And those types of backs have been an issue for the Herd this season. Florida Atlantic tried a power running game against Marshall, gained 208 yards on 47 carries and finally fell on a last-second field goal. Middle Tennessee rushed 60 times for 308 yards against Marshall, which helped the Blue Raiders scores a last-second win against the Herd.
Defensive coordinator Chuck Heater said he won't be surprised if UAB tries establishing a physical edge Saturday.
"We haven't necessarily proven we can handle that," Heater said. "We had a tough time against Middle Tennessee. So I would say that, if I were them, that would at least be an opportunity to see if we can handle it."
The Herd has a pretty tasty carrot dangling in front of it for this game. A win puts Marshall at the magical six-win plateau for bowl eligibility. The Herd went into its regular season finale in 2012 with bowl chances still in doubt. Getting eligible at the beginning of November puts one Herd goal - making the postseason after missing last year - to bed. Then it can focus on the rest, namely the C-USA East Division crown that remains a possibility.
"It would be huge," Bazzie said. "It would be exciting for everybody, knowing we've set ourselves in a bowl-eligible position. But right now, we have to take care of this week, get a 'W' on the board and the rest will take care of itself."
And to get that win, the Herd must take care of the Blazers and what could be a sequel to last season's punch in the mouth. Despite what's being said out of Birmingham, Holliday has warned the team to be ready for a slugfest.
"We told them on Sunday to put their big-boy pads on, because it's going to be a physical, get-after-it game," Holliday said.
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.