"West Virginia took the big-boy approach: We're going to walk in there and win that game," Seider said. "The next thing you know, we're down and we're fighting and scrapping to get back into that game."
The Herd came closer to victory only twice. Marshall lost to WVU 17-15 in 1911. And in Holliday's first season as coach, the Herd held a 21-6 fourth-quarter lead in Huntington before losing 24-21 in overtime.
Remove the 2010 game from the equation and WVU's average margin of victory in the other five Friends of Coal Bowl games is 23.8 points. Yet the 1997 and 2010 games tell Seider that Marshall's first victory could be closer than some think.
"You can say what you want," he said. "Any day that ball's snapped, it's 60 minutes and the guy who makes less mistakes and the guy who executes the most will win the game."
The Herd has upgraded in speed and athleticism since last season. Tron Martinez, Marshall's leading rusher in 2011, may be out indefinitely while recovering from offseason knee surgery, but No. 2 rusher Travon Van will play and will be backed up by redshirt junior Essray Taliaferro and freshmen Kevin Grooms and Steward Butler.
Seider has repeatedly said that foursome could form a 4x100-meter relay team that could stack up against any other running back unit in college football.
That running attack will be coupled with quarterback Rakeem Cato, a year older and wiser following his 2,059-yard, 15-touchdown freshman campaign, and a trio of senior wideouts that includes Biletnikoff Award candidate Aaron Dobson.
The defense has welcomed a trio of BCS-conference transfers - safeties Dominick LeGrande and Okechukwu Okoroha from Boston College and corner Derrick Thomas from Penn State. Their arrival allowed Devin Arrington and Raheem Waiters, both safeties last season, to add speed to the Herd's linebacker corps. Marshall will need that speed against a WVU offense that slapped a PlayStation-esque 70 points on Clemson in last season's Orange Bowl and returns Heisman candidate quarterback Geno Smith and Biletnikoff Award candidates Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
Marshall's coaches wish the series would continue, especially Legg, who has a close relationship with both universities beyond his coaching resume. He played football at WVUand his father attended Marshall. He graduated from Poca High School and watched friends head off to both schools. He understands the passion of both sides and, while he thinks the teams will play again sometime in the future, he'd like to see it happen sooner, rather than later.
"It's a great thing when the two state universities can compete against each other," he said, "whether it's in tiddlywinks, football, basketball, baseball or whatever it is."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall.