Ben Queen

Scouting the jagoffs: Marshall

This week's Scouting The Jagoffs segment features commentary from publisher Aaron Perkins, who offers an inside look at Pitt's week five opponent, the Marshall Thundering Herd.

Louisville stormed into Huntington last week and beat Marshall by 31. What all went wrong for the Herd against Louisville?

"It all started the previous week when starting quarterback Chase Litton suffered an apparent (never publicly-stated) concussion. He was not even at the game last week, as he was getting better. Marshall was forced to start a true freshman quarterback in Garet Morrell. Morrell was a three-star recruit from Georgia, but he only had two quarters in the season opener against Morgan State. The staff played very vanilla the first half on offense, rarely letting him make throws downfield. The turning point in the game was early on when Marshall had stopped Louisville a couple early possessions, then Marshall was moving into Cardinal territory and had a 3rd and 1.  An illegal procedure penalty put Marshall back to 3rd and 6, which eventually led to a punt. Marshall was never really able to bounce back from that. In the second half, Marshall forced a turnover and scored on a couple other possessions to build the final score to where it was. Lamar Jackson played more in the Marshall game than he has had to play all season."

Pat Narduzzi said Thursday that, if Marshall quarterback Chase Litton would have stayed healthy as a junior, he might have been able to start at Alabama this season. Too much praise, or is Litton that good?

"I think time will tell. Personally I Think Litton has a good chance to continue to tradition of quarterbacks here at Marshall. Many people at bigger programs may not realize the history the Herd has had here at quarterback. Michael Payton was a Payton award winner (1-AA version of the Heisman). He handed off to Jim Donnan’s son Todd, who handed off to Chad Pennington. Pennington actually redshirted as a sophomore while Florida transfer Eric Kresser led Marshall to a national title. Then Pennington came back, then Byron Leftwich, later on Rakeem Cato, and now Litton. Litton has the size, the arm and the moxy. Will he be able to battle through this injury? Time will tell."

What's the general mood surrounding the program this season after a less-than-ideal 1-2 start to the season?

"Depends on who you ask. Message Boarders think the sky is falling, and Doc Holliday needs to go. Mind you, this is coming off three straight double-digit win seasons. The fans showed up in record fashion this past week (second-biggest crowd in school history and the third one ever over 40,000. The stadium holds a little over 38,000). This is a big game in many folks' minds. Personally, and this is no disrespect to the Pitt program, but the biggest game right now is next week at North Texas. The Pitt game lost some luster with the losses to Akron and Louisville. I think the Akron loss will prove to not be indicative of the season."

Marshall kicker Amoreto Curraj has only attempted two kicks on the season. Why hasn't Holliday used his kicker more?

"Oh, you had to bring up the kicker, didn’t you? Last year, Marshall's kicker suffered a meltdown on the road at the end of regulation at Middle Tennessee State, eventually costing Marshall the game and visibly crying on national TV. This year, he lost his job to strong-legged Amoreto Curraj. Curraj has a cannon. But no one knows yet if his kicks will go straight." 

Additional comments?

"Conor Lee is a folk hero down here for his kicks against WVU in 2007. The day 12/1/2007 will go down as one of the greatest in Marshall history, and the Herd didn’t even play."

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