Grounding Marshall's Running Game

The focus of the defense is set squarely on slowing the running attack of The Herd and to do that they need to stop Ahmad Bradshaw. Bradshaw is a talented back that is capable of running for big yards, breaking big plays and containing him this week will be critical. Coach Prince and the team weigh in on the defensive plan to stop The Thundering Herd.

Ahmad Bradshaw has all the tools to be a great running back.

At least that is what K-State football coach Ron Prince said when he signed Bradshaw while he was coaching at the University of Virginia.

Bradshaw has since moved on from Virginia, and is now the starting running back for the Marshall Thundering Herd. He will get the opportunity to showcase his talents in front of his old coach, and the rest of the Wildcat faithful Saturday when his team visits Snyder Family Stadium to take on K-State.

"This is a very unique backfield that we are going to face. It's unique in the standpoint that I know a lot about Ahmad Bradshaw," Prince said. "This is a player of tremendous talent. He's a hard-nosed player who has speed and contact balance. He has all the things you would want in a running back. He can catch the ball, he's elusive in space and he can run with power. (Marshall) is more than just the Ahmad Bradshaw show, but he is a significant player and I think he'll be one of the better backs we face all year."

Marshall opened up its season against the No. 5-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. Bradshaw had 18 carries for 70 yards against one of the best defenses in the country, even though the Thundering Herd were defeated 42-10. He also had three catches for 25 yards.

Last week against Hofstra, Bradshaw had a breakout game. He rushed the ball 17 times for 152 yards, and he scored a career-high four touchdowns en route to a 54-31 victory. Three of his four touchdown runs were over 20 yards, which included a 30-yarder and a 40-yarder.

"He is a physical back," free safety Andrew Erker said. "He is a guy that will, if you give him a chance, run you over or make a move if he has to. No quitting would be our biggest solution to the problems that he presents, along with consistent pursuit of the defensive backs." When K-State played Marshall last year at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, W.Va., he was one of the lone bright spots of a 21-19 loss to the Wildcats. He had 58 yards rushing and five receptions for 33 yards. He also scored both Marshall touchdowns.

He isn't the only player in the Thundering Herd backfield, however. Quarterback Bernard Morris is also a game-changer in his own right. He was 12-of-22 for 168 yards passing against the Mountaineers and threw for the lone touchdown of the game. Morris also rushed for 37 yards on eight carries.

Last week he went 20-of-27 for 153 yards and two touchdowns. He had 14 rushes for 151 yards against Hofstra, becoming the first Marshall quarterback since 1978 to rush for 100 yards in a single game. He and Bradshaw became the first backs in Marshall history to rush for more than 150 yards in a single game.

Wildcat sophomore running back John McCardle played defense last season before making the switch to offense over the summer. He said he remembers how good the Marshall offense is. "They have a great running back and I remember he had a screen last year where he broke a bunch of tackles and made a lot of guys look stupid. We are going to have to do what we can to keep him under wraps."


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