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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Thundering Herd will face the Green Wave in Mobile, Ala., Saturday

Oct. 25, 2005

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Marshall will attempt to get back on the winning track when it travels to Mobile, Alabama, Saturday to face Tulane in C-USA football action Saturday. The game will be televised nationally by CSTV.

The Green Wave and the Thundering Herd will be playing in Mobile, Ala., due to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The storm forced Tulane from its campus in New Orleans, La., and has made the Green Wave a virtual road team for the season having to play all 11 games in different stadiums. Tulane's football program is being housed at Lousiana Tech.

Mobile, may actually be a more familiar surrounding for several members of the Thundering Herd than for their "hosts." Saturday's game will be Marshall's third trip to Ladd Peebles stadium since 2001. The Thundering Herd played in the 2001 and 2002 GMAC Bowls, picking up wins over East Carolina (a two OT affair that ended as a 64-61 MU win and the highest scoring bowl game ever) and Louisville (a convincing 38-15 win in 2002).

Marshall will be facing a couple of familiar faces on the Tulane sideline. Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo was an assistant coach at Marshall from 1990 to 1995 and Green Wave offensive line coach Don Mahoney played guard at Marshall and earned second-team all-Southern Conference accolades in 1990.

The Green Wave is led offensively by junior quarterback Lester Ricard who has passed for 1,569 yards and 13 touchdowns with seven interceptions so far this season. His top targets, Preston Brown and Bubba Terranova, are both averaging 71.7 ypg.

Quotes from Mark Snyder's Weekly Press Conference

On Tulane Playing Away from Home
I can't. I can't even to begin to imagine the challenges that they are going through. To have to be on the road constantly and playing in different locations every game is an incredible challenge. It is tough to go on a road trip, let alone every single week. You have to respect them for what they are going through. But, when the whistle blows you have to play football and be ready to go.

On this week's travel situation and accommodations
Mark Gale did a great job and got that all squared away. He and Mr. Marcum and our department have got us all set to go to Mobile. They did a great job and we are ready to roll. We are going to approach it as a road game.

Is this a must win game for Marshall?
We are in a must win to beat Tulane and a must situation to get better. That's the way I see it right now. There are some areas we need to concentrate on, starting in today's practice.

What areas need most of the improvement?
We need to continue to get better on special teams, continue to get better at stopping the run, and most notably to me is we must get better at putting points on the board. We haven't been getting that done. It was very evident last week with two turnovers and we come away with only three points in the game. That's just not acceptable. We have to get more creative and there are some things we have to work on. You have to get more creative and it's a matter of confidence.

Discussing Marshall's recent red zone performance
I think it's a combination of things. When the field shrinks you have to be more creative and, again, it's a mindset. I think it's the whole gamut there. Can I put my thumb on it right now? No. Usually it is those two areas. When you look at teams that are scoring in the red zone, they are creative and they have confidence there. We need to re-establish that. We have had it hear and we need to get that back. We will get it done.

On seeing another marquee quarterback
It seems like week in and week out we see a great quarterback and that is what makes this league good. It seems like every week we see a good one. I am extremely impressed with his deep ball. He has great touch on the deep ball. He doesn't miss many. He is on the money and very impressive.

On Bernie Morris' Confidence
Well, I just think we need to get better in our passing game. I know he is doing a lot of things with his feet. He is making some big, big plays with his feet. We just are not throwing the ball well right now and that has got to improve. We have to be able to throw the football and stop the run defensively. We are moving the ball between the 20s, but we have to put points on the board.

On playing in Mobile where Marshall has won two GMAC Bowls
Its exciting. We have had a lot of success there and I hope it continues. When I went down to the GMAC Bowl outing earlier this year, I was amazed by the amount of people that came up to me and told me how much they enjoyed having Marshall play in those games and it appears like there was a great relationship formed during those bowl trips.

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