Marshall's 2011 season ended with Herd players getting into a near-brawl with those from Florida International, and coaches frantically separating the combatants. The 2012 season started the same way, with Herd and WVU players getting into it.
Strangely enough, I missed the start of both spats. At the bowl game, I was filing a story on deadline and would have blocked out a nuclear attack. Saturday at Morgantown, I simply wasn't watching.
What, I should watch for a fight every stinkin' minute players from both teams take the field? Next thing you know, the kicking specialists will duke it out after trying long field goals.
I'm not sure who to blame in either incident, and I don't care. Here's what I did see clearly in the wee hours Sunday morning: video of a bunch of Marshall players jawing at WVU's Smith. A Fox studio analyst declared it "junior varsity."
Now, I like a team with an edge, but Herd players must be smarter than that. Cornerback Keith Baxter didn't look too intelligent when he yapped at Austin after running him down on a 70-yard run. Okechukwu Okoroha looked even worse when he gave Shawne Alston's facemask a healthy yank - when Alston was two full strides into the end zone.
Here's hoping MU coach Doc Holliday gets a handle on this.
Quick quips from the weekend's play elsewhere:
David Piland, hailed as a worthy successor to Case Keenum, went 17-of-44 for 211 yards. Charles Sims had just 13 rushes and a catch. The Coogs converted just one of their 13 third downs.
(Inside joke. Couldn't resist.)
In El Paso's Sun Bowl, Los Mineros could have, should have beaten Oklahoma. Nathan Jeffery scored on a blocked punt return and ran wild until cramping up late in the game. The game was tied 7-7 at the half, and the Sooners led just 10-7 after three quarters.
Believe it or not, the 30-point underdogs were outplaying mighty Oklahoma in many areas. But not at quarterback, because Lamaison was truly awful.
He went 6-of-23 despite getting good protection and open receivers. He clanked nine straight at one point, and most of his throws weren't even close to their targets.
Oklahoma scratched out a 24-7 win in the fourth quarter, but I'm thinking Marshall has three quarterbacks who could have swung that result the other way.
"This is the hottest thing going," he told USA Today. "We've got the best stadium in America, and we're enlarging to 65,000 when we get into the Big East Conference."
The mighty Owls then rang in the Carl Pelini era Friday night at their year-old, 30,000-seat "House That Howard Built," pummeling Wagner 7-3.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.