Eighty Eight Days Until Kickoff

Herdhaven.com's countdown to Kickoff!!

Rodney Garrett and Demetrious Doss, two players who wore the number 88 at Marshall University.  Has there ever been two players better who donned the jersey number here in the green and white.  Garrett was a beast off of the defensive end for the Herd, and Doss was a promising wide receiver, who saved his best for last with a two touchdown performance in his final game against Louisville in a GMAC Bowl win in 2002.


This year, number 88 will be worn by another wide receiver.  Walk on wide receiver from the Kanawha Valley in West Virginia, Kaleb Mackey.  Mackey went to George Washington High School.  Wait a minute, my memory seems to be sending me some information.  Was there another number 88 that played at Marshall?   Was he a walk on wide receiver?  Was he a walk on wide receiver from the Kanawha Valley?  In my old age I cannot remember.


Moving along, 1988 was a season in which Marshall was coming off its first ever run to the National Championship Game, or as the late great Bob Bowen so eloquently stated in his recap of the season, “The Road to Pocatello.”


The season started off with Marshall winning its first 8 games.  The Herd then dropped a road contest vs the Citadel who would finish the season ranked 14th in the country.  Marshall would then round out the year with two wins and jump into the Playoffs.  The Playoffs saw the Herd play two games and score just 16 points.  Marshall won the opening round 7 to 0 at home vs North Texas and then lost to fourth ranked Furman 13 to 9 in a game where many Herd fans are still a bit salty.


Marshall was led by captains John Spellacy and Sean Doctor.  The Herd finished the season 11 – 2 and 6 – 1 in the Southern Conference, Marshall ended the year ranked number 6.  Marshall was led on the ground by Junior running back Ron Darby who carried the ball 289 times for 1,282 yards and 16 touchdowns.  Through the air, quarterback Jon Gregory returned to the position and completed 217 of of 386 passes for 3,127 yards, and 21 touchdowns.  Although considered one of our best, he was intercepted 16 times, and only completed 56.2 percent of his passes. The leading pass catcher was Herd Great, Mike Barber.  Barber, from nearby Winfield High School snagged 79 catches for 1,325 yards and 8 touchdowns receptions. 


Von Woodson led the Herd with 6 interceptions.  Nick McKnight recorded a team high 9 sacks.


Eighty Eight years ago was the year 1929.  How was the Herd doing on the gridiron that season?  Marshall finished the year 5 – 3 – 1, and 4 – 1 in the WVIAC.  The Herd was led by Head Coach Johnny Maulbetsch, and team captain Tom Stark.  Marshall was led in scoring by freshman Ramey Hunter.



Marshall 40 – Glenville 6

Marshall 59 – Morris Harvey  6

Marshall 7 – Penn State 26

Marshall 8 – Bethany 0

Marshall 25 – Louisville 6

Marshall 0 – Emory Henry 0 @Bluefield

Marshall 39 – Fairmont State 0

Marshall 6 – Grove City 7

Marshall 0 – West Virginia Wesleyan 28 (Homecoming)


Just 88 days remain until the Herd opens up play vs Miami of Ohio at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.


That about wraps up the summary of the number 88, oh wait, there is one more fairly decent number 88.  A former walk on wide receiver from the Kanawha Valley.  This guy finished his career with 168 catches, for 3,356 yards, and 53 touchdowns in just two seasons in Green and White.  His name is clearly Randy Moss, and he will most likely go down as the greatest football player in the history of Marshall University.


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