Herd knows hazards of playing an FCS school
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Coaches at those major-college football teams that opened their seasons against not-so-major-college teams issued the obligatory warning about Davids occasionally biting Goliath.
This week, there are more Bowl Subdivision teams playing the so-called little guys. Those coaches have tangible, frightening proof to back up their speeches.
That includes Marshall coach Doc Holliday, who is preparing his team to battle Gardner-Webb on Saturday. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m, with no television outside of pay-per-stream on Herdzone.com.
"The one thing I tried to stress to our team is that there were seven teams sitting last Tuesday that were kind of in the same boat that we are," Holliday said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. "And for whatever reason, whether it was preparation, whether it was, whatever it was, they woke up Sunday morning and they weren't very happy."
No, they weren't. Those victims of a pesky Championship Subdivision team last weekend, in the order Holliday rattled them off:
The one Holliday didn't mention: South Alabama's 22-21 loss to Southern Utah. What he did mention: "As you know there are a couple of I-AA [FCS] teams that went into some people's stadiums, that are supposedly pretty good teams, and barely got out of there without winning."
He may have been making a veiled reference to alma mater West Virginia, which suffered a near-disaster against William & Mary. But that's not the important thing - the task at hand for the Herd is beating Gardner-Webb.
The Big South school based in Boiling Springs, N.C., does have an FBS pelt in its history. That came on Sept. 11, 2010, a 38-37 overtime victory at Akron. Perhaps more impressive was a 10-7 loss at Georgia Tech, in which the Runnin' Bulldogs held the Yellow Jackets to 199 total yards - and missed a tie by having a field goal blocked in the closing seconds.
Another example for the Herd to heed.
"The message to our football team is you'd better be prepared to go play [or] you're going to get beat."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5140, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.