Herd Hitting In Heat At Tuesday's Practice

Tuesday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium the heat was up and so was the Thundering Herd defensive players. The guys in the white jerseys dominated a 15-play goal line session to end the second day of full pads practice. The offense had a nice eight yard run to start 1st-and-goal at the 10-yard line by Chubb Small, who also scored on 1st-and-goal at the one-yard line to end the session. In the other 13 plays, it was defense, defense, defense.

Coach Mark Snyder called his players up after the goal line session and was animated, to say the least. "That's what I'm talking about," said Snyder to his team as it circled him at about the 10-yard line. "That kind of enthusiasm is contagious. That's what we are looking for in our players, coaches, managers and trainers." After releasing the team for meetings, Snyder was a bit more restrained with the media.

He talked about the defensive domination first. "That's the intensity that I want," said Snyder, "but it (the defense dominating) can't happen time and time again. It's early, though, and the defense is always ahead of the offense this time of year. It's the effort I'm looking for." Snyder expects the timing to come for the offense the further the team goes into camp, but he is also aware that mistakes can also be made when players get tired in the heat and it was definitely hot Tuesday, with more to come Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Players stepping up in the goal line defense included defensive tackles Chris Terrell (3 tackles), Floyd Wright (3 tackles and 1 sack) and Juan Underwood (2 tackles); ends Demarcus Thomas (2 tackles and 1 tackle-for-loss) and Gavin Herscher (2 tackles; linebackers Matt Couch and Brandon Souder and safety Chris Royal (2 tackles each).

"We were supposed to go pads Wednesday morning and afternoon, but don't quote me on that. We may go shells in the afternoon. It's hot. The kids are fighting through it," said Snyder, adding, "we are getting plenty of heat for conditioning." Marshall should be well acclimated to the heat of early games in September at home and at UCF in Orlando, Florida.

TE Matt Morris caught passes in Tuesday's practice.

Snyder also held quarterback Bernie Morris out of pass skel and team today, to rest a sore shoulder. "We'll probably hold him out tommorrow as well," said Snyder. "The thing is it allows us to get Derek Devine in with the two's and it looked like he threw the ball pretty well. He is still working on learning what we are doing on offense," said Snyder of the junior college transfer who joined the Herd in January. Devine threw the ball very well today, connecting with junior Hiram Moore for a 35-yard gain in pass skel and a 25-yarder to Marcus Fitzgerald. He threw some absolute "darts" to tight end Matt Parkhurst for 10-yard gains on 3rd-and-five plays."We are throwing a lot of looks at (our quarterbacks). Wednesday will be a "blitz" day (for the defense)," said Snyder.

Marshall had about eight players in blue injury jerseys, but none of those are serious injuries. One of those is Curtis Keyes, who sprained a foot Monday, but Snyder is not worried about the junior safety missing a few practices this week. "I'm not worried about Curtis. The way he conducts himself in meetings, the way he stepped up today coaching the young guys, we know what he can do," said Snyder. "Injuries are part of the game. The bad part is we've got some guys missing practice with injuries. The good news is, however, that their backups are getting lots of reps." The only serious injury so far is a broken tibia that backup defensive lineman Colin Kelly suffered Monday in "Hoot-N-Holler" when someone rolled on his leg. Kelly will be out 6-8 weeks.

DB Curtis Keyes was in a blue jersey on Tuesday, nursing an injury.

NOTES: Marshall will practice two times Wednesday, once on Thursday and again twice on Friday. Those practices are closed to the public, but Saturday's scrimmage will be opened, with practice starting at 11:30 a.m. That day will also be another "Choose-A-Seat Day" for the MU ticket office and Big Green Scholarship Foundation, starting at 10:00 a.m. and going until 2:00 p.m. or the end of the scrimmage. Over 200 tickets were sold last week when nearly 1,000 fans attended practice...Marshall official are putting together some rules for fans regarding watching practices. They should be ready before Saturday...Jimmy Skinner hit Fitzgerald for what would have been a 70-yard TD in pass skel, but was also picked off by senior safety Chris Royal...Phillip Gamble had an interception off freshman QB Wesley Beardain and took it back 40 yards for a score...Skinner ended pass skel with what would have been another 70-yard TD to senior Wilbur Hargrove, who got behind nickel back Jeremy Frazie...Ivan Clark puninshed running back Gerwin Williams on a swing pass in team, with help from Willie Smith and Demarcus Thomas and Williams left practice later with a headache...Travis Tatman, Wes Romanello and Terry Easmon have left the team and Cam Stokes has asked that his name now be listed as Cam Allen-Jones, the first name change of that kind since LeRon Chapman became LeRon King in the early 1990s.

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