Mock Game Brings Summer Practice To An End

About 200 Marshall fans took in the mock game under blazing skies at Marshall Stadium on Saturday. The hour-and-a-half set of scripted plays featured Marshall's first team offense and defense versus the scout team, which was mimicking Appalachian State.

The 60-some plays ran according to script, placing both the offense and defense in specific circumstances. Highlights included:
Roberto Terrell's 95 yard return of the opening kickoff for a touchdown;
Running back Franklin Wallace's 43-yard touchdown run;
Brandon Carey scoring three times,from 4 yards out, 5 yards out, as well as from 35 yards;
Linebacker Kevin Atkins' pick of an errant Joe David Browning pass, and returning it for a touchdown;
Demetrius Doss' made a beatiful fingertip catch going across the middle of the defensive secondary.

"I think our defense made a big, big jump," said Marshall coach Bob Pruett afterwards. "I felt pretty good about our substitution pattern. We knew what to do, and stayed alert."

"We're more polished."

Franklin Wallace looks for blockers during his 43-yard TD run at Saturday's mock game

Heisman Trophy candidate Byron Leftwich played for two series, then promptly retired to sign autographs for Marshall fans. Still, Leftwich felt pretty good about where the team is, one week before the opener against Appy State.

"We did a great job on both sides of the ball. Just executing," Leftwich summed up. "Today wasn't about going and banging and hitting each other. It was about going out there and finding a way to execute. And, that's what we did."

The mock game effectively ended Marshall's three weeks of summer practices. Now, the Herd is on a regular pre-game practice schedule, and will resume practice at Marshall Stadium on Monday night. Appalachian State will open Marshall's 2002 season next Saturday at Marshall Stadium. Game time is set for 7pm.

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