Marshall Football: Day Six, Full Pads

After five days of meetings, shorts practices and media day, the Herd got down to business on Sunday afternoon, in front of a matinee crowd of about 200 Marshall football fans. It was the first practice of 2003 in full pads and the offense was, for once, ahead of the defense, at least during the "ones verses ones" scrimmage session.

Butchie Wallace took an inside handoff about 10 plays into the action and went the distance, covering about 70 yards for a touchdown that inspired the offense. Stan Hill was crisp passing, using only the second team receivers of Nate Manns, Brad Bates, Tremel Guillory and first teamer Jason Schroeder. Hill had the other long run, a "naked" bootleg around the left end for about 40 yards and Schroeder made two nice catches, including one with a defensive back drapped all over him. Earl Charles ran effectively early.

Coach Bob Pruett commented on the first day of full hitting. "I wasn't very happy with the tackling, or with the short yardage offense," said Pruett. "Offensively, we did some good things and defensively, we got here a little late and got their hat handed to them a little bit.

"We'll go look at the video and get better on defense tomorrow. Stan showed a lot of poise, especially with our top receivers sitting out of the scrimmage. We need to get them back, and we will soon." Defensive whip linebacker Charlie Tynes held a defensive players-only, post-practice meeting for about 15 minutes after Coach Pruett dismissed the team.

"We may have believed our own press clippings, took them to our heads, or enjoyed Media Day too much," Tynes said. "Everyone came out (on defense) with a lackadaisical attitude, from being late to the walk through and straight through until the end. Talk is cheap, and I have to lead by example."

The second team defense had better luck against an ineffective Graham Gochneaur. Dennis Thorton had an interception, while Fernado Durden and Matt Couch had fumble recoveries. Back-up tailback Michael West ran well, but was stripped on an early carry.

Marshall will have the first two-a-day practice day Monday, with workouts scheduled for 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Herd fans get another chance this week to pick up seasons tickets with two "Choose A Seat" promotions-Thursday from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. Also coming up Saturday is the first full scrimmage for Marshall's football team and the Quarterback Club's Reverse Raffle Dinner Dance. Call the football office at 304-696-6464 for details on this football team fundraiser.

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