Marshall Football head coach Doc Holliday announced today that two quarterbacks will play Saturday when the Herd welcomes Norfolk State to Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Michael Birdsong will start for the Herd with freshman-transfer Chase Litton entering the game on the third series. No other details were provided on the amount of action either will see.
"The plan is to play both (Michael) Birdsong and Chase Litton in this game Saturday," Holliday said.
The announcement comes after Marshall suffered its first loss of the season to Ohio Saturday night, falling 21-10 in Athens. Marshall struggled mightily in the loss, gaining only 10 first downs to Ohio's 22 and failed to convert a first down until midway through the second quarter.
Failing to gain first downs was not the only struggle for the offense, as Marshall converted third down on three of 15 attempts in the game, none coming in the first half.
Birdsong finished 16-33 for 106 yards with two interceptions with no touchdown passes.
It was the first game in the last 46 that a Marshall quarterback failed to throw a touchdown pass dating back to Rakeem Cato's NCAA record of 45 consecutive games of tossing at least one score.
Holliday said that Litton has been on him since arriving on campus for a shot on the field.
"He's been on me everyday telling me he's the guy," Holliday said of Litton. "That started about a year ago and now I guess we will find out."
Litton arrived at Marshall in December after a stellar high school career at Wharton in Tampa, Florida. Litton threw for almost 8,000 yards in his four-year career with the Wildcats. He tossed 54 touchdowns, rushed for 10 more, and amassed more than 2,500 yards during his senior season.
Litton competed for the starting position during spring practices, finishing behind the eventual starter Birdsong.
"I saw Chase and Birdsong make plays all through camp," Holliday said. "There's no doubt in my mind that Birdsong earned the job throughout the spring and all throughout camp."
Holliday said at the end of the day, it comes down to what you do in games, not practice.
"When you get in that game you've got to make plays," Holliday said. "You have to make plays at the quarterback position and we didn't make enough plays against Ohio University to win that football game."
Holliday said that having separation at the quarterback position was the primary goal but he is concerned with the now, not the future.
"At the end of the day...you've got to win football games," Holliday said. "I'm not concerned about five years down the road, I'm concerned about Saturday."
It was the Herd's first road loss in its last eight games. Marshall travels to Kent State next Saturday to close non-conference play before welcoming Old Dominion to Huntington first its first action in Conference USA play.