(Nov. 23) - Marshall University is looking for a perfect season. Ohio University is working for a winning season. On Friday, November 26, the two Mid-American Conference rivals meet in a game that will decide their fate.
Kickoff is at 11:30 a.m. (ET) from Marshall University Stadium in Huntington, W.Va. The game will be televise nationally by FOX Sports Net with Paul Kennedy (play-by-play), Trevor Matich (commentary), Sonny Randle (commentary) and Lewis Johnson (sideline) providing the talent.
Marshall comes into the game with an overall record of 10-0 and 7-0 in the MAC East Division while Ohio stands at 5-5 overall and 5-3 in the MAC East. The #12 ranked Thundering Herd will close out the regular season before playing in its third consecutive MAC championship game Dec. 3 against MAC West Division champion Western Michigan. Ohio looks to end the season a 6-5, which give the Bobcats their second winning campaign in the last three years.
The Thundering Herd features Heisman hopeful in quarterback Chad Pennington and the Bobcats counter with one of the nation's leading ground attacks. Pennington ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency at 171.5 based on 230 completions on 337 attempts for 3,137 yards and 31 touchdowns. The challenge to Ohio's offense, which ranks sixth nationally with 277 rushing yards per game, is to control the clock and keep the Marshall offense on the sideline. Ohio has five players averaging over 45 rushing yards per game, including Jamel Patterson (83.1), Chad Brinker (56.1), Dontrell Jackson (51.0), Raynald Ray (45.4) and Joe Sherrill (49.5).
Marshall features two of the MAC's topped ranked receivers with Nate Poole (59 receptions, 905 yards, 8 TDs) and James Williams (37-662-10). Williams also leads the nation in kickoff returns at 27.5 yards per return. Add in running back Doug Chapman (537 yards and 8 TDs on 125 carries) and the Bobcats will be challenged from all sides.
Marshall ranks first in the MAC in total defense, allowing 284.5 yards per game and Ohio is second at 343.5 yards a game.
This will be the 47th meeting between in this series that began in 1905 with a 6-5 Marshall victory. Ohio holds a series advantage of 28-12-6 but Marshall has won the last three games and five of the last six. Marshall won last year in Athens 30-23. Ohio's most recent win against the Herd came in 1987, 23-15, in Athens.