch as junior quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Terrelle Pryor looks to guide the Buckeys to their 6th consecutive Big Ten title. Ending the season Pryor had one of his best games when he threw for 266 yards and 2 touchdowns while rushing for 72 yards in a Rose Bowl victory over Oregon.
Two of Pryor’s favorite targets in DeVier Posey, 60 catches for 828 yards and 8 touchdowns, and Dane Sanzenbacher 36 catches for 570 yards and 6 touchdowns are back. The offense firepower doesn’t stop with Pryor and his favorite wide receivers as running back tandem of Brandon Saine, 739 yards, 5.1 ypc, 4 touchdowns, and Daniel Herron, 600 yds,7 touchdowns also are back. The offensive line also returns four starters.
The headlines might read all about Pryor and the offesne but it’s the Buckeyes defense that should dominate the 2010 college football. The defensive unit that was among the nation’s best last year, ranking 5th in total defense and scoring defense brings back most of its starters. Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward is the real star on the defensive side of the ball as he led the team with 6.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss last year. Top tacklers Ross Homan and Brian Rolle also have returned for their senior seasons.
The only previous meeting between Ohio State and Marshall occurred in 2004 with a narrow 24-21 win by the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes haven’t dropped a home opener since a 19-0 loss to Penn State in 1978.
PICK: The Ohio State University Buckeyes