Herd, NC State get extra prep time
HUNTINGTON — When Marshall University and N.C. State football teams battle Sept. 22 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium, both squads should be crisp and well-rested.
Both teams are getting an unexpected bye this week because of Hurricane Florence.
Both teams had Saturday’s contests canceled against opponents because of the dangerous conditions expected as Florence makes landfall in the Carolinas.
Marshall was scheduled to play Saturday against South Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina, while NC State was set to host West Virginia University at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina. South Carolina’s news release said the game would not be made up and the Gamecocks would seek another opponent. The NC State release left open the possibility of a reschedule, but that is not likely from a logistical standpoint.
Therefore, the attention of both Marshall (2-0) and NC State (2-0) turns toward each other and the teams have 10 days to prepare for their 7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 22, matchup at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Marshall’s football team was actually in the midst of a
regularly-scheduled practice Wednesday when word came from that the game with South Carolina was canceled, so Thursday was the first chance that coaches and players had a chance to focus solely on N.C. State preparation.
With the prospects of a potential cancellation, however, Marshall had video ready to roll on the Wolfpack.
NC State had one more day to get started on Marshall after Tuesday’s cancellation of its contest with West Virginia, but both teams have plenty of time to break down the intricacies of each other.
There should be plenty of familiarity with each side as well, considering the teams played last season at Carter-Finley Stadium with the Wolf-pack earning a 37-20 win over the Thundering Herd. Marshall actually jumped out to a 20-10 lead before allowing a pair of late first-half touchdowns that flipped momentum.
Scouting the Herd’s personnel should not be difficult for NC State, given that Marshall has 18 starters back from the team that battled them in Raleigh last season. However, Marshall has replaced both offensive and defensive coordinators, so NC State’s charge is to prepare for the Herd’s schemes.
On the flip side, Marshall has seen NC State quarterback Ryan Finley before. Finley has a pair of 300-yard passing performances to his credit early this season, so the Herd’s focus is to figure out the Wolfpack passing attack. The N.C. State defense features nearly an entirely new front-seven from a unit that saw all four defensive linemen taken in the NFL Draft after last season.