Marshall to face FIU in Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl

By: Jackson Wolek/Staff Writer

When Athletic director Pete Garcia and head coach Mario Cristobal made the announcement at a press conference yesterday that FIU would accept the bid to play in the Beef O’ Brady’s bowl on De.c 20 in St. Petersburg, they had no idea who exactly the Panthers would be playing.

Marshall University (6-6, 5-3 C-USA) accepted their bid to play in the bowl early on Sunday, after just making bowl eligibility with a 34-27 overtime victory over East Carolina on Nov. 26. This will be the second time FIU plays a Conference USA opponent, after defeating UCF earlier this year.
The Herd lost to UCF 16-6 in the sixth game of the season,and beat Louisville 17-13, who FIU also beat. The biggest victory for Marshall came in the second game of the season when they beat eventual C-USA champions Southern Miss 26-20.
The Thundering Herd are led by freshmen quarterback Rakeem Cato, a highly tauted recruit from Miami Central High, who was also sought after heavily by FIU. Cato had been in talks with FIU and Marshall throughout his senior year, but ultimately decided upon Marshall.
He went at the same time offensive coordinator Bill Legg left FIU to go back and coach at his alma matter, Marshall. Legg was the offensive coordinator under Crsitobal from 2008-2010 and now serves the same position for the Herd.
Cato has thrown for 155-265 completions for 1,833 yards and 13 touchdown passes while also throwing 10 interceptions. His main targets have been Aaron Dobson who has 42 catches for 587 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Antavious Wilson with 29 receptions for 426 yards and 1 touchdown. The passing offense ranked 74th in the nation in yards.
The Herd have a back field of Tron Martinez and Travon Van. Martinez rushed for 591 yards on 144 carries and Van rushed 529 yards on 132 carries.
On defense, Vinny Curry came in second in C-USA in sacks with 12, and Rashad Jackson and Omar Brown each led the team with 4 interceptions. Marshall is 84th in the nation in points against .
This is the first time ever that FIU will play Marshall in football, and the Panthers will head to St. Petersburg riding a three-game winning streak. The Herd won have won the previous two games under second year Head Coach Doc Holliday. They finished 5-7 in his first year and missed a bowl for the first time since 2008.

1 Comment on "Marshall to face FIU in Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl"

  1. Marshall actually beat Louisville, but they lost to Houston and beat S. Miss.  So this is anyones game and shouldn’t be looked at based past wins or losses.  

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