CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- NOT MUCH more need be penned about Marshall's 55-0 win over a glorified scout team from North Carolina.
The pounding of Gardner-Webb - the Thundering Herd's highest margin of victory since 2000, when it drubbed Southeast Missouri State 63-7 - was good to get a bunch of players some live snaps.
That includes safety Tiquan Lang and receiver Josh Knight. They became the fifth and sixth true freshmen to hit the field for the Herd, the 29th and 30th in the four-season Doc Holliday era.
Is that a lot, or about average? Keep in mind that 13 trues played in Holliday's first season of 2010, a number I found quite surprising. Side note: Six of them have since left the program.
I bring that up with the Herd's impending trip to Ohio, an 8 p.m. Saturday bout at Peden Stadium. As you know, the Herd has suffered two straight setbacks against the Bobcats, including that 44-7 mess in 2011 at Athens.
A check of the Bobcats' roster shows 20 - two-zero - redshirt seniors. Let's qualify that a little: Three are junior-college transfers, one transferred from Florida State and one more came in from North Carolina State.
But that's impressive and so is this: Fifteen are listed as starters or co-starters. That's more than Marshall's 11 redshirt seniors (starting and reserve), which is about the most you'll see on a Holliday roster.
Clearly, Ohio coach Frank Solich has committed to keeping his first-year freshmen off the field, giving them a year with the program. That philosophy may correspond with his 60-45 record over eight seasons, with three Mid-American Conference division titles - not-so-ordinary numbers when you examine the program's middling history.
Solich had 15 fifth-year seniors last year, and I thought veteran leadership made a difference in the Bobcats' 27-24 victory at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Such leadership was clearly an issue in the 2011 game, for the Herd didn't have much of it that night.
Marshall has improved greatly in the leadership department, I am thinking. Several of the players who were pressed into service as newbies have become juniors and seniors - Rakeem Cato, Tommy Shuler, Gator Hoskins, Garrett Scott and Brandon Sparrow come to mind.
Arguably, all five were needed when they arrived. The Herd probably could have used Evan McKelvey and A.J. Leggett last year and D.J. Hunter in 2011. All three would have played if not for injury (McKelvey as a second-year sophomore), but their redshirts make them currently a sophomore, a redshirt freshman and a sophomore, respectively.
That's a combined seven years' eligibility left instead of four. Doesn't that sound more promising?
Neither Solich nor Holliday take a poll on their decisions, believe me. Doc says plainly that if he thinks a new freshman can help the Herd win this season, that man is playing. Period, end of story.
It seemed a little crazy that Lang and Knight officially lost their redshirt in the Gardner-Webb game, but I do recall Holliday declaring in August that both would play. Good game to get their feet wet, right?