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Oliver

Terry Gardner (left) and Reggie Oliver celebrate after the Young Thundering Herd's 15-13 victory over Xavier in 1971. Gardner caught a screen pass from Oliver and raced to the end zone for the winning score on the final play of the game.

Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.

Here are the opinions du jour.

n Sometimes coincidences are some of the best happenstances of life.

Take Sunday, for example.

I was enjoying reading the coverage of the amazing Marshall-Xavier game in my newspaper when I received an instant message from Richard Yocke. Besides being a huge sports fan, Yocke is an associate professor at Marshall University and a Huntington resident.

That’s when I suddenly learned a lot more about Yocke.

“FYI,” he wrote, “the Xavier No. 75 in the winning TD [photograph] is my former teammate Mike Sherrett. I sent him the H-D link to the stories from today’s issue.

“Here is his reply: “I am forever changed by that game. Did not appreciate the impact of it until my later years. But it certainly is something special to be a part of ... even in a loss. Some losses are just that — a loss of a football game. THIS loss made history.

“Oh by the way, No. 75 running into the screen ... is me.”

How profound.

And what meaningful, heartfelt comments from a competitor.

“He was a sort of big brother to me at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds as a defensive tackle,” continued Yocke. “He introduced me to college football. As a freshman, we were the scout team and we went head-to-head and then had a beer. He went on to an NFL experience with the Cardinals.”

Thank you, Richard.

And thank you so very much, Mike.

After 50 years, it’s so very enlightening to get fresh emotions on an old subject.

n Oh, no, Pat …

Usually, Sports Illustrated writer Pat Forde’s work is one of my favorite reads. But just like the rest of us scribes, occasionally he misses the mark.

This is one of those times.

Forde recently brainstormed a bold, new premise involving college football. He eliminated 11 FBS schools, including Conference USA’s UTEP and UTSA, elevated one FCS school (North Dakota State) and arranged them into 10 leagues with 12 members each.

That’s where he missed the mark.

His Mid-American Conference included Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana, Middle Tennessee, Northern Illinois, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Virginia, Western Kentucky and … Marshall and West Virginia University.

The Thundering Herd and Mountaineers in the same conference? MU and WVU playing each other every season? Really, Pat?

It’s an interesting premise, but pardon me while I don’t hold my breath.

n Despite everyone having their own favorite NFL team, there’s one thing in which all Marshall fans should be in agreement.

Cheering for Byron Leftwich and Tom Brady to succeed at Tampa Bay. It’s a no-brainer Brady joining the Bucs and Leftwich calling the plays as offensive coordinator.

Goodness knows, Leftwich is excited.

“You have a guy that’s been there, seen it all,” Leftwich told ESPN, speaking of Brady. “And just the conversations that me and him have — it’s exciting, man. It’s gonna be exciting to work with him and try to put him in position to play as good of football as possible.”

“We’re pretty close in age, so we’re from the old-school version of football. “Me and him talk a lot about the old days where you do seven, eight, nine days of two-a-days in a row. We’re from that era of football in this league. We can talk old-school football — things that happened in ‘08, ‘09; things that are still relevant in this league.”

Byron and Brady … what an intriguing combination.