As we inch closer to Marshall’s first game at WVU on September 3rd the Marshall Thundering Blog is breaking down the Herds roster position by position, giving you the best and worst case scenarios for each. Today will focus on the running backs.
Martin Ward – 96 CAR, 345 YDS, 3.6 AVG, 1 TD
Andre Booker – 67 CAR, 264 YDS, 3.9 AVG, 1 TD
Tron Martinez – 78 CAR, 262 YDS, 3.4 AVG, 1 TD
Essray Taliaferro – 20 CAR, 98 YDS, 4.9 AVG, 1 TD
Andre Booker, moved to wide receiver
Martin Ward, redshirt junior
Tron Martinez, sophomore
Essray Taliaferro, redshirt sophomore
Travon Van, freshman
Remi Watson, freshman
Best Case Scenario:
To say that running the ball was a struggle for Marshall University in 2010 would be a understatement. Combined, Herd running backs only rushed for 969 yards. Marshall finished second to last among Conference USA schools in rushing yards, yards per carry, and rushing touchdowns.
2011 brings the promise of much hyped University of Florida transfer Travon Van. After sitting out for over one full calendar year it is already apparent he has come to play. In Marshall’s first two practices last week Van wowed spectators with his speed and elusiveness.
In a perfect world Van, the Herd’s most talented runner, would grab MU’s starting spot and rush for over 1,000 yards. With a solid group of running backs behind him including Martin Ward, Tron Martinez, and Essray Taliaferro, Marshall’s rushing attack vaults into the top half of C-USA. An improved ground attack takes the pressure off MU’s new starting quarterback and a balance approach immerges on offense. In total, the Herd finishes with over 1,800 rushing yards, averaging at least 4 yards per carry, and around 20 rushing touchdowns.
Worst Case Scenario:
Van does not live up to the hype. A year off from football is to much to overcome and the Florida transfer sputters in 2011. Head coach Doc Holliday is forced to rotate running backs and freshman Remi Watson burns his redshirt. Even with a large stable of runners the Herd's rushing attack puts up similar numbers to 2010.
With a struggling ground attack Marshall's new starting quarterback shoulders much of the offensive load. Like last year this in not a recipe for success, by years end fans are wondering how much longer offensive coordinator Bill Legg should be employed.
Next Preview: Wide Receivers