Lauzon, who is 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, was second on the team in receiving in 2005 with 31 catches for 295 yards and three touchdowns. He had five catches for 55 yards and his long score of the year, a 25-yard touchdown, in last year's opener with William & Mary. The junior caught one pass his freshman year and played in all 11 games in 2004. Lauzon loss is tempered by the fact the Marshall receiving corps returned Emanuel Spann for 2006, after missing 2005 with a knee injury. Spann caught 27 balls for 233 yards as a true freshman. He appears to have returned even faster than his first season and Snyder has talked all camp about how well Spann has played.
Marshall also has had a great August out of receiver Matt Morris, a 6-3, 220 pound senior who only appeared in eight games last year and battled nagging injuries. Morris, who has 4.5 second speed in the 40-yard dash, led the Herd in last Saturday's scrimmage with six catches for 50 yards and had six receptions last year for 81 yards after starting the first three games before being injured against UCF.
Thursday's practice was an example of the depth the Herd has at receiver this year, as well as the improvement of quarterback Bernard Morris. Morris led the first team in 30 plays in the team periods, consisting of 18 plays versus the second team defense and 12 plays and a two-minute drill versus the first team defense. The Herd QB found six different receivers and one back and was red-hot, hitting 19-of-22 passes in team for 204 yards, plus ran for about 15 yards. He drove the team for a 46-yard field goal by Anthony Binswanger in the two-minute drill, moving the Herd from its own 45-yard line to the opponents 29 in six plays (two spikes to kill the clock) with 1:04 put on the clock and Snyder setting MU down by two. Binswanger nailed the kick to "win the game" and end practice.
Snyder gave Morris Wednesday off to rest his arm, having taken all snaps with the first team since camp started Aug. 3, and the coach thought it paid off today. "Yeah, he's been really sharp. said Snyder of his junior signal caller. "Hopefully, he will continue and we've got to keep him fresh just like everybody." Sndyer also said right now, senior Derek Devine is probably the second team quarterback for Marshall, but with fellow senior Jimmy Skinner a close third. Skinner started four games last season, splitting the QB duties with Morris, but Devine seemed to take a slight edge coming out of spring football. "It depends what we've got to do gang," Snyder told the media after practice. "If we're doing the things we're doing with Bernie, then Derek needs to be the guy. If we're doing other things, then Jimmy needs to be the guy. It will depend on what the game is dictating."
Other receivers catching balls from Morris Thursday in team included senior Hiram Moore caught four for 70 yards, including a "one-handed" catch that went for 27 yards and a 15-yard catch that Moore hung onto even as cornerback Kevin Perry took Moore's helmet off trying to make the stop. Spann caught four passes for 37 yards, including two of the three passes in the two-minute drill. Tight end Brian Shope had three for 38 yards and running back Kelvin Turner caught three for 18 yards. Morris the receiver had two catches for 27 yards from Morris the QB, including a seam route for 20-yards that Bernard threaded through two defenders. Freshman Bryant Milligan caught two for eight with the first team and Marcus Fitzgerald had one six yards.
NOTES: The first team defense stopped the second team at nearly every turn. In nine offensive plays early in team, they recorded six sacks, coming from Brandon Souder, Blake Merritt, E.J. Rascoe, Chris Terrell, Albert McClellan and Shavar Greer. They also got a pass break up by J.J. Johnson, an incompletion and allowed one gain of eight yards...Souder would force and recover a fumble by Turner in ones-versus-ones, causing Snyder to repeat, "Ball Security, Ball Security"...C.J. Spillman blocked a 41-yard field goal attempt by Binswanger, after Devine moved the twos into field goal position in the two-minute drill with back-to-back completions to Milligan and tight end Joe Bragg...Travius Thompson and Austin Peters are not practicing futher until paperwork is received by the MU Compliance Office from the NCAA Clearing House. There is no time table...Wesley Jones and David Ziegler continued the comeback from injury by practicing in all but contact drills, as did Barber. Spillman and Jeremy Frazie went live today...Ryland Wilson suffered a slight ankle sprain in team, but Snyder said it did not appear serious...The QB Club Reverse Raffle is August 26 at the Radisson Hotel. Tickets are $100 and the top prize is $1,500, plus there will be 30-40 more prizes drawn. Call the football office for tickets and information, 304-696-6464. You can also buy tickets at QB Club events in Ashland, Ky. on Monday, at the Elks Club, and Tuesday in Ironton, Ohio.