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Va. Tech, Herd could meet Dec. 1

November 19, 2018

HUNTINGTON — For weeks, there was a looming question around the halls of the Shewey Building in Joan C. Edwards Stadium at Marshall University.

Will Marshall add a 12th football game this season to replace the South Carolina contest canceled Sept. 15 because of Hurricane Florence?

The answer could come soon. Mike Barber of The Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper reported multiple sources confirmed

Marshall and Virginia Tech have been discussing a Dec. 1 matchup.

Such a matchup would likely be a noon contest at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia, according to Marshall sources.

An announcement is expected Sunday to clarify the matter, but it is contingent on Virginia Tech’s scenario entering the final week of the regular season.

The Hokies are 4-6 after losing at home Saturday against Miami and have a Friday home game against Virginia. Should the Hokies split those games, they would be at five wins, which would leave them one win shy of a 26th consecutive bowl appearance.

In that scenario, Marshall and Virginia Tech would meet at Lane Stadium in the Dec. 1 matchup. Should Virginia Tech lose to Virginia, the need for such a contest would be unnecessary.

The answer will not be definitive until after Friday’s Virginia-Virginia Tech matchup at Lane Stadium.

Both teams explored the option for the Dec. 1 contest after having Sept. 15 games canceled as a result of the hurricane. Virginia Tech’s home game with East Carolina was also called off.

Discussions about a potential 12th game for Marshall started to heat up following a Nov. 3 loss at Southern Miss that essentially eliminated the Thundering Herd from the Conference USA East Division race.

Marshall still could finish tied atop the division with a win Saturday at FIU and a Middle Tennessee loss to UAB, but the conference tiebreaker formula ends any chance of the Herd representing the division in the C-USA championship game.

The Marshall game with South Carolina carried a $1.4 million paycheck, and an insurance policy through C-USA guarantees the money, so the Herd will at least not lose money by replacing that game. The insurance policy guarantees the $1.4 million minus expected expenses that would have been incurred for trip costs. If the financial agreement with Virginia Tech is less than that, the insurance policy will cover the rest to ensure no loss of revenue.

While the financial side is taken care of, such a move by Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick could be a scheduling coup for the future. It is expected that in return for the potential Dec. 1 matchup with the Hokies, Marshall could receive scheduling considerations for the future that might bring Virginia Tech to Huntington.

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