Championship Game Notes

The Marshall football program began playing Division 1-A (now FBS) football in 1997. Stepping up to the new level, the Herd was no stranger to championship football contests. From 1987 to 1996, the Thundering Herd played in an astounding 6 National Championship Games.

Marshall was able to win two of those games, in 1992, and 1996. The Herd came up short in 1987, 1991, 1993, and 1995. Following the 1991 and 1995 championship games, the Herd was able to bounce back and avenge the previous seasons loss against the same team, Youngstown State in 1992, and Montana in 1996.

After moving up to 1-A, Marshall immediately began playing for championships. Coach Bob Pruett put the Herd in the Mid American Championship games in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002. Marshall won every game except a heartbreaking loss in 2001 at Toledo which saw the Rockets battle back from a huge deficit.

Last season, Marshall’s ninth in CUSA, the Herd finally made its way back to a conference title matchup. Marshall, favored over Rice, travelled to Houston and lost to the Owls.

The Herd looks to bounce back this Saturday against Louisiana Tech. This time, the game will be back in the friendly confines of “the Joan.” Marshall has not lost a championship game in its home stadium since the 1995 loss to Montana.

In 1996, Marshall had one of its best teams in school history. The Herd entered the National Championship Game against Montana. The previous week Montana had beaten the number four ranked Troy Trojans 70 to 7. This past weekend, Louisiana Tech scored 76 points in a win at home over Rice. The Marshall defense shut the Grizzlies down until some late touchdowns made the score appear closer than it was, as Marshall won 49 to 29.

Marshall is set to play its 39th game in school history in the month of December. Coming into this game, the Herd is 28 and 10 in the month of December.

Marshall has never played a football game on December 6th.

The game will kickoff at noon on ESPN2.

Louisiana Tech is led in passing by Cody Sokol. Sokol has completed 239 of his 400 passes for 3,118 yards. He has thrown 29 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Tech is led in receiving by Trent Taylor. Taylor has 61 catches for 808 yards. He has snagged 9 touchdowns.

Their leading rusher is Kenneth Dixon. Dixon has rushed the ball 220 times for 1,080 yards. Dixon has 19 rushing touchdowns. Dixon also has 26 catches for 306 yards and an additional 5 touchdowns.

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