HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- When Marshall arrives at Lane Stadium on Saturday for its noon ESPNU kickoff versus Virginia Tech, it will be far from the first time that Thundering Herd Coach Doc Holliday faced the Frank Beamer-led Hokies.
That's even looking past the 2011 season, when Virginia Tech came to Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Holliday's second year at the helm and walked out with a 30-10 victory. That game was the 15th time Holliday and Beamer have squared off with Holliday either heading a football program or serving as an assistant coach.
Holliday is 6-9 versus Beamer's Tech teams, 5-8 as a West Virginia assistant, 1-0 as a North Carolina State assistant and 0-1 as Marshall's head coach.
And through those years, Holliday said there hasn't been much change in Beamer's style.
"Coach Beamer's always been known to be really great on special teams," Holliday said during his Tuesday press conference. "Bud Foster's been his coordinator on defense probably as long as he's been there. That hasn't changed much. They're extremely physical. They run the ball and they're well-coached."
"Offensively, he's had a couple of changes, but the one thing he wants to do is run the football," he added. "They've worked extremely hard to get that done and I'm sure they'll continue to try to do that this week."
Holliday isn't the only Herd coach familiar with "Beamer Ball." Offensive coordinator Bill Legg has faced Virginia Tech as a player and an assistant. Defensive end Coach J.C. Price was an All-Big East and third-team All-America defensive lineman for the Hokies, helping them win a Big East title and becoming a third-round selection of the Carolina Panthers in the 1996 NFL Draft.
"It'll be a unique situation," Price said. "Luckily, I have some experience to fall back on. It won't be my first time. I'll draw from that experience a little bit. It's exciting to go back. I'll be flooded with memories and the main memory is that becoming a player and becoming a man is a process.
"I'll remember the process and how Coach Beamer treated me," added Price, "how he was firm but fair and helped me grow up and become a man."
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SATURDAY WILL be a homecoming for several Herd football players. Nine on the current Marshall roster come from Virginia - defensive linemen James Rouse (Harrisonburg), Brandon Sparrow (Bedford) and Joe Massaquoi (Alexandria), tight ends Eric Frohnapfel (Stafford) and Devon Johnson (Richlands), linebacker Cortez Carter (Bealeton), receiver DeAndre Reaves (Sterling), offensive lineman Josh Lovell (Gloucester) and quarterback Blake Frohnapfel (Stafford).