Thursday, August 30, 2012

Marshall Football: A look behind enemy lines, WVU

A collection of articles on the West Virginia University Mountaineer football team heading into Saturday's game against Marshall.

The Charleston Daily Mail

WVU Football Coaches ready for any thing in Coal Bowl

WVU Football: Cook, Garvin pay the price, will start against Marshall

The Charleston Gazette

Holgorsen Hoping to see better effort vs.Herd

Mountaineers defense a mix of old and new

The Herald Dispatch

Jenkins, Miller step up for WVU

The Associated Press

Mountaineer kicker looks for rebound

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Alston prepared to carry the load for No. 11 WVU

The Daily Athenaeum

Holgorsen confidant WVU is ready for Herd

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

C-USA Football: Week 1 Preview

Well folks it is that time of year again. Tomorrow the Conference USA football season kicks-off as Rice host PAC-12 member UCLA and UCF travels to Akron. In total all 12 C-USA schools will be in action this week with 11 of those games being televised.

Rice vs. UCLA, Thursday, 6:30pm CT, CBS Sports

Despite being more than 1,000 miles apart the Marshall Thundering Herd and Rice Owls share a common bond. Both schools are short on seniors as Rice only brings eight into their opening game against UCLA. Comparatively, Marshall boast 9 players entering their last year of eligibility.

Beating a BCS opponent would be nothing new for these Owls, they defeated Purdue in Houston last year. This game will also serve as the debut of new UCLA coach Jim Mora.

UCF at Akron, Thursday, 7pm ET, ESPN3

Marshall fans will have a hard time finding a team to root for in this match-up. On one hand you have bitter C-USA rival UCF, who have been a thorn in the Thundering Herds side since joining C-USA together in 2005. Then there is Akron, Marshall's old rival from the MAC and future opponent in 2014 and 2017. Personally, this blogger will be rooting for a C-USA win but, a little part of me would not mind a Zips victory.

ECU vs. Appalachian State, Saturday, 12noon ET, FSN

After a disappointing 2011 that saw ECU finish with a 5-7 record and no bowl appearance Pirates head coach Ruffin McNeil will be looking to right the ship in 2012. ECU starts with a tough test as talented FCS opponent Appalachian State visits Greenville.

Houston vs. Texas State, Saturday, 6pm CT, CSS

Defending Western division champion Houston enters the season under a new head coach, former Cougars assistant Tony Levine. Their opponent, Texas State, is also entering a new era as the Bobcats start their first season in FBS football Saturday night.

Marshall at WVU, Saturday, 12 noon ET, FX

The Friends of Coal Bowl kicks off for the final time this Saturday as Marshall and WVU meet at Milan Puskar Stadium. The only two division one football programs in West Virginia have met for seven consecutive years but the streak will end after this season. Marshall is lead by all C-USA receiver Aaron Dobson while WVU leans on senior quarterback Geno Smith, one of the best signal callers in the country.

Memphis vs. Tennessee Martin, Saturday, 6pm CT

Like I said earlier, 11 of 12 C-USA football games are televised this week, as you can probably guess Tennessee Martin at Memphis has been left out. The Tigers enter 2012 with a new head coach, former TCU offensive coordinator Justin Fuente. It will be interesting to see if Fuente can breathe new life into the Tigers dormant football program before they jump ship to the Big East.

Southern Miss at Nebraska, Saturday, 2:30pm CT, ABC

New coach, new quarterback, and a top 25 opponent, not exactly a recipe for success as Southern Miss travels to Nebraska this Saturday. Last years C-USA champion will lean on their defense this season as three of the Golden Eagles top four tackles from 2011 return.

SMU at Baylor, Sunday, 5:30pm CT, FSN

Baylor might be without Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Robert Griffin III but they are still a difficult test. In a rare Sunday night game SMU will try to defeat the Bears and take down a Big 12 school on the road.

Tulane vs. Rutgers, Saturday, 7pm ET, CBS Sports

A Big East opponent visits the Big Easy this Saturday as Tulane host Rutgers. Former New Orleans Saints assistant Curtis Johnson will be making his debut as the Green Waves head coach. Despite last years 2-11 record Tulane returns a number of quality players including three year starting quarterback Ryan Griffin and junior running back Orleans Darkwa.

Tulsa at Iowa State, Saturday, 12:30pm CT, FSN

It's not often that C-USA teams are favored to win at Big 12 schools but that is exactly the case this Saturday as Tulsa visits Iowa State. Vegas oddsmakers have placed the Golden Hurricanes as 1.5 point favorites over the Cyclones.

UAB at Troy, Saturday, 11am CT, CSS

Two of Alabama's mid-major programs meet on Saturday as UAB travels to Troy. The Blazers will be lead by new head coach Garrick McGee and returning quarterback Jonathan Perry who passed for over 2,000 yards last year.

 UTEP vs. Oklahoma, Saturday, 8:30pm MTN, FSN

After seven seasons and a .500 record UTEP head coach Mike Price is close to wearing out his welcome in El Paso. The immediate future does not present an easy task for Price as his Miners host fourth ranked Oklahoma.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Marshall Football: Week 1 game notes, WVU

Earlier today Marshall University football coach Doc Holliday and his counterpart at WVU Dana Holgorsen, held their first pre-game press conferences of 2012. You will find a transcript of each press conference below with game notes from the Thundering Herd and Mountaineers. The depth charts for Saturday's game are also included in the game notes.


Quotes from Doc Holliday's Aug. 28th Press Conference

Game notes, Marshall at WVU


Dana Holgorsen Media Conference Quotes

Game notes, WVU vs. Marshall

Marshall in the NFL: Preseason week 3

Review of the week three preseason performances of every Marshall University alumni in the NFL.

1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, New York Giants

Ahmad Bradshaw sat out the New York Giants week three preseason game while nursing a hand injury. He should be ready to play week one. New York lost to the Chicago Bears 20-17.

2. C.J Spillman, Safety, San Francisco 49ers

C.J Spillman played but did not register a tackle during the San Francisco 49ers 29-24 loss to the Denver Broncos.

3. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Marshall connection continued in Pittsburgh as second team center Doug Legursky snapped the ball to backup quarterback Byron Leftwich during the Steelers 38-7 win over the Buffalo Bills. Legursky could be in line for more playing time as first team right guard David DeCastro suffered a season ending injury during the game. 

4. Byron Leftwich, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Backing up starter Ben Rothlisberger, Byron Leftwich connected on five or eight passing attempts for 105 yards and two touchdowns. 

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

Albert McClellan continued his quest for one of the Ravens starting linebacker spots, recording two tackles as Baltimore beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 48-17. 

6. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Lee Smith did not register a catch in the Buffalo Bills third preseason game.

7. Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers

Despite starting for San Francisco veteran wide receiver Randy Moss did not record a catch during the 49ers 29-24 win over the Denver Broncos.

8. Daniel Baldridge, Offensive Tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars

Daniel Baldridge continued to see time with Jacksonville’s second team offensive line as the Jaguars lost their third preseason game, 48-17 to the Baltimore Ravens.

9. Johnny Jones, Defensive Tackle, Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers placed Johnny Jones on injured reserve earlier today, ending his season. Jones has been battling a knee injury and did not participate in training camp.

10. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

Vinny Curry recorded two tackles as the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Cleveland Browns 27-10 Friday night.

11. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

In a battle between first round quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III Indianapolis linebacker Mario Harvey did not register a tackle during the Colts 30-17 loss to the Washington Redskins.

12. Omar Brown, Safety, Baltimore Ravens

For the first time this preseason Omar Brown did not cause or assist on a turnover in the Ravens third exhibition game. Although he came up empty in the turnover department Brown did register two tackles.

13. Delvin Johnson, Nose Tackle/Defensive End, Washington Redskins

For the second preseason game in a row Redskins defensive lineman Delvin Johnson recorded a tackle. Johnson figures to see extensive playing time in Washington’s last exhibition game Wednesday night as they host the Arizona Cardinals.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Marshall Football: Herd adds Attaway

Marshall's football roster received a late addition this weekend in Bryan Attaway. Originally a member of FIU's 2012 recruiting class, Attaway never enrolled at the Miami based school and will join the Thundering Herd as a academic non-qualifier. 

Coming out of Georgia's Camden County High School Attaway was rated a three star recruit by Listed at 6-foot-4, 245 pounds the two way player saw time at tight end and defensive end during his prep career. He is currently listed as a tight end on Marshall's roster but that is subject to change.

You can find a highlight video of Attaway's senior season here.

Marshall Basketball: Herd adds WV native TyQuane Goard

Per the Twitter account of WMUL sports director Adam Rodgers, Ohio University basketball player TyQuane Goard has transferred to Marshall. As a freshman the the 6-foot-7 forward averaged 1.5 points and 1.7 rebounds per game in limited action last year. A Charleston WV native and George Washington High School graduate, Goard has three years of eligibility remaining but must sit out the upcoming season per NCAA transfer rules.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Marshall Basketball: Nevada added to 2012-2013 schedule

Marshall University news rarely originates outside of West Virginia but that is exactly what happen yesterday when the University of Nevada announced its 2012-2013 men’s basketball schedule. Per Nevada’s official press release the 2012 regular season Western Athletic Conference champions will be playing at Marshall on November 24th.  

The Wolf Pack are entering their first year as a member of the Mountain West Conference and have a considerable amount of talent returning from last year’s team. Chief among them is 2012 WAC player of the year Deonte Burton. The 6’1 guard lead with Wolf Pack with 14.8 points and 4.2 assist per game last year.

Marshall has yet to announce its full basketball schedule but don’t be surprised if next year’s slate includes a return trip to Nevada. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Marshall Football: Joan C. Edwards Stadium adding suites

Per Chuck McGill’s column in today’s Charleston Daily Mail, Joan C. Edwards Stadium, home of Marshall University’s football team, will be adding additional suites before the 2013 season. According to McGill eight new boxes will be placed above the existing club tower. The construction is being funded by suite holders and private donations. Total cost for the new addition is expected to be around $2 million.

You can read McGill’s column here.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Marshall in the NFL: Preseason week 2

Review of the week two preseason performances of every Marshall University alumni in the NFL.

1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, New York Giants

Ahmad Bradshaw only saw a few carries with the New York Giants first team offense during their 25-3 win over the New York Jets. Running the ball three times Bradshaw picked up two yards.

2. C.J Spillman, Safety, San Francisco 49ers

Playing on the San Francisco's special teams units and second team defense C.J Spillman registered three tackles during the 49ers 20-9 loss to the Houston Texans.

3. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Pittsburgh Steelers

Doug Legursky appeared exclusively at center during the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts, backing up starter Maurkice Pouncey.  

4. Byron Leftwich, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did not play Byron Leftwich in Pittsburgh's second preseason game, instead taking a look at fellow back-ups Charlie Bactch and Jerrod Johnson.

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

For the second straight week Albert McClellan started at the Baltimore Ravens "rush end" spot, a hybrid outside linebacker, defensive end position. Despite not recording a tackle during Baltimore's 27-12 loss to the Detroit Lions McClellan could be starting with the Ravens week one. 

6. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Appearing as Buffalo's second team tight end Lee Smith caught one pass for three yards as his Bills fell to the Minnesota Vikings 36-14.

7. Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers

Randy Moss caught his first passes in a 49ers uniform last week, recording three receptions for 24 yards. 

8. Daniel Baldridge, Offensive Tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars

Fighting to win a spot on Jacksonville's 53 man roster Daniel Baldridge spent time as the Jaguars second team right tackle during week two of the preseason. Jacksonville beat the New Orleans Saints 27-24.  

9. Johnny Jones, Defensive Tackle, Green Bay Packers

Johnny Jones has yet to make an appearance this preseason as he battles a knee injury. The Green Bay Packers dropped their week two preseason game to the Cleveland Browns 35-10.
10. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

Playing on Philadelphia's second team defensive line Vinny Curry recorded five solo tackles during the Eagles 27-17 win over the New England Patriots. Curry's five solo tackles was good enough for second among the team.

11. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

Mario Harvey assisted on four tackles and recorded one of his own while the Indianapolis Colts fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-24 during week two of the NFL preseason. 

12. Omar Brown, Safety, Baltimore Ravens

Talk about right place at the right time. For the second straight week Omar Brown recovered a fumble for the Baltimore Ravens during their week two preseason game.  

13. Delvin Johnson, Nose Tackle, Washington Redskins

Making his first appearance of the preseason, Delvin Johnson recorded a sack while lining up at defensive end in the Washington Redskins 3-4 defensive formation. Washington lost its first game of the preseason, 33-31 to the Chicago Bears. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Marshall Football: Practice Report, 8/20/12

Want to apologize for the lack of commentary on my end but, here are a few early practice reports from Marshall's dual sessions Monday:

Marshall Sports Blog With Derek Redd

1) Herd Practice, Monday, Monday

The West Virginia Gazette

1) Notes: Advantage, Herd --MU still in 2-a-days

2) Bazzie, Myers still dueling at end

*Also, don't miss this touching story by Charleston Daily Mail sports editor Chuck McGill on the name change of Marshall senior receiver Andre Snipes-Brooks, formerly Andre Brook. Brooks changed to Snipes -Brooks earlier this month to honor his grandfather, Lee Otis Snipes.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Marshall Football: Scrimmage #2, 8/18/12

What a difference a week can make. After racking up over 600 yards during last Saturday's scrimmage Marshall's offense found few opportunities against a motivated defensive unit today.

The defense made a number of big plays, none bigger than linebacker Cortez Carter's interception of freshman quarterback Gunnar Holcombe, returned for an 86 yard touchdown. Former Penn State corner back Derrick Thomas also grabbed an interception thrown by Rakeem Cato.

Despite getting outplayed by their defensive counterparts the offense did have a few bright spots. Shedding his red no contact jersey quarterback Blake Frohnapfel completed 12 of 19 passes for 116 yards. Showing impressive running skills the redshirt freshman also rushed for 48 yards on five attempts with a touchdown. Sophomore Craig Wilkins also had a solid afternoon, catching a team high eight passes for 89 yards.

For more on today's scrimmage please visit the links below:

1) Stats.

2) Patrice report from

3) Practice report from the MU Sports Blog with Derek Redd.

4) Video, head coach Doc Holliday's post practice media session.

5) Scrimmage photos from the Herald Dispatch.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Marshall Football: Practice report day 10

Former Penn State wide receiver Devon Smith is officially a member of the Thundering Herd. The big news out of today's practice was Smith's enrollment at Marshall, one of the Nittany Lions top pass catchers last year. During the 2011 season Smith hauled in 25 passes for 402 yards and two touchdowns. As a junior Smith has one year of eligibility remaining but two seasons to use it. With wide receivers Aaron Dobson, Andre Booker, and Antavious Wilson coming back for their senior seasons Smith could take a redshirt this year and return for 2013.

Besides Smith's arrival, Marshall's depth at defensive tackle was another major story today. Steve Dillon suffered a knee injury during practice which lead to more first team reps for Blake Brooks. According to the practice notebook of Charleston Gazette reporter Doug Smock, head coach Doc Holliday did not believe the injury was serious.

Smock also profiled a member of the Herd's defensive backfield, sophomore Keith Baxter. In the article Baxter admits he was not prepared for the rigors of college football as a freshman. After a good summer in the weight room the son of former Marshall wide receiver Keith Baxter Sr. is ready for an impact season.  

A major area of concern in training camp has been punter. With the departure of four year starter Kase Whitehead Marshall is without an experienced replacement for 2012. After a few shaky performances freshman Tyler Williams has tightened his grip on the starting job. Derrick Redd of the MU Sports Blog reports that Williams launched four punts over 50 yards today.

Marshall returns to practice for a single session Friday before Saturday's scrimmage.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Marshall Football: Series against Navy moved to 2021-2022

According to Chuck Landon of the Herald Dispatch, Marshall’s football series against the United States Naval Academy has been moved to the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

It had been previously announced that the Herd and Midshipmen were to square off at Navy in 2016 with a return trip scheduled for Huntington in 2018.

When Navy joined the Big East its future football schedules was thrown into flux. As an independent the Mids booked 12 opponents every season, as members of the Big East they only need four out of conference games per year. Three of those spots are taken up by long time rivals Army, Air Force, and Notre Dame leaving Navy with just one other game to fill.

As you can read in the article Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick reached out to Navy AD Chet Gladchuk and was able to save the series. Now, the Thundering Herd will visit the Naval Academy in 2021 while Navy will be Marshall’s home opener in 2022.      

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Marshall Football: Practice report day 9

You might expect a football team to hit a wall after a week and a half of training camp. According to multiple reports that is not the case at Joan C Edwards Stadium.

Derek Redd of the MU Sports Blog writes that the intensity level was high during today's practice sessions. With multiple position battles ragging deep into camp many members of the Thundering Herd have a lot to prove. Redd also looked at the 33 Florida natives dotting Marshall's roster. Besides the 68 Floridians representing UCF Marshall host more players from the sunshine state than any other Conference USA team.

One of the big questions entering training camp was the maturity of starting quarterback Rakeem Cato. According to Doug Smock of the Charleston Gazette Cato has turned a corner this August, quickly moving on from bad plays and re-focusing on the task at hand. Smock also took a look at center Chris Jasperse. Despite only having 13 career starts Jasperse is one of the most veteran players along the offensive line.

Marshall returns to the gridiron tomorrow for a single practice session at 2:30pm.  

Marshall Football: Smith & Riedel dealing with possible career ending injuries

Missed this item as it was buried in Chuck Landon’s Tuesday column for the Herald Dispatch.

It looks like two newcomers to Marshall’s football team, defensive tackle Ken Smith and linebacker Ryan Riedel are dealing with potential career ending injuries.

A junior college transfer, Smith has not participated in any of the Herd’s August practices. According to Landon Smith’s injury appears to be back related.

Riedel was Marshall’s lone West Virginia native in the 2012 recruiting class, hailing from nearby Cabell Midland High School.  He has not been assigned a jersey number and hasn’t participated in a single practice. Riedel’s injury also appears to be back related.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Marshall Football: Practice report day 8

Marshall's football team was back at practice Tuesday afternoon, coming together for a single session at 2:30pm.

Players sitting out today included tight end C.J Crawford, defensive tackle Jarquez Samuel, and defensive end Matt Pickett.

Among the highlights of Tuesday's single session was the offensive line according to Derek Redd of the MU Sports Blog. The unit has improved all camp long and continued a string of successful performances today. Along with playing well the line has stayed consistent. Besides the battle at left tackle between Gage Niemeyer and Jordan Jeffreies every other position has remained the same with left guard Josh Lovell, center Chris Jasperse, right guard John Bruhin, and right tackle Garrett Scott.

Doug Smock of the Charleston Gazette took time to break down Marshall's deep stable of running backs including incumbent starters Tron Martinez and Travon Van with newcomers Kevin Grooms, Stewart Butler, and redshirt freshman Remi Watson. Smock also wrote a separate feature on quarterback Blake Frohnapfel, who is almost fully recovered from December shoulder surgery.

Marshall will split back into two sessions tomorrow with the early practice at 9:45am and the afternoon session at 4pm.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Marshall Football: Practice report day 7

The biggest news out of today's practice was the departure of junior safety Zach Dunston from Marshall's football program. With the addition of former Boston College defensive backs Okechukwu Okoroha and Dominick Legrande playing time had been limited for Dunston this August. During his sophomore season the Virginia Beach native played mostly special teams, registering a blocked punt during Marshall's 20-10 win over FIU in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. Dunston showed a mean streak during the first week of practice, getting in multiple fights with his teammates on the offensive side of the ball.

For a complete report on today's practices from Joan C. Edwards Stadium check out the MU Sports Blog with Derek Redd.

Redd also reports that Marshall has switched it's local T.V partner for football and basketball games not picked up by Conference USA's media package to WCHS, Huntington's ABC affiliate from WSAZ, the local NBC station. Beyond games the coaches shows for football and men's basketball will now appear on WCHS.

Over at the Charleston Gazette, Doug Smock profiles a pair of diminutive wide receivers 5-foot-8 sophomore Tommy Shuler and 5-10 senior Andre Booker. Despite their small size both figure to have a big role in Marshall's offense this year.

Marshall returns to the field tomorrow for a single session at 2:30pm.

Marshall in the NFL: Preseason week 1

Review of the week one preseason performances of every Marshall University alumni in the NFL.

1. Ahmad Bradshaw, Running Back, New York Giants

Running with the New York Giants first team offense Ahmad Bradshaw only got a few touches, rushing for 12 yards on four carries while adding a reception for 7 yards. New York dropped its first preseason game 32-31 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

2. C.J Spillman, Safety, San Francisco 49ers

Playing a reserve role at safety C.J Spillman registered three tackles during the San Francisco 49ers preseason debut. San Francisco beat the Minnesota Vikings 17-6.

3. Doug Legursky, Guard/Center, Pittsburgh Steelers

Doug Legursky entered the Pittsburgh Steelers first preseason with the second team offensive line, playing primarily center and a little right guard. At center Legursky delivered the ball to his old Marshall team, quarterback Byron Leftwich. Despite the Marshall connection Pittsburgh lost its preseason opener 24-23 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

4. Byron Leftwich, Quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers

Backing up Pittsburgh starter Ben Roethlisberger, Marshall alum Byron Leftwich completed three of five passes for 14 yards and one touchdown during his first game action since suffering a broken arm last preseason.

5. Albert McClellan, Linebacker, Baltimore Ravens

Appearing at outside and inside linebacker Albert McClellan recorded five tackles and one sack during the Baltimore Ravens 31-17 win at the Atlanta Falcons.

6. Lee Smith, Tight End, Buffalo Bills

Registering the majority of his time with the Bills second team offense Lee Smith failed to make a catch during Buffalo’s preseason home loss, 7-6 against the Washington Redskins.  

7. Randy Moss, Wide Receiver, San Francisco 49ers

Looks like we will have to wait another week for Randy Moss’s first NFL reception in 2012. Playing only a few snaps with the San Francisco first team offense Moss did not register a catch during his 49ers debut.

8. Daniel Baldridge, Offensive Tackle, Jacksonville Jaguars

On a offensive line already riddled with injuries Daniel Baldridge backed up starting left tackle Eugene Monroe during the Jacksonville Jaguars first preseason game against the New York Giants.    

9. Johnny Jones, Defensive Tackle, Green Bay Packers

Johnny Jones missed the Green Bay Packers 21-13 loss to the San Diego Charges with a knee injury that has sidelined him all of training camp.  
10. Vinny Curry, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles

In his NFL debut Vinny Curry showed why the Philadelphia Eagles spent a second round draft choice on him. Curry lead Philadelphia’s defense with five tackles, including three for a loss during the Eagles 24-23 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

11. Mario Harvey, Linebacker, Indianapolis Colts

Playing his first game with Indianapolis linebacker Mario Harvey recorded one tackle and a pass defended during the Colts 38-3 win over the St.Louis Rams. 

12. Omar Brown, Safety, Baltimore Ravens

Few players have had a more impressive NFL debut than the Baltimore Ravens Omar Brown. Playing as a reserve safety Brown recorded two tackles, two fumble recoveries and a interception against the Atlanta Falcons.

13. Delvin Johnson, Nose Tackle, Washington Redskins

Appearing late in the third and fourth quarter Redskins reserve defensive lineman Delvin Johnson did not register a tackle during Washington's first preseason game against the Buffalo Bills  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Marshall Football: Practice report day 5

After four days of running around without pads Marshall University's football team finally had a chance to hit someone Friday afternoon. In there first full squad practice the Thundering Herd strapped on shoulder pads and got after each other.

According to Derek Redd of the Charleston Daily Mail multiple fights broke out during today's session. One scuffle between linebacker Raheem Waiters and running back Remi Watson lasted multiple rounds. 

Speaking of Waiters, the West Virginia native is tightening his grip on the starting strong side linebacker spot. Charleston Daily Mail reporter Doug Smock spoke with Waiters after practice and it appears the former high school wide receivers transition to defense is almost complete. 

Practicing as one unit for the first time Marshall's depth chart became more defined Friday. Over at Woody Woodrum puts together his version of the first and second team at every position.

Tomorrow the Herd will compete in it's first inter-squad scrimmage this August. Admission is limited to season ticket holders, Big Green members, and Choose-A-Seat participants. Gates open at 10am.  

Friday, August 10, 2012

Marshall Football: Practice report day 4

Typically you don't get big additions on the fourth day of practice but that is exactly what Marshall's football team received on Thursday. We were a bit early reporting his addition on Monday but, former Penn State defensive back Derrick Thomas joined the Herd for the first time yesterday. Thomas will be eligible immediately and has two years of eligibility remaining. No word yet on Thomas's former Penn State teammate Devon Smith, who was also expected to join Marshall's football team.

The addition of Thomas came a bit to late for his defensive teammates during the morning session. According to the practice report of Charleston Daily Mail reporter Derek Redd, defensive coordinator Chris Rippon made his side of the ball barrel roll the length of Joan C. Edwards Stadium's field turf after a particularly poor performance.

Speaking defense, Doug Smock of the Charleston Gazette took time to profile sophomore linebacker Jermaine Holmes. As a true freshman Holmes made 26 tackles last year but was admittedly overwhelmed at times. This season the Valdosta Georgia native is penciled in as the starting middle linebacker after the graduation of Tyson Gale, now a graduate assistant on Marshall's football staff.

Smock also submitted a practice report of his own, once again detailing the exploits of lightning quick running back Kevin Grooms. On one play Grooms outran A.J Leggett for a touchdown after the defensive back appeared an angle on his fellow Florida native.

Over at Woody Woodrum took a long look at kicker Justin Haig. The kicking game was a big concern for Marshall entering camp but Haig has quieted those fears. Thursday the redshirt sophomore hit seven of nine field goal attempts including one from 44 yards. One reason for Haig's improved performance has been the addition of true freshman long snapper Matt Cincotta. Playing a little of defense today Cincotta, a high school linebacker, intercepted a Blake Frohnafel pass and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown.

The Herd will practice as one unit tomorrow around 2:30pm as they strap on full pads for the first time.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Marshall Football: Preseason practice day 3

The Thundering Herd spent its first day in pads Wednesday and even though they were only wearing shells the intensity picked up two fold.

Chief among the hard hitting members of Marshall's football team, safety Zach Dunston had no trouble riling up the offense. According to the practice report of's Woody Woodrum, Dunston and wide receiver Demetrius Evans had a chance to settle their differences in the bullpen surrounded by their teammates. Dunston has been a nemesis of the receiving core over the past three days, going full bore in every drill.

Another highlight of today's practices, running backs Kevin Grooms and Steward Butler flipping sessions. Before today Grooms had appeared exclusively in the afternoon against Marshall's veteran defenders. On the other hand Butler has faced less experience defenses in the morning. Taking his first reps in the AM practice Grooms showed off, breaking multiple long runs. Viewing the afternoon practice Doug Smock of the Charleston Gazette reports that Butler also reeled off a few impressive runs but mixed in multiple fumbles.

Smock also has a special feature on Boston College transfers Domenick Legrande and Okechukwu Okoroha for Thursday's paper. The senior safeties should play a huge role in the secondary this year.

Veteran wide receiver Aaron Dobson had a nice play at practice today. Derek Redd of the MU Sports Blog details a sequence where the all Conference USA performer hauled in a bubble screen and sped past the defense for a touchdown.

After missing the first day of practice recovering from a off season surgery Tron Martinez was a full participant Tuesday and Wednesday. WV Metro News reporter Dave Wilson spent a few minutes with the junior running back, getting a feel for Martinez's health entering the season.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Marshall Football: Preseason practice day 2

Day two of  preseason football practice is in the books. The Thundering Herd was split into two squads again, taking the practice field this morning and afternoon. Tomorrow the Herd puts on shells for the first time before donning full pads Friday.

For a complete run down of today's action visit the links below:

Doug Smock of the Charleston Gazette pays special attention to newly eligible running backs Kevin Grooms and Stewart Butler. Both have shown blazing speed during the first two days of camp and could push incumbent starters Tron Martinez and Travon Van for playing time.

Smock also profiles two redshirt freshman, Steve Dillion and Armonze Daniel, who are attempting to fill the void at defensive end left by Vinny Curry, Conference USA's 2011 defensive player of the year.

Over at the Marshall Sports Blog, Derek Redd reports that all three scholarship quarterbacks, Rakeem Cato, Blake Frohnapfel, and Gunnar Holcombe looked impressive Tuesday.'s Woody Woodrum filed a complete morning practice report. Among the highlights, Blake Frohnapfel hitting four of five receivers during full team drills, Justin Haig's improved performance on field goals aided by freshman long snapper Matt Cincotta, and Armonze Daniel's dominance at defensive end. Also, Woodrum reports that running back Tron Martinez was full go today after sitting out yesterdays practice.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Marshall Football: Preseason practice day 1

Monday marked the first day of preseason practice for the Marshall University football team. A complete roundup of today's action can be found below.

First a foremost you can find a updated roster from our friends at

Practice reports from Woody Woodrum of and Derek Redd of the Charleston Daily Mail can be found by clicking on the appropriate links. Dave Wilson of the WV Metro News also has video of Doc Holliday's post-practice media session.

Penn State transfers Devon Smith and Derrick Thomas were not a practice today. It looks like a few administrative steps must take place before they join the Thundering Herd. Head coach Doc Holliday could not comment on the situation as Smith and Thomas are "recruitable athletes".

Players you won't find on this years roster:

1) Josue Joseph, OL, Redshirt Freshman

2) T.J Ross, LB, Sophomore - Recorded ten tackles last year.

3) Rakim Reed, TE, Freshman - Transferred to Walsh University.

Members of the 2012 recruiting class that did not report:

1) Chris Hall, QB/TE - Enrolled at Virginia Union.

2) Deyonte Henderson, LB

3) Tyler Combs, OL

Members of 2012 recruiting class who are academic non-qualifiers:

1) Gary Thompson, LB

2) Corey Tindal, DB

3) Kent Turene, LB

Position changes:

1) Stefone Grace, Redshirt Freshman, linebacker to tight end.

2) Armonze Daniel, Redshirt Freshman, linebacker to defensive end.

Not participating due to injury:  

1) Ken Smith, Junior, DT - Knee injury, no timetable for return.

2) Darryl Roberts, Junior, DB - Right foot injury, no timetable for return.

3) Tron Martinez, Junior, RB - Still recovering from off season knee surgery.

Marshall Football: Herd adds two Penn State transfers, Smith & Thomas

On the eve of pre-season practice Marshall University's football team has added two high profile transfers. Former Penn State football players Devon Smith and Derrick Thomas will officially joined the Thundering Herd tomorrow. Both should be able to play immediately as part of the NCAA sanctions levied upon Penn State in response to the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal and cover-up.

Smith, a senior wide receiver, caught 25 passes last year for 402 yards and two touchdowns. During his career Smith has totaled more than 700 receiving yards on 56 receptions.

Police arrested Smith in March after finding a small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his apartment. At last check Smith had applied for Pennsylvania's Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition Program, avoiding any jail time.

A left foot injury kept Smith out of spring practice and he left the Penn State's football program shortly thereafter for personal reasons

Standing in at 5'7 155 pounds, the speedster will compete with Andre Booker and Tommy Shuler for time at slot receiver. Smith could also be a valuable weapon on punt and kick returns. 

A redshirt junior, Thomas left Penn State for personal reasons in June with two years of eligibility remaining. Thomas appeared in nine games last year while starting at right cornerback but he missed Penn States 30-14 loss to Houston in the Bowl after being ruled  academically ineligible. He was also suspended for nine games in 2010 after being involved in a off-campus scuffle.   

Thomas played prep football with fellow Marshall defensive back and Boston College transfer Okechukwu Okoroha at Elanor Roosevelt High School. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Marshall Football: Herd releases new road uniforms

Per the Twitter account of Marshall’s athletic equipment staff, the Thundering Herd has released a picture of its new road football uniform. Biggest changes include stitched on numbers and “The Herd” written across the chest, matching the green home jerseys.

                                                      Picture courtesy of @HerdEquipment.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Marshall Baseball: Straily promoted to majors

September 30th 2003, the last appearance of veteran reliever Rick Reed's long career and the final appearance of a Marshall University alumni in Major League Baseball. Turn the clock ahead nine years and the Thundering Herd's drought at baseball's highest level will end Friday night.

Former Marshall pitcher Dan Straily is scheduled for his first start and MLB appearance tomorrow as his Oakland Athletics host the Toronto Blue Jays (10:05pm ET). While pitching for Oakland's minor league affiliates in AA and AAA Straily has put together an impressive 2012 season, leading all of professional baseball with 175 strikeouts.

For more on his MLB debut, including direct quotes from the man himself and Marshall baseball coach Jeff Waggoner click this link.