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Marshall vs. UAB: Why its more then just a Game

Marshall Plays UAB: Why its more then just a Game

On November 14, 1970, the Marshall University football team, boosters and coaches boarded a chartered jet after a loss to ECU. The team would never make it home, as the plane crashed killing all 75 members on board. This is the deadliest American sports tragedy in history. Marshall faces UAB on Saturday, which is the game that is closest to that fateful date.

Marshall has made those 75 souls on board that plane proud, as they have risen from the ashes and have become nationally recognized over the years. From being a powerhouse in the ’90s, winning Division I-AA National Championships with the likes of Chad Pennington, Randy Moss and Troy Brown to the Early 2000s where Byron Leftwich brought the Herd to national prominence. Furthermore just recently in 2014 Marshall went undefeated until their final game, losing to Western Kentucky. Fast forward to now, Marshall (6-3) controls its own destiny in Conference USA East with head coach Charles Huff at the helm. This article will give insight on this game as Marshall plays UAB (6-3).

How has Marshall done this Season?

Grant Wells, after a terrific 2020 season is once again the quarterback for Marshall. The Herd also features Rasheen Ali, who has become one of the best running backs in the nation. He has 17 rushing touchdowns, which is tied for the most in college football. He is also just shy of 1,000 yards, as he has 898 yards so far on the season. Marshall started the season 2-0, but dropped three games in a row to East Carolina, Appalachian State and Middle Tennessee. Marshall has been plagued all season with turnovers and costly penalties. Wells has thrown as thrown 11 interceptions this season. If Marshall could take care of the ball in that stretch, they could be a one or two-loss team. Marshall has since bounced back nicely with wins against ODU, North Texas and FAU.

Looking at the UAB Blazers

UAB, who is also 6-3, had a nice two-game winning streak going, as they have beaten FAU and Southern Miss recently. Their other wins earlier in the season have come against Jacksonville State, North Texas and Tulane. Their quarterback Dylan Hopkins has been great this year as he has 1,473 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions. He is an accurate passer as he has completed 61.2 percent of his passes this season.

Marshall Plays UAB: Why its more then just a Game


Photo courtesy of Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Their running back has also had a great season. Dewayne McBride is close to a 1,00 yard rushing season and has eight touchdowns. This UAB team is good, as their losses have come against good teams such as Georgia and Liberty. They did however have one bad loss to Rice who has only won three games on the season.

Conclusion

This will be Marshall’s first game against UAB since losing to them in the Conference USA championship a year ago. Marshall will be playing for something bigger than that though: those 75 souls who passed. Marshall will be breaking out their special helmets to remember the tragic plane crash, which has the old Marshall logo and a green stripe that has all 75 players, boosters and coaches’ names on the middle stripe.

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On the other hand, UAB will be looking for a key win that will bolster their name in the ranks of Conference USA. This is an evenly matched game, and it can go either way on Saturday. Marshall has the slight edge with it being a special day in the school’s history.

 

 




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