Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.
It’s still raining opinions.
n Most people suspected former West Virginia University running back Martell Pettaway wouldn’t be competing against Big 12 competition during the 2020 football season.
After all, Pettaway decided to take a redshirt season in 2019, after rushing for 72 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in four games as a junior.
Then, when the Detroit, Michigan, native placed his name in the transfer portal on Dec. 16, it was an almost certainty that Pettaway had played his last Football Bowl Subdivision game in West Virginia.
Well, guess again.
As it turns out the 5-foot-9, 205-pound Pettaway transferred to Middle Tennessee in late January. And, yes, that means the hard-nosed running back will be playing against Marshall University on Nov. 14 in Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
That isn’t good news for the Thundering Herd.
Pettaway rushed for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns on 217 carries in 28 games during three-plus seasons at WVU.
In 2018, during coach Dana Holgorsen’s last season, Pettaway was WVU’s second-leading rusher with 623 yards and six touchdowns on 98 carries (6.4 yards per attempt). He also caught six passes for 61 yards and a TD.
Pettaway’s transfer to Middle Tennessee isn’t the only unfortunate news for Marshall’s football fortunes, either.
It turns out six other highly regarded players have transferred to Conference USA schools that will be playing the Herd in 2020, according to SBNation.
FIU has added former Boise State linebacker Tyson Maeva and former University of Georgia wide receiver J.J. Holloman. Maeva was a two-year starter for the Broncos, playing in 25 games and recording 166 tackles. He fills the vacancy left by graduated FIU star middle linebacker Sage Lewis.
As for Holloman, he started five games for the Bulldogs in 2018, catching 24 passes for 418 yards and five TDs. But he was dismissed from the program in June of 2019.
Then, there’s Florida Atlantic. The Owls lost their top wideouts from last season’s conference champions, but FAU has replaced them with T.J. Chase, who transferred from Clemson, and Aaron Young, who transferred from Duke.
Chase is a 6-1, 195-pound former four-star prospect, while the 6-5, 210-pound Young caught 63 passes for 849 yards and seven touchdowns at Duke.
Marshall also might be facing a new quarterback at Rice. Michael Collins, at 6-5 and 230 pounds, is a graduate transfer from TCU.
Then, there’s Tre Harbison. The 5-11, 215-pound running back rushed for 1,021 yards and eight TDs on 230 carries during the 2019 season and 1,034 and five touchdowns on 206 attempts in 2018 for Northern Illinois.
But Harbison entered the transfer portal and decided to spend his 2020 season at Charlotte, which is about an hour from his hometown.
At any rate, Harbison appears to be a great replacement for former Niners’ star running back Benny Lemay.
From Pettaway to Harbison, the bar just got raised for Marshall’s 2020 season.
n Heard of the “Bruise Brothers”?
Well, meet the “Bruise Sisters.”
They play for Marshall’s softball team and any opposing hurler who grooves a pitch is cruisin’ for a bruisin’.
Take last weekend, for example.
Marshall bashed 15 home runs in five games during the Pirate Classic in Norfolk, Virginia. Fifteen! Why, Mya Stevenson had four by herself including a grand slam.
The “Bruise Sisters” are scheduled to play Akron in a doubleheader beginning at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.