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College Football Preview: East Carolina at Marshall

Associated Press
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. ó East Carolina’s Pirates and Marshall are getting an early shot at a key win in Conference USA’s East Division.
The defending league champion Pirates travel to face the Thundering Herd this afternoon, with both teams hoping to add another confidence-building win that keeps them atop the division.
Marshall coach Mark Snyder said it’s too early to say the winner would have control of that race.
“If this was a little further into the conference schedule, you might be able to say that,” Snyder said. “But (conference games) are all big and important. This is a big game coming out of the East and it’s with the defending champs.”
Marshall (3-1, 1-0) is coming off a 27-16 win at Memphis after yet another big game from running back Darius Marshall, who is averaging 166 yards rushing per game.
The Thundering Herd’s only loss came at nationally ranked Virginia Tech in the second game.
Last week, Marshall ran for 203 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll face a defense that ranks fifth against the run (124 yards) in the league.
“He has great balance and is very difficult to tackle,” East Carolina coach Skip Holtz said. “He can start and stop on a dime, bounce it around the front side or cut it around the back side. He also has the speed to go the distance.”
The Pirates (2-2, 1-0) ended a two-game skid with a win against Central Florida last week. In that game, East Carolina scored a second-half touchdown for the first time all season.
The Pirates have won three of four meetings, including last year’s overtime win in Greenville.
Former Salisbury Hornet Scotty Robinson is a starter on defense for East Carolina.

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