Coach: Bob Pruett
69-11-0, 6 years
2001 Record: 11-2
at Florida LOST 14-49
at Northern Illinois WON 37-15
at Buffalo WON 34-14
at Kent State WON 42-21
at Miami, OH WON 27-21
OHIO WON 42-18
at Toledo LOST 36-41
East Carolina WON 64-61 (2OT)

2001 Final Rankings
AP-UR,   Coaches-21, BCS UR

Byron Leftwich has coaches, fans, and draft experts turning cartwheels.

Photo compliments of
2002 Outlook

Marshall has a favorable conference schedule, with the two toughest competitors for the East title visiting Marshall stadium. The Thundering Herd hosts UCF on September 20th and Miami (OH) on November 12th. The marquee out-of-conference game will be played at Blacksburg against Virginia Tech on the 12th of September. In the MAC, the championship game is alternated each year and the home field goes to the East Champion this year. Should Marshall win their key games and not get tripped up along the way, they should have the inside track for home filed advantage in the MAC. If the defense steps up, this could be the best team that Marshall has ever fielded, and with a win at Virginia Tech, could finish in the Top 10 for the second time in four years. The program has been very successful since moving to Division I-A in 1997, and the coaching staff has recruited well to assure future success. There are high expectations for this season both from the team and the fans. If this team stays focused, the Thundering Herd should be on their way to a sixth straight East Conference Championship, a sixth straight bowl, and a fifth straight bowl win.

Projected 2002 record: 13-1

Even though Byron Leftwich had to sit out much of spring drills after having minor leg surgery in February, the Herd's Heisman Trophy Candidate quarterback is back at full strength. TE Chase Gibson suffered a major knee injury and will probably not be able to play football again. He would have been a top backup and potential starting long snapper. WR Chris Martin suffered a knee injury as well, but he had it scoped and he should be ready for fall practice.
QB - 5 DL - 3
RB - 3.5 LB - 2.5
WR - 5 DB - 3
OL - 4 ..

Passing: Byron Leftwich, 315-470-7, 4132 Yards, 38 TD's

Rushing: Franklin Wallace, 152 att., 796 yds., 9 TD's

Receiving: Darius Watts, 91 rec., 1417 yds., 18 TD's

Scoring: Darius Watts, 18 TD's, 112 points

Punting: Curtis Head, 45 punts, 44.4 avg.

Kicking: Curtis Head, 9-10 FG, 51-57 PAT, 78 pts.

Tackles: Chris Crocker, 88 tot., 59 solo

Sacks: Maurice McKinney, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Yancey Satterwhite, 3 for 0 yards

Kickoff returns: Roberto Terrell, 13 ret., 23.8 avg.

Punt returns: Josh Davis, 20 ret., 6.6 avg.


OFFENSE: Gregg Kellett-TE, Steve Content-OG, Trod Buggs-RB
DEFENSE: Ralph Street-DE, Kelvin Smith-DE, Larry Davis-OLB, Max Yates-LB, Alonzo Jones-LB, Michael Owens-OLB, Sam Goines-LB

written by Brian Pauley

STRENGTHS: Coach Bobby Pruett's offense returns nine starters, which should make any coach smile. It's the return of Heisman candidate Byron Leftwich and an arsenal of trip receivers that has him turning cartwheels. Leftwich, whom is touted by many NFL scouts to be a first round pick in next year's draft, will throw to the most talented a group of receivers to wear Marshall green. Third year starter JR Darius Watts (91 recs, 1417 yds), 2nd year starter SO Josh Davis (79 catches, 961 yards) and repeat starter SR Denaro Marriott (56-800) round out the starting positions. If the stats from the GMAC Bowl game are included, all three receivers had more than 1000 receiving yards last season. Watts was a 2nd team All-American and Belitnikoff Award semi-finalist in 2001. The Herd returns a trio of three-year lettermen at running back, led by 3-year starter JR Franklin "Butchie" Wallace (152 carries for 796 yards). Brandon Carey (73-306) and Chanston Rodgers (21-136) complete the 3-deep rotation. The offensive line returns three All-Conference players, including Outland Trophy semi-finalist and Playboy All-American LT Steve Sciullo (SR, 6-6, 344). Sciullo, joins RT Nate McPeek (JR, 6-5, 321) on the Lombardi watch list this season and may be the best tackle duo in the nation. All-Conference RG Steve Perretta (SR, 6-2, 298) and C Jeff Edwards (SR, 6-4, 278) return with Luke Salmons (JR, 6-3, 295) who is replacing Steve Content at Left Guard. Jason Radar, transfer from Georgia, starts along with 3rd year letterman Eddie Smolder at Tight End.


CONCERNS: Though Marshall returns plenty of experience and depth at running back, each back has been plagued with injuries over their career. Injuries, coupled with the fact that run blocking has been suspect over the past couple of seasons, raise concerns whether the Thundering Herd can become a complete offense in '02.


Returning Starters in Bold
QB Byron Leftwich-Sr Stan Hill-So
RB Franklin Wallace-Jr Brandon Carey-Sr
WR Josh Davis-So Chris Martin-Jr
WR Denero Marriott-Sr Curtis Jones-Sr
WR Darius Watts-Jr Brad Bates-So
TE Jason Rader-Jr Eddie Smolder-Sr
OT Steve Sciullo-Sr Paul Hardy-Sr
OG Luke Salmons-Jr Ryan Baynes-Fr
C Jeff Edwards-Sr Joey Stepp-Jr
OG Steve Perretta-Sr Ricardo Phillips-So
OT Nate McPeek-Jr Nate Griffin-So
K Curtis Head-Sr ..



written by Brian Pauley

STRENGTHS: The defensive unit returns 23 lettermen and five starters from last year's squad. Marshall attempted to implement an aggressive 4-4 attack defense last fall but really didn't have the personnel to run it consistently. During the off-season, Coach Pruett hired 20-year veteran Phil Elmassian, known for his expertise in the 4-4, as outside linebackers and safeties coach, as well as to coach the defensive schemes of the special teams. First-year Defensive Coordinator Bill Wilt is pleased with the group of talented young defensive players entering the 2002 season and plans to make great strides with a defense that gave up over 3000 yards on the ground last year. Second team All Conference Orlando Washington (SR, 6-2, 265) will be the only returning defensive lineman at the tackle spot, though nose tackle Josh Cordell (SO, 6-5, 298) and DE Maurice McKinney (JR, 6-3, 235) did see considerable playing time last year. The right defensive end position was the most competitive in the spring, with SO Jamus Martin (6-3, 235) battling it out with juniors Kingsley Clark (6-5, 235) and Marcus Hairston (6-2, 231). All three had super performances in the spring and should see considerable playing time this fall. Marshall's leading tackler, All-Conference and MAC defensive player of the year, Max Yates, is off to the NFL. Only SR Duran Smith (6-0, 225) returns at linebacker, and is challenged with replacing the three-time All MAC performer in the Mike position. Senior Terrance Tarpley (5-10, 185) who started last year in the secondary was moved to Whip linebacker in the spring. Charles Tynes (JR, 6-1, 210) currently starts at the Rover spot though upstart sophomores J.T, Rembert (6-1, 216) and Garrett Morrison (6-0, 200) are putting up stiff competition in the backup roles. Returning at Free Safety, is All Conference performer and pre-season pick for the Bronko Nagurski watch list, Chris Crocker (SR, 5-11, 190). Chris is a vicious hitter and has excellent pursuit to the ball. Senior Yancey Satterwhite (5-10, 175) returns at the right corner. Satterwhite led the team in interceptions last season and is the second leading returning tackler with 69 stops last year. He will be complimented by speedy left corner Roberto Terrell (5-9, 178), who replaces Tarpley after he was moved to the Whip.


CONCERNS: Marshall's run defense was one of the poorest in the nation last year and great strides will have to be made on the line to bring the unit back to championship form. Though the defense was hampered with several suspensions last year, they will need the unit cohesion that was lacking in 2001. The upside is that the run defense can't get much worse. The defense is small by Division 1A standards and will have to rely on speed and pursuit to compensate for the lack of size. There are many questions to be answered on the line and linebacker positions, which will require many of the talented upstarts to step up if this season is to be successful. Senior leadership is vital for a young defense to perform well and has been absent over the past couple of seasons.


Returning Starters in Bold
DE Maurice McKinney-Jr Jonathan Goddard-Jr
DT Orlando Washington-Sr Reggie Hayes-So
NT Josh Cordell-So Marlan Hicks-Jr
DE Jamus Martin-So Kingsley Clark-Jr
WLB Terence Tarpley-Sr Gladstone Coke-Jr
MLB Duran Smith-Sr Kevin Atkins-So
LB Dionte' Wilson-So Henry Moore-Sr
ROV Charles Tynes-Jr J.T. Rembert-So
CB Roberto Terrell-So Willie Smith-So
CB Yancey Satterwhite-Sr Renaldo Williams-So
FS Chris Crocker-Sr Moriah Anderson-So
P Curtis Head-Sr ..
Belitnikoff Award semi-finalist Darius Watts is just one of the many weapons the Herd has in its offensive arsenal.