It shapes up as one of the more interesting four-game stretches on a Marshall football schedule: a trip to South Carolina, a home game against North Carolina State, a return to Western Kentucky and a home bout with Middle Tennessee.
That is one-third of the Thundering Herd’s 2018 schedule, unveiled in full Tuesday. The non-conference slate was set and did not change; Conference USA released its full schedule Tuesday.
The Herd will have the same conference opponents it had in 2017, including West Division opponents Southern Mississippi and Texas-San Antonio. Southern Miss is the only C-USA opponent Marshall has faced every year since 2005, so they will face off for the 14th time.
The season begins Sept. 1 at Miami (Ohio), as the Herd and RedHawks play for the 45th time. The Herd has won the last four, including a 31-26 decision in the 2017 opener.
Following that is the Herd’s home opener, Sept. 8 against Eastern Kentucky. Once fierce rivals in Division I-AA, they last played in the 1992 playoffs, where the eventual national champion Herd pasted the Colonels 44-0.
Then the Herd ventures into “Power 5” land, first with a trip to South Carolina on Sept. 15. The Herd beat at the Gamecocks in 1998 on a last field goal by Billy Malashevich. North Carolina State comes to Joan C. Edwards Stadium on Sept. 22, a rematch of the Wolfpack’s 37-20 victory last year in Raleigh. The Wolfpack has lost several seniors from last year’s team, and Marshall’s lineup is expected to be largely intact, with the notable exception of quarterback.
The WKU-MTSU stretch follows, as the Herd opens C-USA play at the former on Sept. 29. After MTSU visits Huntington on Oct. 6, the Herd travels to Old Dominion on Oct. 13 before hosting coach Lane Kiffin’s defending champion Florida Atlantic Owls on Oct. 20.
The Herd will enjoy a bye between its ninth and 10th games. The trip to Southern Miss follows on Nov. 3, followed by home games against Charlotte (Nov. 10) and UTSA (Nov. 17). The regular season wraps up on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 24 at Florida International.
2018 Marshall football schedule
|Sept. 1||at Miami (Ohio)|
|Sept. 8||Eastern Kentucky|
|Sept. 15||at South Carolina|
|Sept. 22||NC State|
|Sept. 29||at Western Kentucky*|
|Oct. 6||Middle Tennessee*|
|Oct. 13||at Old Dominion*|
|Oct. 20||Florida Atlantic*|
|Nov. 3||at Southern Miss*|
|Nov. 24||at Florida International*|
|* = Conference USA game|