"We are very excited to enter into this agreement with Ohio State for a game in 2004," Marshall athletics director Lance West said. "Obviously, the Buckeyes have a great history of success in college football, and Ohio Stadium is one of the great venues in all of college athletics.
"Marshall football also has some history with Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and we are looking forward to renewing our rivalry from the early 1990s with him."
The game has been scheduled for September 11, 2004, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. It will be the first meeting on the gridiron for the two schools, despite their relative close proximity.
The game will be Marshall's second against a current member of the Big Ten Conference since moving to Division I-A in 1997. The Herd dropped a 34-24 decision at Michigan State in 2000. Marshall has also played Penn State twice, dropping games in 1929 and 1930.
The Buckeyes are not, however, the only Big Ten team on future Herd schedules. Marshall is slated to face Wisconsin during the 2007 campaign.
"Scheduling has become one of our most difficult challenges, and playing a game against a program like Ohio State will be great for our program," Herd coach Bob Pruett said. "I have a lot of respect for the success Coach Tressel had at Youngstown State and I know he will continue to have that kind of success at Ohio State."
The Buckeyes are no strangers to Mid-American Conference opponents. Ohio State has a 17-1 all-time record in games against five MAC schools, including a 28-14 season-opening victory over Akron last year.
The game with Marshall also gives Ohio State one MAC opponent in each of the next four seasons. The Buckeyes will play Kent State this fall, Bowling Green in 2003, Marshall in 2004 and Miami in 2005.
The game with Ohio State joins a solid list of future Herd opponents. Among those are Troy State (2003-04), Tennessee (2002, '06, '09, '10), LSU (2003), Georgia (2004), Virginia Tech (2005) and Wisconsin (2007).
Marshall will face Appalachian State, Virginia Tech and Troy State in non-conference games this fall.