HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- As the game slipped away for Marshall in last Saturday's 54-17 loss to Central Florida, the murmur of the crowd dwindled to nearly nothing.
With every dropped pass and missed assignment on offense, every missed tackle and big play allowed on defense and every kickoff return for touchdown allowed on special teams, the Thundering Herd faithful started filing to the exits in greater numbers.
By the time the game ended, the attendance looked more like that of a spring game, not of a crucial Conference USA game against a heated rival.
Marshall fans aren't happy with the Herd's record, and Coach Doc Holliday doesn't blame them.
"Are we disappointed? Yes," Holliday said. "As a head coach, I'm disappointed, our kids are disappointed and I'd be disappointed if our fan base wasn't disappointed. I don't want to be anywhere that the fans don't care. There are places where that happens. I don't want to be the head coach at those places. I want to be head coach at places where the fans are upset because we don't win."
Holliday is getting his wish right now, but the Herd doesn't want to test anyone's patience much longer.
Marshall (3-5, 2-2) hosts Memphis (1-7, 1-3) at 2 p.m. Saturday in a game that has morphed into a near must-win. The Herd has four games to win at least three and reach back-to-back bowl games for the first time in a decade.
A win would also snap a three-game home losing streak, a streak the Herd hasn't suffered since the 2007 season.
Marshall went 3-9 that year. Matching that loss total is the last thing the players want to do, quarterback Rakeem Cato said.
"The next four games, we have to win those ballgames, especially at home," Cato said. "The fans, we need to make the fans happy, knowing they're taking the time out of their life to come watch us play. We've got to give them what they want."