Saturday, June 30, 2012

63 Ray Marshall

Hometown: Clairton, PA
Career: 1974-1975
Record: 13-10, Bowl Record: 1-0
Ray Marshall is one of the more memorable linebackers in WVU history. He was not, however, always a Mountaineer. He began his career as a Catamount at Potomac State College. Marshall was a dominant player at the Junior College level, drawing interest from many schools. He did not have much of a desire to play for West Virginia until Coach Bobby Bowden convinced him to come to Morgantown. The decision would pay big dividends for the Mountaineers and Marshall as the team turned around from a 4-7 1974 campaign, to a 9-3 1975 campaign including a win in the Peach Bowl. For his time in Morgantown, Marshall would rack up 246 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions.
Memorable Game: Marshall was a destructive force in the 1975 Peach Bowl. After the Mountaineers had put together a surprising 8-3 record, they were given a bid to the 1975 Peach Bowl to play the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The Mountaineers had given up an early lead to the Wolfpack and trailed at half by 10-6. The Mountaineer defense, led by Ray Marshall, dominated the Wolfpack line, keeping the offense from scoring the rest of the way. Marshall made big tackles for loss and recorded a critical sack on third down late in the game. Marshall’s play in the game earned him Defensive MVP honors for the game. WVU won the Peach Bowl by a final of 13-10.

Competition: There are not too many other players who stand out at #63 for the Mountaineers. This number has seen relatively few players compared to some of the more popular numbers in the countdown. Marshall is the only player to really stick in my mind at this number.

Teaser: Tomorrow the countdown shifts back to linemen. This player was a significant contributor to some of the best rushing teams in Mountaineer history. He is West Virginia’s very own Cincinnati Kid.

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