Marshall Has Hot Day Tuesday In Pads

Marshall got in practice four of spring football on a hot, windy day more like August than April, but the nice weather is about to go away. The wind is bringing rain, cold and snow by this weekend's practice in Charleston, and the poor weather is almost a tradition now in the Kanawha Valley for the annual practice during the spring at Laidley Field/University of Charleston Stadium.

While many observers came away from the practice thinking the Herd passing game was showing some signs of improvement, head coach Mark Snyder was not among that group. "Good hot day," said Snyder, "but consistency is the key. No, I didn't notice anybody (standing out) today. We weren't consistent playing pitch and catch. We have seen flashes (at QB) for two years," said Snyder of his quarterback play, including senior Bernard Morris, sophomore Wesley Beardain and freshman Brian Anderson. "We talked about that after practice, we have to be consistant as a team. Let me temper that with we put in some new things, man and blitzes on defense, but we have got to be consistent."

One player who Snyder thinks is starting to turn the corner is junior college receiver Darius Passmore, the 4.39 speeder. "Darius is doing good, but he has to learn to fight through getting tired. He's getting adjusted to college football and he gets tired, like all of us, and loses focus. He'll be fine." Passmore, who was held out of hitting on Saturday, was full go in practice on Tuesday, running some reverses and making a couple of nice catches in team period. Sophomore tight end Cody Slate also had three nice catches to open the team period, and making big plays on defense were safety Phillip Gamble, who intercepted Beardain, and corner Chuck Roberts, who picked off Anderson. Also forcing a fumble was corner Kevin Perry, and linebacker Cody Tominack, who has moved from fullback, recovered the fumble by Marcus Broadwater.

The big hit on this day was by Cabell Midland product John Saunders, a sophomore safety. Morris found senior tight end Brian Shope on a crossing route for about 11 yards, but Saunders de-cleated Shope and dislodged the football from the tight end. "We been pleased with John Saunders," said Snyder of the hit. "Very pleased with John, there's a guy who stood out." Another outstanding play of the workout was the final play, when Morris hooked up with sophomore receiver Courtney Edmondson on a 42-yard touchdown on a perfect run-and-catch. Anthony Binswanger hit a 50-yard field goal in the team period and has been very consistent this spring in the kicking department.

One of the other areas Snyder is pleased with is the young offensive linemen. "Brandon Campbell, Josh Evans, I like those guys alot," said the third-year head coach. "Chad Schofield is going to be a swing player, like John Inman has been. Josh is making a push and so is Brandon Campbell. He's got a lot better. I don't want to jump ahead too much. We'll see how it goes on Saturday. "I know most of you don't watch linemen, but when you watch those positions they jump out at you."

Marshall will close practice to the public on Wednesday and Friday, then open it in Charleston at Noon on Saturday. The Herd will have a Green-White special teams kicking scrimmage Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., working on all areas of special teams. Friday is expected to be a light day before Saturday's workout in the Capital City.

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