Marshall University Director of Athletics Bob Marcum announced today the addition of Kansas State to the 2003 Thundering Herd football schedule.
The game will be played in Manhattan, Kan., on Sept. 20 and is the first of a three-game series between the two schools. The Wildcats will play in Huntington on Sept. 10, 2005 with the Herd making a second trip to Manhattan on Sept. 9, 2006.
"This should be a great series for our football program, one that our fans should be excited about," Marcum said. "It will be a match up of two of the great college football stories of the last decade. Coach Snyder has put together one of the elite programs in the nation, with a long list of successes any program would be proud of.
"At the same time, Coach Bob Pruett and the Marshall program have enjoyed unprecedented success with 19 straight winning seasons, three Heisman trophy candidates, five straight bowl victories and five MAC titles. The game will draw attention nationwide."
Kansas State is a member of the Big XII Conference and has been a regular member of the national top 25 polls under head coach Bill Snyder in recent years. The Wildcats finished the 2002 season with an 11-2 mark, including a 34-27 victory over Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.
KSU finished the 2002 season ranked sixth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and seventh in the Associated Press Top 25. Marshall finished the season ranked 19th and 24th in the two polls. The addition of Kansas State completes the Herd's 12-game schedule for 2003. In addition to Kansas State, Marshall will travel to face non-conference foes Tennessee and Troy State and will host Hofstra.
"This will be the most challenging non-conference schedule we have played since I have been at Marshall," Pruett said. "Both Tennessee and Kansas State are perennial top 10 teams and Troy State has a solid up and coming program."
The home Mid-American Conference schedule includes games with East Division foes Kent State, Akron and Ohio as well as defending West Division champion Toledo. Road league games include trips to Buffalo, Miami, Central Florida and Western Michigan.
The MAC Championship game, which is slated to be played on Thursday, Dec. 4, will be played at the home of the West Division winner.
The Herd will once again play games across the days of the week. The Toledo game on Friday, Sept. 12, as well as the games against Miami (Wed., Nov. 12) and Central Florida (Wed., Nov. 19) will be televised by the ESPN family of networks. The annual "Battle For The Bell" with Ohio is slated to be played on the Friday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28).
Complete information on Herd TV games for 2003 will be announced later.