Friday, August 7, 2015

Marshall Thundering Herd Season Preview

Marshall finished last season 13-1 (tying the C-USA record for victories), won its first C-USA Championship and defeated MAC Champion Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl, 52-23. The Herd finished the season as the only FBS team ranked in the top 20 nationally in both rushing offense (No. 8, 271.9 yards per game) and passing offense (No. 17, 287.3).

Head coach Doc Holliday’s last two Marshall teams have posted a 23-5 record. The only teams with more wins in 2013 and ’14 were Florida State (27-1), Ohio State (26-3), Michigan State (24-3) and Oregon (24-4).

Marshall tied national runner-up Oregon for the most touchdown receptions by freshmen (17). The Herd ranked No. 5 in FBS in freshmen receiving yards, with 1,315, on 82 catches by wide receivers Angelo Jean-Louis, Deon-Tay McManus, Hyleck Foster and tight end Ryan Yurachek.

Senior RB Devon Johnson topped the 100-yard mark 10 times during the 2014 season, reaching the century mark in 10 of the 11 games he played in from start to finish. The converted tight end led C-USA with 1,767 yards and had 17 rushing TDs in 13 games. Johnson finished among the FBS leaders in total rushing yards (sixth), average per game (fifth at 135.2 yards per game), yards per carry (fifth at 8.58) and scoring (24th with 8.8 points per game). He also had seven runs of 50 yards or longer last season.

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