Marshall Thundering Herd

at Michigan Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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Marshall lands Michigan grad transfer Terry Richardson

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In the end, Michigan’s secondary loss will turn into Marshall’s gain.

While the football program has yet to announce his addition to the roster, a source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed to CFT that Terry Richardson has decided to transfer into the Conference USA school and continue his collegiate playing career for the Herd.  As the cornerback will be coming into Doc Holliday‘s program as a graduate transfer, he will be eligible to play immediately in 2016.

The upcoming season will be Richardson’s final season of eligibility.

Back in early January, Richardson, along with now-former teammate Ross Taylor-Douglas, announced they would be transferring from Michigan.  Taylor-Douglas ultimately landed at Rutgers in early February.

A four-star member of the Wolverines’ 2012 recruiting class, Richardson was rated as the No. 18 corner in the country and the No. 5 player at any position in the state of Michigan.  After playing in six games as a true freshman, Richardson played in just nine games total the next three seasons.

Richardson’s transfer decision came shortly after a season that saw him play in just one game in 2015.

Marshall OT Clint Van Horn granted sixth year of eligibility

HUNTINGTON, WV - DECEMBER 06: A Marshall Thundering Herd helmet as seen on the sideleine at Joan C. Edwards Stadium during the Conference USA championship game on December 6, 2014 in Huntington, West Virginia. The Thundering Herd defeat the Bulldogs 26-23. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Signing day was three weeks ago, but Marshall celebrated one of its biggest additions for the 2016 season on Tuesday.

The program announced offensive tackle Clint Van Horn has received clearance to return for a sixth season this fall after missing the majority of 2015 due to injury. Van Horn was a Lombardi and Outland trophy Watch List member over the summer.

“Getting Clint back this year is such a tremendous boost for the entire program,” said Marshall coach Doc Holliday in a statement. “He is one of our leaders and truly embodies what it means to be a Marshall student-athlete.”

Van Horn said he was moved to tears upon learning the news.

Marshall secures third straight 10-win season with St. Pete Bowl defeat of UConn

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - DECEMBER 20:  Coach Doc Holliday of the Marshall Thundering herd directs play against the Florida International University Panthers December 20, 2011 in the Beef 'O' Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
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A sextuple-header of post-Christmas bowl games began with Marshall taking the St. Petersburg Bowl in a 16-10 decision over Connecticut Saturday afternoon at a dreary and empty Tropicana Field.

Chase Litton led the Herd by completing 23-of-34 throws for 218 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His 16-yard scoring strike to Ryan Yuracheck opened the scoring at the 8:10 mark of the first quarter. Ron Johnson responded for Connecticut with an eight-yard scoring burst to cap a 75-yard, six-minute scoring march on the ensuing possession.

Neither team would find the end zone for the rest of the game.

Marshall blew a number of chances to put the Huskies away throughout the game. After Johnson’s score tied the game, Marshall mounted drives of 65 and 85 yards, but each ended in short Nick Smith field goals. The Thundering Herd opened the second half with a 58-yard drive that stalled on a 4th-and-2 at the UConn 17. After an interception on the ensuing possession, Smith missed a 43-yard field goal (very, very) wide right.

Leading 13-10 with 8:12 to play in the fourth quarter, Marshall embarked on what could have been a clock-killing, game-ending drive from its own 5-yard line, but the push ended in a 32-yard Smith field goal with 1:44 remaining.

Given one more chance to win the game with a touchdown, Connecticut moved 16 yards to its own 41 before Bryant Shirreffs’ 4th-and-9 toss to Hergy Mayala fell incomplete with 21 seconds remaining.

Shirreffs paced Connecticut by completing 10-of-17 passes for 86 yards with an interception while rushing a team-high 19 times for 75 yards.

Overall, Marshall out-rushed UConn 171-125 and out-gained the Huskies 389-213.

The win gives Marshall (10-3) a double-digit victory total for the third consecutive season, while UConn (6-7) is still in search of its first winning campaign since 2010 and its first bowl victory since 2009.

CFT Previews: Your Dec. 26 Bowl Viewer’s Guide

BLACKSBURG, VA - NOVEMBER 21: Head coach of the Virginia Tech Hokies Frank Beamer is carried off the field following the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels on November 21, 2015 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images)
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Taking a quick-hit look at the Dec. 26 bowl menu, which, for the first time this postseason cycle, features multiple teams from Power Five conferences.  The ACC makes its 2015 bowl debut with three teams in action, while the Big Ten sees a pair of teams kicking off the postseason for the conference.  The Pac-12, which was already the first P5 league to see the field for a bowl this year — Arizona in the New Mexico Bowl exactly a week ago — will also field a trio of teams.

WHO: UConn (6-6) vs. Marshall (9-3)
WHAT: The 8th St. Petersburg Bowl
WHERE: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
WHEN: 11 a.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: If you’re a fan of solid defensive battles, consider this your post-Christmas present from Santa Football.  Marshall is 13th nationally and second among Power Five schools in scoring defense (18.4 points per game), while UConn is four spots behind nationally at 19.8 ppg.  The Huskies have made one of the bigger one-season turnarounds in the country this season, going from two wins in 2014 to six in 2015, winning four of their last five to secure bowl eligibility for the first time since the 2010 season.  One of those six wins this year included, some would say inexplicably, handing AAC champion Houston its one and only loss in 2015.  Marshall is one win away from back-to-back-to-back 10-win seasons, which would make them the first Power Five program to ever accomplish that feat.  The Herd has a talented quarterback in Chase Litton, but the fact that he’s a redshirt freshman could play right into the hands of Bob Diaco‘s aggressive, stingy defense.
THE LINE: UConn, +5
THE PREDICTION: UConn 17, Marshall 14


WHO: Miami (8-4) vs. Washington State (8-4)
WHAT: The 82nd Sun Bowl
WHERE: Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas
WHEN: 2 p.m. ET on CBS
THE LINE: Miami, +3
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.


WHO: Washington (6-6) vs. Southern Miss (9-4)
WHAT: The 5th Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
WHERE: Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
WHEN: 2:20 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: After winning just four games combined the past three seasons, Southern Miss more than doubled that total with a nine-win season; one more win would give the Eagles double-digit wins for the first time since 2011, Larry Fedora‘s last season, and just the third time in the football program’s FBS history.  Washington, meanwhile, won two in a row to close out the year to become bowl-eligible.  They possess some significant albeit young talent on the offensive side of the ball, and, at least statistically, they had the best defense in the Pac-12 and one that was 12th nationally in scoring (17.7 points per game).  The Huskies played 10 games against teams that played in bowl games, while the Eagles played against five such teams.  That tougher slate should prove to be a significant bonus for UW as they’ve seemingly been hardened by the competition afforded them in the Pac-12 compared to the softer Conference USA for their opponents.
THE LINE: Southern Miss, +9
THE PREDICTION: Washington 38, Southern Miss 13


WHO: Indiana (6-6) vs. Duke (7-5)
WHAT: The 6th New Era Pinstripe Bowl
WHERE: Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York City, New York
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC
THE SKINNY: You could call this a postseason football game in a baseball stadium between schools more well-known for their basketball prowess, although Duke has been one of the best teams in the ACC the past few seasons.  Just how far have the Blue Devils come as a football program?  From 1995-2011, Duke didn’t win more than five games in a single season; this season, their seven wins, coming off a combined 19 the previous two seasons, is a cause for concern.  Entering the 2015 season on one of the hottest seats in college football, Kevin Wilson pushed Indiana to bowl eligibility for the first time since 2007 in his fifth season with the Hoosiers.  IU had an odd season, sandwiching a four-game winning streak to start the year and a two-gamer to end it around a six-game losing streak.  After beginning the year 6-1, the Blue Devils blew a transmission and threw a couple of rods in losing four in a row before righting itself with a regular season-ending win over woebegone Wake Forest.  Despite all of their recent success, including four straight bowl appearances for the first time in program history, the Blue Devils will be looking for their first bowl win since winning the Cotton Bowl following the 1960 season.  Indiana’s last bowl win wasn’t exactly in the recent past as they last tasted postseason success in 1991.  Duke will be playing without All-American safety Jeremy Cash, which could prove problematic as the Blue Devils, with the 72nd-ranked pass defense, will be looking to contain Nate Sudfeld, the Big Ten’s most efficient passer.  The Hoosiers have their own injury issue, though, as Jordan Howard, 30th in the country with 1,213 rushing yards, is questionable because of a knee injury.
THE LINE: Off the board because of Howard’s uncertainty
THE PREDICTION: Duke 31, Indiana 28


WHO: Tulsa (6-6) vs. Virginia Tech (6-6)
WHAT: The 30th Camping World Independence Bowl
WHERE: Independence Stadium, Shreveport, Louisiana
WHEN: 5:45 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE SKINNY: As it should be, this game is all about Frank Beamer.  The long-time Virginia Tech head coach announced during the season that he was retiring at the end of the year, making this his last game in the sport to which he’s given so much.  The bonus game very nearly didn’t happen as Tech needed a win in the finale against rival Virginia to secure bowl eligibility.  This is the 23rd straight season, all under Beamer, that Tech has played in a bowl, the second-longest streak in the country behind Florida State’s 34.  The first of those 23 bowl appearances?  Against Indiana… in the 1993 Independence Bowl.  Beamer is 10-12 in bowl games thus far, and a win against Tulsa would give him back-to-back bowl wins for just the second time in his career (2008 Orange Bowl, 2009 Chick-fil-A Bowl).  Tulsa, meanwhile, is playing in its first bowl game since 2012, but has seen tremendous postseason success this century — the Golden Hurricane has won five of their last seven bowl games.  With an offense that is 25th in scoring (35.9 points per game) and 14th in yards (502.8 yards per game) — they put up 38 points and 603 yards on College Football Playoff semifinalist Oklahoma —  Tulsa will prove to be one of the stiffest tests this season for a Tech defense that’s 47th in giving up 24.3 ppg.  Still, the whole send-Coach-Beamer-out-with-a-win angle is what most non-Tulsa fans are hoping for as the retiring legend is one of the classiest in the sport.
THE LINE: Tulsa, +13½
THE PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 31, Tulsa 27


WHO: UCLA (8-4) vs. Nebraska (5-7)
WHAT: The 14th Foster Farms Bowl
WHERE: Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California
WHEN: 9:15 p.m. ET on ESPN
THE LINE: Nebraska, +7
For the remainder of an extended preview, click HERE.

WKU QB Brandon Doughty headlines All-Conference USA team

WKU wins 35-19 over FAU
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League champions Western Kentucky led the All-Conference USA team with six First Team announcements, but runner-up Southern Miss placed the most overall players on the first and second teams with 10.

Louisiana Tech posted nine first- and second-team honorees, followed by WKU with eight.

And new North Texas head coach Seth Littrell, in his second day on the job, got a reminder why he’s in Denton, as the Mean Green were shut out of the first- and second-teams for the first time since 1957.

The first and second teams can be found below:

First Team Offense

QB — Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky, Sr.
RB — Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
RB — Jalen Richard, Southern Miss, Sr.
OL — Sebastian Johansson, Marshall, Sr.
OL — Jaylen Hunter, Middle Tennessee, Sr.
OL — Andrew Reue, Rice, Sr.
OL — Cameron Tom, Southern Miss, Jr.
OL — Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky, Jr.
TE — Tyler Higbee, Western Kentucky, Sr.
WR — Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech, Jr.
WR — Richie James, Middle Tennessee, Fr.
WR — Taywan Taylor, Western Kentucky, Jr.

First Team Defense

DL — Michael Wakefield, Florida International, Sr.
DL — Trevon Coley, Florida Atlantic, Sr.
DL — Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atlantic, Jr.
DL — Vernon Butler, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
LB — Evan McKelvey, Marshall, Sr.
LB — T.T. Barber, Middle Tennessee, Sr.
LB — Nick Holt, Western Kentucky, Sr.
DB — Richard Leonard, Florida International, Sr.
DB — Xavier Woods, Louisiana Tech, Jr.
DB — Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee, Sr.
DB — Kalan Reed, Southern Miss, Sr.

First Team Specialists

K — Garrett Schwettman, Western Kentucky, Sr.
P — Dalton Schomp, Florida Atlantic, Jr.
KR — Deandre Reaves, Marshall, Sr.
PR — Richard Leonard, Florida International, Sr.
LS — Lance Schuffert, Southern Miss, Sr.

Second Team Offense

QB — Nick Mullens, Southern Miss, Jr.
RB — Kalif Phillips, Charlotte, Jr.
RB — Ray Lawry, Old Dominion, So.
RB — Ito Smith, Southern Miss, So.
RB — Anthony Wales, Western Kentucky, Jr.
OL — Michael Montero, Florida International, Jr.
OL — Reggie Bain, Florida Atlantic, So.
OL — Darrell Brown, Louisiana Tech, Jr.
OL — Jens Danielsen, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
OL — Michael Selby, Marshall, Jr.
OL — Rashod Hill, Southern Miss, Sr.
TE — David Morgan II, UTSA, Sr.
WR — Ed Batties, Middle Tennessee, Sr.
WR — Zach Pascal, Old Dominion, Jr.
WR — Mike Thomas, Southern Miss, Sr.

Second Team Defense

DL — Larry Ogunjobi, Charlotte, Jr.
DL — Jarquez Samuel, Marshall, Sr.
DL — Michael Smith, Southern Miss, Sr.
DL — Jason Neill, UTSA, Sr.
LB — Anthony Wint, Florida International, So.
LB — Nick Thomason, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
LB — T.J. Ricks, Old Dominion, Jr.
LB — Brian Anderson, Southern Miss, Sr.
DB — Cre’von LeBlanc, Florida Atlantic, Sr.
DB — Bryson Abraham, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
DB — Jeremy Cutrer, Middle Tennessee, Jr.
DB — Bennett Okotcha, UTSA, Sr.

Second Team Specialists

K — Jonathan Barnes, Louisiana Tech, So.
P — Tyler Williams, Marshall, Sr.
KR — Kylen Towner, Western Kentucky, So.
PR — Deandre Reaves, Marshall, Sr.
LS — Matt Cincotta, Marshall, Sr.