"I think it's a huge challenge, because they were in the 1-AA final last year," Pruett said Thursday afternoon. "Marshall has played them three times in the final game here, and we only won one of the three games."
Marshall and Youngstown State played each other in the Division I-AA championship game each year from 1991-93. The Penguins took victories in 1991 and 93 while Marshall won in 1992. The all-time series is tied 4-4-1.
Marshall replaces fellow Mid-American Conference school Toledo on the YSU schedule. The Rockets and Penguins, like Marshall and TCU, did not have a matching open date on their schedules in which to schedule a makeup game.
Marshall athletics director Lance West agreed with Pruett. "We are very excited to be able to renew a great rivalry with Youngstown State," West said. "The fans of the two schools have great respect for each other as a result of the many great games the teams played in the early 1990s and we hope to have a large turnout to see the game."
"We had some other options, but none of them we thought was as good as Youngstown State," summed up Pruett. Other schools that had openings- and were rumored to have been in discussions with Marshall- included Alabama, South Carolina, Troy State, Weber State, Georgia, Texas Tech and UTEP.
"All we have to do is make sure we don't fall through the cracks without a game," Pruett said at practice on Wednesday. "What we prefer to do is play at home. That really helps the economy here, and helps our fans get to see us play another ball game."
Marshall football season-ticket holders will receive an application in the mail to purchase tickets for their current seats for the Youngstown State game. Tickets for the game will be $20 for sideline, $15 for end zone and $10 for youth tickets. The deadline for renewal of seats for the YSU game is October 26.
Marshall sports information director Ricky Hazel contributed to this story. Thanks, Ricky!