Marshall fourth D-1A team that will come to Troy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 3, 2001

Special to The Messenger

June 3, 2001 10 PM

The Troy State University and Marshall University football programs will play a three-game series beginning in 2002, the school’s athletic directors announced on Friday.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Troy State will play in Huntington, W. Va., in 2002 and 2004, with Marshall scheduled to open the 2003 season at Troy State’s Richard M. Scrushy Field on Aug. 30.

"We are excited about this series," Troy State Athletics Director Johnny Williams said. "Marshall is a program that we have modeled ours after in many respects, and we are excited that we have been able to develop a strong relationship with them. This is another positive step in our efforts to bring quality I-A opponents to Troy."

Marshall moved up from Division I-AA to Division I-A in 1997 and has quickly become one of the nation’s most successful programs. The Thundering Herd has been ranked in the Top 25 each season since its move to I-A. The Herd has also won the Mid-America Conference championship each year and played in the Motor City Bowl.

This past season, Marshall finished 8-5 and defeated Cincinnati, 25-14, for its third consecutive Motor City Bowl victory.

Troy State will move to full-time Division I-A status in 2002 after spending the 2001 season in its I-A "transition" period.

"This is another positive indication of what playing at the highest level will allow us to do," Troy State head coach Larry Blakeney said. "Being able to bring folks in to Troy who have strong national reputations proves that we are doing the right thing by making the move to I-A. Marshall is a quality program with a tremendous tradition. Playing them in Troy should make for a great atmosphere."

The Trojans are no strangers to the Thundering Herd, having played twice during the last eight years. The teams first met in the Division I-AA semifinals in 1993, a 24-21 win by Marshall. The Thundering Herd also defeated the Trojans, 42-12, in a regular-season meeting in 1998.

Marshall is the fourth Division I-A team that has agreed to play a game in Troy, joining Iowa State, Middle Tennessee and Louisiana-Monroe.

With the addition, the Trojans now have nine games scheduled in 2002 ­ including contests with Arkansas, Iowa State, Maryland, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Louisiana-Monroe, Cal State Northridge and UAB.