"We did go back to the rubber band," Pruett said during the weekly luncheon at Huntington's Radisson Hotel. "I talked to them about it, and thought maybe I wasn't going to do that. But then I saw some of the kids wearing the rubber bands from a few years back."
Pruett had his 2000 team wear rubber bands as means of unifying and getting back on track during the 2000 season. That team struggled to a 2-4 record midway through the season, with losses to Michigan State, North Carolina, Western Michigan, and Toledo. The rubber bands did the trick, as Marshall won six of the last seven games, including a MAC Championship and Motor City Bowl win over the Cincinnati Bearcats of C-USA.
"We need to band together as fans, we need to band together as a football team. We need to get behind this bunch, and get after it," Pruett added.
Marshall stands at 2-3 overall and 0-1 in MAC play before this Saturday's meeting with Kent State. A program-lifting win over then-#6 Kansas State was followed by a loss at Troy State just one week later. Pruett said his team is back in good health for Kent State, and has 'banded' together.
"I think we've had a really good two weeks of practice," said Pruett. "I'll really be surprised if our kids aren't ready to play on Saturday. Our guys understand the direction we need to go in."
Kent State comes to Huntington on Saturday with a 3-3 overall record, 2-1 in the MAC. Wins over UCF and Akron were highlights, but a 34-17 loss at Ball State this past weekend was the lone MAC low thus far in the 2003 season. Marshall has won the last 8 games against the Golden Flashes, and is on a homecoming winning streak of 10 in a row.
*OL Nate McPeek will be rotated during the game by Seth Cook and Josh Blakey.
*LB J.T. Rembert is hopeful for Saturday.
*Curtis Keyes will start at free safety for Marshall.
*Ben Lewis will handle punting duties.
*RB Butchie Wallace will not play due to a broken hand suffered at Troy State. Earl Charles and Tank Tunstalle will handle the running duties, with Michael West as the third RB.
Marshall and Kent State will square off at 4:30pm at Marshall Stadium in Huntington, WV. The game will be carried via the ISP/Thundering Herd Sports radio network of 38 stations, in addition to being available via satellite TV at Galaxy 11, Transponder 16-KU band.
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