Herd "Hoots-N-Hollers" For First Pad Practice

Marshall Football put on full pads for the first live hitting practice of August and did they deliver some shots. Especially in the drill head Coach Mark Snyder called "Hoot-N-Holler," where three linemen and a back took on four defensive players to try and score in three plays inside a yardage box approximately eight yards by eight yards. Every time one unit scored or stopped the other, the offense or defense would come together to "hoot and holler."

"It's a toughness drill and I was impressed with some players," said Mark Snyder, "especially (running back) Gerwin Williams. He ran over some players to score." Williams scored on three different occasions, while fullback Will Albin cracked the goal line four times, including during the final drill, "Your Best versus Our Best" where Albin followed blocks by Doug Legursky, Toby Bullock and John Inman to a final score in a six period hitting drill.

There were plenty of big plays on both sides of the ball, including crowd-pleasing hits by Geremy Rodamer, C.J. Spillman, Curtis Keyes and Chris Royal. Bullock might have had the hit of the day, however, when after being beat on a play by defensive end Jeff Bush, Bullock shoved him eight yards out of bounds on the next play, then flipped Bush onto his back to end the play with a little smack talk.

Snyder has talked all pre-season about knowing what to do, hustling and being tough and the Herd showed it knew how to be tough when it counted. "Hoot-N-Holler is all about being tough," said Snyder. "All jobs are open at this point on the team." The coach liked what he has seen so far out of his team, as well, as they get ready for a new league. "I don't know much about Conference USA, except what I've seen on TV. Marshall rolled into the MAC with a pretty good team, an experienced team, while we are pretty young.But I'd be shocked after five practices if we don't go out and compete in Conference USA."

Jimmy Skinner hit Matt Morris for a 30-yard completion on Monday.

Marshall quarterbacks were sharp in pass skel today, hitting on 17-of-26 passes in the receivers/offensive backs versus linebackers/defensive backs drill that featured two nice catches by wide receiver Matt Morris, a 30-yard bomb from Jimmy Skinner and a diving catch for 30 more yards off the arm of Derek Devine. Curtis Keyes suffered a slight sprain when Hiram Moore was stripped of a catch by linebacker Matt Couch and nearly 10 players had a chance to recover the ball before freshman wide out E.J. Wynn pulled it in 20 yards downfield. Keyes was rolled over on in the pile, hurting his foot.

In team, Ahmad Bradshaw, who did not participate in "Hoot-N-Holler," much to his displeasure as the coaches played better safe than sorry with the marquee back, had a couple of nice runs in team. He ran through a tackle by Rodamer after being pinned in the backfield and turned the play into a seven yard gain. John Jacobs and Shavar Greer had plays that would have been sacks, but the first team offensive line, including David Ziegler, Ryan Baynes and Seth Cook with Legursky and Bullock, did a great job in protection. Some big hits on defense came from Rodamer, the play by Bradshaw aside, Ian Hoskins and Donte' Newsome, in a return to full practice for the converted running back.

Marshall will practice once on Tuesday, then begin two-a-days every other day on Wednesday. Practices are closed to the public until Saturday, August 13, at 11:30 a.m. as part of another "Choose-A-Seat Day." Fans are reminded they are not allowed to record practice in any manner, including documenting by written word, tape or disc recorders; still cameras or cell phone cameras; or video/digital taping of practices.

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