The lessons that the Herd is taking from last season's game are reminders of what the Owls still are, namely a powerful running team.
Rice, which gouged the Herd for 301 rushing yards last season, leads C-USA and is 17th in the FBS averaging 239.5 rushing yards per game. And while 235-pound bruising running back Charles Ross leads the charge with 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns, McHargue is dangerous with his feet as well. He led Rice with 153 rushing yards against the Herd last year.
"If you go back to last year, their quarterback ran through us and around us," he said. "Of course, we are a different defense than we were a year ago. We couldn't stop anybody a year ago. We have great respect for him because he is a very talented individual. When you talk about Rice's offense it starts with McHargue. He makes them go and does a great job at doing it."
Marshall Defensive Coordinator Chuck Heater, the architect of the Herd's defensive turnaround, admits that his unit has struggled versus power running games. He knows that's exactly what his defense will face Saturday, and that it will have to overcome those issues.
"You can make a case that we've not done well against teams that have pounded us," Heater said. "Middle Tennessee pounded us. Tulsa pounded us. We were able to put them in some difficult situations, but, still, they ran the ball. I think our challenge against a good running team will be to be able to strap it up and go play."
Rice would rather not engage in another shootout, not against a team that leads C-USA and is sixth in the FBS averaging 44.6 points per game, a team that also is averaging 53.8 points in its last five games. The Owls have a defense that can keep that from happening, 19th in the FBS allowing 349.4 yards per game and 35th in the FBS allowing 22.8 points per game.
While both the Herd and Owls can look back at last season's game and shake their heads with amazement, Bazzie doesn't think either team can solely go by that 2012 barnburner to prepare for Saturday. The two teams, he said, are miles ahead of last year.
"Both teams did an amazing job coming into the season this year to put themselves in a great position and better themselves," Bazzie said. "Now it's who's bettered themselves the most."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.