Saturday brings the first road test of the Season for NC State. State got a good game at home last year from the Thundering Herd, and there will be a lot of key things to keep an eye on this weekend. The following represent none of them.
- Throughout the 1930s, Marshall had no official nickname, but they were commonly referred to as the “Boogercats.” A sportswriter whose name was Dug (his parents forgot the O) came up with the name and fought for it because he believed it created a better image than Thundering Herd. Dug was probably not well. When the two teams take the field Saturday, being aware of this fact will not be important at all.
- During the Great Depression, Marshall occasionally accepted potatoes as a form of tuition payment. This seems like a practice that should be reinstated at all universities. On Saturday, the coaches will probably not need to look out for this.
- After the Thundering Herd nickname had been adopted, Marshall introduced Marco the Bison as its mascot. Early versions of Marco consisted of a Bison body and some other part at the front that faintly resembled a head. Two people stood inside and functioned as each set of legs, producing an ungodly chimera abomination that looked like someone had just kind of jammed two sets of human legs into the bottom of yak with severe scoliosis. Their current mascot is a great improvement. You won’t need to keep an eye on this during the game.
- One of Marshall’s first football coaches, Boyd Chambers, was most famous for inventing the “tower play,” which is described as a pass play where one receiver picked up another and put him on his shoulders to catch a pass. Talk about putting the team on your back. This is probably not something to watch for this weekend, but theoretically there’s nothing stopping them from bringing it back. The lack of film on the tower play might be of concern.
- Marshall’s football coach from 1903-1904, George Ford, managed to go exactly 4-4-4 all time. Not until over 100 years later when Tom O’Brien came to NC State was mediocrity so perfectly displayed again. This will not matter at all on Saturday.
If the Pack spends this week focusing on these five things, it will definitely lose.