Dog Days of Summer

The dog days of summer are not supposed to start until August, but for football fans, there cannot be much worse than the middle of July. Coaches are taking their final little break until camp starts, and football is still two weeks away.

Add to the fact that sports in general is at a standstill with the extra day now added to the baseball All Star break, and sports fans are just setting around trying to enjoy the weather. When putting together today’s throw back article, the realization of that emptiness became even more real. As I have been doing the past couple weeks, I have taken the number of days left until kickoff and completed a small bio for the player wearing that number. Today happens to be number 45. So, lets take a look at that player. Well, there isn’t one. That’s right, currently no one is wearing number 45.

After the player bios, I have thrown back to the year correlating with the number of days left. Today, that year is 1945. Marshall’s football team in 1945 finished with, well, nothing. Adolph Hitler decided to throw a monkey wrench in everything and start World War II. Marshall did not field a football team due to this from 1943 to 1945. So, no throwback years available for the next couple of days.

Time to take a look at another former Marshall player, and in state talent, Charlie Tynes. Tynes wore number 45 during his career at Marshall. He came to Marshall after having played at Bluefiled High School. He had an excellent career and enrolled at Marshall for the 1999 football season. He redshirted his first year before blasting onto the scene as a freshman in 2000. He went on to start at safety and at linebacker for the Herd.

In 2002, when Marshall was in a shootout at home in the MAC Championship against Toledo, he actually forced the fumble that led to Duran Smith recovering a fumble and returning it for an early touchdown.

One of the biggest single plays of his career goes unnoticed by many. The year was 2003, Tynes was a senior and the Herd was on the road at number 6, Kansas State. Marshall was a heavy underdog and was without its starting quarterback, Stan Hill. Still, the Herd held a late 27 to 20 lead. Kansas State was driving for the tying touchdown, and had broken a big play. Tynes tracked him down and ran him out of bounds at the 4 yard line. Marshall would end up holding on defense and complete arguably the biggest upset win in school history.

Forty Five Years ago, the Thundering Herd hit the field at Fairfield Stadium fresh off one of the worse years in school football history, up to that point. New Head Coach Rick Tolley was taking over for the fired Perry Moss who had been at the helm when the Herd was kicked out of the Mid American Conference due to several rules violations. Tolley got off to a rough start as he saw the Herd drop its first six games of the season, including a home loss to Morehead State. Marshall then beat Bowling Green at home, which was the first of three consecutive wins. The other two wins came against Kent State and East Carolina.

Marshall finished the year with three wins and seven losses and was outscored by its opponents 281 to 207.

Marshall was led by quarterback Ted Shoebridge who was a sophomore at the time. Shoebridge finished the season with 1,620 total passing yards. He completed 104 of his 226 passes, and had 13 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions. Those of you who have been following these throw back articles should see that as quite an improvement over quarterbacks in the past for the Herd.

The 1,620 passing yards by Shoebridge was nearly 370 more than the previous Herd record held by John Oertel the previous season. Oertel threw 24 interceptions though during that year. Shoebridge’s passing yards record for a single season would stand for the next 15 seasons before Marshall Great Carl Fodor broke it with 2,888 yards.

Shoebridge was the first Marshall quarterback to break double digits in touchdown passes for a single season. He would hold that record as well until 1984 when Fodor broke it with 22 toucdowns.

On the receiving end of most of those passes was senior wide out Larry Carter. Carter ended his senior campaign with 54 catches for 663 yards and three touchdowns.

Marshall’s running attack was led by John Hurst. Hurst was also a senior. Hurst finished the 1969 season with 355 yards and 3 touchdowns on 103 carries. Hurst also added four field goals, two touchdowns receiving and twenty three extra points to end the year with 65 total points.

Sophomore Larry Sanders picked off 5 passes, and Roger Childers rang up 90 tackles to lead the Herd defense. Both players would return for the 1970 season along with the aforementioned Shoebridge.

Stay tuned to for further updates and stories from the Herd’s past, present and future.

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