Jump to content
  • USF Bulls fans join us at The Bulls Pen

    It's simple, free and connects you to other South Florida Bulls fans!

Zebold: Know the Gasparilla Foe: Marshall


 Share

Recommended Posts


  • Group:  Admin
  • Topic Count:  12,846
  • Content Count:  90,499
  • Reputation:   7,820
  • Days Won:  371
  • Joined:  05/19/2000

KNOW THE GASPARILLA BOWL FOE: MARSHALL


By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer

TAMPA, DEC. 16, 2018 – Now that finals are in the books, USF football is in full scouting mode as it prepares to face Marshall in the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 20 at Raymond James Stadium.

Led by head coach Doc Holliday, Marshall (8-4, 6-2 in C-USA) won three of its last four regular season games to build some momentum heading into the program's 14th bowl game appearance.

29717Marshall is 11-2 all-time in bowl games and its .846 winning percentage in NCAA-sanctioned postseason contests is the highest mark nationally among programs that have made at least five appearances. USF is tied for fifth with a .667 winning percentage in bowl games (6-3) and looks to snap the Thundering Herd's six-game postseason winning streak.

Get to know more about the Thundering Herd as the Bulls get ready to take on Marshall for the first time in program history.

Season Breakdown
In his ninth season with the program, head coach Doc Holliday has led Marshall to an 8-4 overall record, including an impressive 6-2 run in Conference USA.

29710The Thundering Herd finished one game behind Middle Tennessee in the C-USA's East Division with a first-year starting quarterback in redshirt freshman Isaiah Green. Fifty-one percent of Marshall's depth chart is made up of underclassmen, including 17 of 28 players on the offense's two-deep.

Marshall started off the season with wins over Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Kentucky, scoring 30-plus points in both games before a 37-20 loss to NC State. The Thundering Herd went 3-1 from there with victories over Western Kentucky, Old Dominion and Florida Atlantic before a 26-24 setback at Southern Miss.

During the stretch run, Marshall defeated Charlotte, UTSA and FIU prior to a 41-20 loss at Virginia Tech in the regular season finale.

Fast starts are a norm for Marshall, which has outscored opponents, 80-32, in the first quarter this season. The Thundering Herd has won 17 consecutive games when scoring first and has won the past eight when leading after the opening quarter.

The Coach
Doc Holliday is 5-0 in bowl games with Marshall and he'll be looking to top an old friend in Charlie Strong in the Gasparilla Bowl.

29692Both head coaches served on the same defensive coaching staff under Urban Meyer at the University of Florida from 2005-07. Strong was the assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator while Holliday was an associate head coach and in charge of the Gators' safeties. Together, Holliday and Strong helped Florida limit Ohio State to 82 total yards in the Gators' 2006 BCS National Championship Game victory.

"That was a great deal and to have an opportunity to win that national championship was special," Holliday said.

After his three-season run at Florida, Holliday went back to his alma mater to serve multiple roles on the West Virginia staff from 2008-09 before getting his first head coaching opportunity at Marshall in December 2009.

Holliday helped the Thundering Herd capture the program's first C-USA championship in 2014 in the midst of three straight 10-win seasons (2013-15). Marshall has won eight games in each of the past two seasons and Holliday accomplished the feat this year with many up-and-coming players playing prominent roles.

"I have a lot of respect for his team," Strong said. "He has a very young team also, but they've been very productive. They've won some really big games and they've played very well."

For decades, Holliday has put a premium on recruiting the Sunshine State and his current roster has 30 players from Florida.

"He has a big-time name here," Strong said. "A lot of coaches really respect him because they know that when he comes in, he's going to recruit the right guys and he's going to have a really good football team."

The Quarterback and Marshall's Top Target
Isaiah Green earned Conference USA Co-Freshman of the Year honors after averaging 248.7 passing yards per game in his first season as Marshall's starting quarterback.

29707"Anytime you're playing a freshman quarterback early on, you're going to go through some growing pains," head coach Doc Holliday said. "… Watching him grow as a player and watching him develop the intangibles needed to play that position, we were fortunate."

Green has completed 55.7 percent of his 305 passing attempts this season for 2,238 yards and 15 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. The Fairburn, Ga., native has at least one touchdown toss to his credit in each of the nine games he's played (eight starts) and has produced five multi-TD performances.

Fortunately for Green, he gets to throw to one of the top receivers in Conference USA. Tyre Brady leads Marshall this season with 66 catches for 914 yards (13.8 ypc) and nine touchdowns. Before heading to the Senior Bowl, Brady is on the verge of becoming Marshall's first 1,000-yard receiver since 2014 and he's on a 23-game catch streak.

The Rushing Attack
Averaging 155.8 yards per game, Marshall ranks 86th nationally in rushing offense but has plenty of playmakers in the ground attack.

Sophomore back Tyler King (Fort Meade, Fla.) has a team-leading 655 rushing yards on 108 attempts (6.1 ypc) and four touchdowns despite missing five games with a knee injury.

Redshirt freshman Brenden Knox generated all 485 of his yards in the final four games of the regular season on 83 attempts (5.8 ypc). Knox rushed for 204 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in the regular season finale at Virginia Tech.

"It's just great to see some young players, when your number is called and you have to step up and play, that get the job done," Holliday said. "Knox was one of them."

Another player to keep an eye on is bruising back Anthony Anderson (6-2, 240), who leads the team with eight rushing touchdowns.

The Defense
Averaging 202.1 rushing yards per game, USF will be tested by Marshall's stingy defense that ranks ninth nationally in rushing defense (103.9 ypg) and hasn't allowed an individual 100-yard rusher all year.

Scoring is no easy task either with Marshall giving up just 22.0 points per game in a season that has included games against NC State and Virginia Tech.

29708Nine starters have returned to Marshall's multiple defense, including first team all-conference safety Malik Gant (6-2, 200), who is the only player in C-USA with at least nine tackles for loss and two interceptions this season.

Star power continues up front with second team all-conference tackle Ryan Bee (6-7, 280), who ranks 10th in Marshall history with 18.5 career tackles for loss. Junior linebacker Omari Cobb (6-4, 223) is one of only eight players in college football with at least 50 tackles, four sacks, an interception and a defensive touchdown this season. Senior linebacker Chase Hancock leads the team with 8.9 tackles per game and needs two more stops to reach 100 for the second straight season.

Aside from being great against the run, Marshall ranks fifth nationally in sacks per game (3.25), sixth in three-and-out percentage (41.3), 10th in three-and-outs per game (5.17) and 15th in third down conversion percentage defense (31.89).

Rest of story

 
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  84
  • Content Count:  3,600
  • Reputation:   713
  • Days Won:  0
  • Joined:  08/20/2008

I think we need a Know the offensive coordinator. Never in my like have I seen a special teams coach with zero experience call plays get jobs in fbs. I just don’t get it. Is Mattox gone? Is Burke just the best turd left?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  62
  • Content Count:  2,256
  • Reputation:   485
  • Days Won:  1
  • Joined:  09/26/2013

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2018/12/14/college-football-2018-bowl-games-ranked-their-watchability/2269393002/

Rating the bowls by watchability: We are #39 out of 40 Bowls, ahead of only FIU vs. Toledo....at least according to USAToday. Sounds about right I guess. Curious to see if the play calling is any different without Gilbert.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  398
  • Content Count:  4,672
  • Reputation:   514
  • Days Won:  4
  • Joined:  02/03/2017

I got a good look at the King kid in high school. He is a quality back, could have been a P5 back if not for a few things. Could be trouble for our Defensive front. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  451
  • Content Count:  11,098
  • Reputation:   2,141
  • Days Won:  23
  • Joined:  12/14/2005

9 hours ago, USFBulls727 said:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2018/12/14/college-football-2018-bowl-games-ranked-their-watchability/2269393002/

Rating the bowls by watchability: We are #39 out of 40 Bowls, ahead of only FIU vs. Toledo....at least according to USAToday. Sounds about right I guess. Curious to see if the play calling is any different without Gilbert.

That was probably before the weather report...☺

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Moderator
  • Topic Count:  1,550
  • Content Count:  68,714
  • Reputation:   8,151
  • Days Won:  368
  • Joined:  11/25/2005

10 hours ago, USFBulls727 said:

Curious to see if the play calling is any different without Gilbert.

I'm more curious to see if the execution is any different ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites


  • Group:  Member
  • Topic Count:  1,586
  • Content Count:  23,185
  • Reputation:   2,332
  • Days Won:  65
  • Joined:  09/05/2002

10 hours ago, USFBulls727 said:

Curious to see if the play calling is any different without Gilbert.

 

2 minutes ago, Triple B said:

I'm more curious to see if the execution is any different ...

Hopefully, both

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...