Preview: WVU - MU

The Mountaineers hit the road for the first time this season as the Blue and Gold make the short bus trip down I-79 to play Marshall in Huntington for the first time since 1915. Game Scorecard
Series: 6-0-0 WVU
Sat 9/8/07 11:00 am
Huntington, WV

Joan C. Edwards Stadium
Record: 1-0
USA/ Coaches: 4th
Last Game
WMU 62-24 W

Click for College Park, Maryland Forecast
Record: 0-0
USA/ Coaches: NR
Last Game
Miami (Fl) 3-31 L
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First Meeting: 1911
Last Meeting: 2006
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WVU - Bobby Hathaway (Hand) Questionable, Wes Lyons (Knee) Questionable, Archie Sims (Hamstring) Probable

Marshall - Albert McClellan (Knee) Out, John Jacobs (Hand) Questionable

Game Outlook:

WVU offense vs. MU defense

The Thundering Herd defense suffered a huge blow before the season started with the loss of All-Everything defensive end Albert McClellan to a season ending knee injury. The junior was a 2007 Lombardi Award and Bronco Nagurski candidate after a First Team All Conference year in 2006.

With McClellan watching from the sidelines, Marshall will start John Jacobs (6-3, 245) and Ryland Wilson (6-3, 260) at defensive end. Jacobs is questionable for the WVU game with a broken hand but did manage a tackle last week. If Jacobs is unable to play, Florida native Michael Janac (6-4, 250) will fill the position. Wilson, a senior, recorded three stops in the first game and will be making his fifth start for Marshall.
Game Info
WVU 1-0, 0-0
MU 0-1, 0-0
Sat 9/8/07 11:00 am
Joan C. Edwards Stadium
Series: 6-0-0 WVU
Polls: WVU-3 MU-NR
Line: WVU -24

Manning the linebacking positions will be a trio of athletic 'backers. Josh Johnson (6-2, 250) leads this group, a former Georgia Bulldog signee. Johnson, who registered eight tackles against WVU last season, racked up four stops agains the 'Canes last week.

On either side of Johnson will be Ian Hoskins (6-2, 245) and Maurice Kitchens (6-3, 226). The duo combined for six tackles in the first game with Kitchens recording an interception.

Handling the corner positions will be Ashton Hall (5-10, 183) and J.J. Johnson (5-11, 181). Hall, a sophomore, recorded six stops against Miami while Johnson, one of the top cornerbacks in C-USA, racked up three stops and one pass break-up.

Rounding out the defensive backfield will be safeties C. J. Spillman (6-0, 193) and John Saunders (6-0, 192). Spillman, a junior, had an excellent game against the Hurricanes, recording nine tackles and one pass break-up. Saunders, a West Virginia native, is entering his first season as a starter and had a solid first start last week totalling four tackles and a pass break-up.

By The Numbers :
WVU is ranked 14th in total offense (542.00 yds/game), 7th in rushing offense (316.00 yds/game) and 49th in passing offense (226.00 yds/game).

MU is ranked 67th in total defense (341.00 yds/game), 104th in rushing defense (260.00 yds/game) and 8th in passing defense (81.00 yds/game).

Advantage: WVU

WVU defense vs. MU offense

On offense the Thundering Herd is led by senior signal caller Bernard Morris (6-4, 211). Morris is a mobile quarterback with a solid arm, but a tendancy to throw the interception. Last season against WVU, Morris completed 12-22 passes for 168 yards with a touchdown and a pick. Against the 'Canes last week Morris was 16-26 for 162 yards and three interceptions.

Joining Morris in the backfield will be Chubb Small (5-9, 200) and fullback Matt Parkhurst (6-3, 238). Small had a quiet game last week, getting only four carries for a net of three yards against a stingy Miami defense. Parkhurst, a first year starter, is a good blocker that will get very few carries during the season.

Running down Morris' passes will be a trio of speedy recievers and a couple of sure-handed tight ends. Darius Passmore (6-3, 180) has excellent speed which showed last week when he averaged 21.0 yards per on two catches. The junior college transfer will be making his second career start for the Herd.

Joinging Passmore will be Emmanuel Spann (5-11, 195) and Courtney Edmonson (6-0, 175). The pair hauled in four passes for 86 yards last week.

Rotating at tight end will be Brian Shope (6-5, 248) and Cody Slate (6-4, 225). Slate is an excellent receiver, and the Herd will also deploy both of them on the field at times.

Leading the Marshall offensive line is Doug Legursky (6-3, 311). Legursky, a Beckley native is a 2007 Rimington, Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award candidate at center. On either side of Legursky is Josh Evans (6-4, 315) and Brian Leggett (6-1, 285).

Manning the tackle positions are John Inman (6-5, 305) and Daniel Baldridge (6-9, 315). Inman and Baldridge, along with their offensive line teammates will need to improve on last week's preformance which yielded six sacks and produced only 51 yards rushing.

By The Numbers :
WVU is ranked 44th in total defense (277.00 yds/game), 15th in rushing defense (32.00 yds/game) and 88th in passing defense (245.00 yds/game).

MU is ranked 100th in total offense (234.00 yds/game), 95th in rushing offense (51.00 yds/game) and 74th in passing offense (183.00 yds/game).

Advantage: WVU

WVU special teams vs. MU special teams

The Thundering Herd special teams come into Saturday with confidence after a solid performace last week in Miami.
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Anthony Binswanger (6-2, 190) will handle the kicking and punting duties. Last week the senior was 1-2 on field goal attempts, connecting on a 37-yarder. The California native also averaged 41.1 yards on five attempts at the Orange Bowl.

The Herd also have two explosive returnmen with Small and Span. Also recieveing kickoffs will be Courtney Edmonson and Darius Marshall (5-10, 188). The duo combined for five returns against the Hurricanes for an average of 21.4 yards.

By The Numbers :
WVU is ranked 113th in net punting (6.00 yds/punt), 51st in kick returns (21.00 yds/return) and 39th in punt returns (12.20 yds/return).

MU is ranked 54th in net punting (35.80 yds/punt), 49th in kick returns (21.40 yds/return) and 101th in punt returns (0.0 yds/return)

Advantage: WVU

Picks to Click:

On Offense: Darius Reynaud

On Defense: Reed Williams


While the Thundering Herd looks to be improved from last season and has a chance at a winning season, the Big Green does not have the athletes to compete with the Mountaineers this season.

WVU - 49 MU - 17

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