JMU's Marcus Marshall Elevating His Game During FCS Playoffs

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Marcus Marshall rushed for a career-high 203 yards against SDSU (courtesy JMU) Marcus Marshall rushed for a career-high 203 yards against SDSU (courtesy JMU)

He is peaking at just the right time.

Marcus Marshall is on fire in the playoffs, with four touchdowns and over three hundred yards rushing in JMU's last two playoff wins against South Dakota State and Weber State.

"My coaches had a talk with me and told me basically to elevate my game, right before the Weber State game," says Marshall.  "That was motivating to me and kind of what's been driving me the last couple weeks."

Head coach Mike Houston says, "I think he's playing his best ball of the season right now.  He now feels comfortable in the system and I think he has the confidence that he can excel in this system now."

Marshall began his college career playing in the triple-option offense at Georgia Tech, and he scored on a long touchdown run against UVa in 2016.

Marshall transferred to James Madison before the start of the 2017 season.

Both of his parents are JMU alumni, and his dad is a Dukes' Hall of Famer.

JMU senior offensive lineman Aaron Stinnie says, "Marcus is a special back, he has a lot of speed.  He knows how to hit the hole and then when he gets in there, he's not afraid to run a guy over and make his own way through if there's no space there."

"He can make a mistake into an 80-yard touchdown faster than anyone on our team," says Houston.  " Anytime he touches the ball he has a chance to take it the distance.  It's always good to have a guy like that."

Marshall has rushed for a team-best 820 yards this season with 10 touchdowns, and now gets a chance to help JMU win back-to-back FCS national titles.

"Last year I was at a watch party for this national championship game," says Marshall, "and I was with my parents and some of their friends they went to school with here, and they were like 'Next year this could be you playing in this game.' It's really exciting to have this opportunity."

Top-seed James Madison will take on 2-seed North Dakota State in the national championship game on Saturday at noon in Frisco, Texas.