On Bernard Morris' first pass of the game, sophomore corner Chuck Roberts stepped up and picked the ball off at the 47-yard line and returned that interception for a 47-yard touchdown and the White's only lead of the afternoon. "I just read Bernie," said Roberts. "Coach (Paul Nichols) has been preaching for us to react to the ball. I thought I was going to drop it, but once I had it I thought, I've got to score." Roberts also ended the scrimmage by batting away a throw from Wesley Beardain to Courtney Edmonson on the final play of the game and is hoping for more playing time this fall. "I think I had a good game, but I want to know what my grade is from coach. When the fall comes, the intensity will pick up and all of us will battle. Everyone wants to play, but I'll help out anyway I can like last year playing special teams." On the White, Cody Tominack led tacklers on both sides with eight stops and did some double-duty at fullback as well as linebacker.
Chuck Roberts picked off this Bernard Morris pass on the first Green play of the day in the Green-White game, returning it 47-yards off Bernie Morris for the White team's only score.. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Morris did come back strong from that miscue, hitting 11-of-19 for 199 yards on the day and two touchdowns while rushing two times for 22 yards. Head coach Mark Snyder, however, was not happy with that first play. "Bernie bounced back," said Snyder, "but unfortunately he's used to bouncing back. We can't do that on the first series, it just can't happen." Snyder may choose to go more conservative in the fall with the opener at Miami against the Hurricanes on September 1. "When we have opened up games (with passing), bad things have happened. We seem to do better when we get into a groove with a run, run, run, even punt, then open it up a bit in the second series. We've got to give ourselves a chance to win and Bernie's got to get over that."
Every Marshall player displayed a Virginia Tech logo on their helmet, in honor of the 33 students and faculty killed in last week's murders at the school. Tech is just three hours from the Marshall campus and will travel to Marshall in 2011, with MU trips to Blacksburg in 2009 and 2013.. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Morris hooked up with Cody Slate, on an amazing one-handed catch for a 46-yard touchdown that had everyone in the stadium talking. "You forget about Cody, then you turn the lights on and there he is," said Snyder. Slate had six catches for 157 yards to lead all receivers. Morris also ran the two-minute drill to perfection, taking the ball with 1:41 left in the second quarter and driving the team 67 yards in six plays, ending with an Emmanuel Spann 23-yard touchdown when Morris found him in the endzone wide open on a blown coverage.
"I've got to be Mr. Dependable," said the junior receiver. "After Shawn and Marcus (senior wide outs Shawn Lauzon and Marcus Fitzgerald), I'm the oldest guy among the receivers. Coach wants us to be role models to the new guys and the younger guys. All the quarterbacks throw the ball well, but Bernie brings experience to the position and you saw that on my score." Spann had three catches for 39 yards, and another score on a nine yard reception from red-shirt freshman quarterback Brian Anderson.
Chubb Small scored this 11-yard touchdown during the first half, running around the right end.. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Anderson had the fans buzzing with his performance in the second half. The product of Louisville Male High School hit on 11-of-14 passes with the Green, after going 1-for-2 with the White, for 10 yards, and leaving the game with an injury. "When I got hurt in the first half, it sucked," said Anderson. "But the doctors checked it out and said it was a thigh bruise I couldn't make any worse." Anderson passed for 115 yards with the Green and had the touchdown to Spann. "I got in the groove with the short passes, so then the coaches gave me some longer ones. The line was giving me time to throw and the wide receivers were getting open. It doesn't take much skill to hit open receivers." Still, Anderson knows despite the progress made this spring he has a way to go. "I was learning the other teams plays more than ours on the scout team, but that's part of red-shirting. They have put a lot on me this spring, I've studied and learned and I hope to get more put on me this fall." Snyder said the freshman has come a long way this spring. "We put him back there in the shotgun and let him sling it, which is his strength," said the coach. "Brian and Wesley made nice progress this spring, but there is still a ways to go."
Marshall coach Mark Snyder spoke with the Thundering Herd football team following the Green-White game.. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
Wesley Beardain hit only 2-of-9 with the White for 32 yards, then improved to 5-for-11 with the Green team, including a 44 yard completion to E.J. Wynn, a 35 yard pass to Darius Passmore and a touchdown of 16 yards to Shawn Lauzon. He and Anderson found William Barber for three catches for 42 yards for the White and Barber was one of the players to catch the head coach's eye. "Chuck Roberts, Michael Janac and William Barber, I thought those guys did a good job for the White team," said Snyder. "On the Green, Cody and Albert McClellan were working hard all spring." McClellan got to carry the ball for a two-point conversion on the Lauzon touchdown, and Snyder enjoyed rewarding the reigning Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year. "It was fun, just like carrying the ball in high school," said McClellan of the conversion.
Defensive end Albert McClellan scored this two-point conversion late in the Green-White game, lining up at running back.. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff
"Albert showed up every day, took every snap for 15 practices," said Snyder. "You get as works deserve, or in other words, if you put the effort in good things will happen. That's why Doug Legursky ran the ball in (Friday) and why we rewarded Albert today, it's fun." Snyder also warned fans this game was fun for the players and for Herd followers, but not to read too much into the outcome. "We were very vanilla today. The spring game is a reward, but it means you really only have 14 practices to work. You have to keep spring games in perspective, but we did get our game ops in today. We did some things, coaching-wise on the headsets and getting our calls in from the sidelines. Working on the mechanics of the game was the big thing."
Scoring one rushing touchdown was junior Chubb Small, who scored from the 11 and rushed for 14 yards on just four carries. Darius Lewis also scored on a two-yard run with the Green. "We've got a lot to put in in August," said the third-year head coach who just finished his second spring at MU. "We've got a pretty good feel for what our current players can do. But we'll focus on the running game, we'll look at those young quarterbacks (Chris Smith and Mark Cann) and young running backs (Jo Jo Cox, Terrell Edwards and Darius Marshall), but we'ver got to hurry to get ready. This opener is not West Virginia Tech, it's Miami, Florida, then West Virginia at home. We don't have any luxury time in August because the start of the season is bang, bang." Snyder also thanked the fans and the former players who came in for the game and thanked his MU Quarterback Club for all the hard work in putting this game together, one of the club's major fundraisers.
Marshall had a bigger attendance than several BCS Conference schools such as Big Twelve members Iowa State (7,000), Colorado (5,800) and Texas Tech (3,000); the ACC's Miami, Fla. (7,000), and Marshall's opening opponent, and Virginia (1,000); Big East members Pittsburgh (2,103) and WVU (1,000); SEC members Mississippi State (5,000) and Arkansas (2,200); Big Ten member Michigan (5,000); and Pac Ten member Arizona State (5,250). Saturday was also the first "Choose Your Seat" promotion by the Marshall athletic department. It produced 400 more season tickets sold, which now brings the total to 14,500. That passes the old Marshall record for season tickets of 14,027, and its just April. With season tickets going on sale to the general public Monday, look for the season ticket record to be smashed by the time West Virginia University comes to Huntington on September 8 at 11:00 a.m. on ESPN. Call 1-800-THE HERD or visit www.HerdZone.com for ticket information. The Cam Henderson Center ticket office is also open 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
WHITE 6-0-0-0 Total-6
GREEN 7-14-7-15 Total-43
White-Chuck Roberts 47-Interception Return (2-point run failed), 1st quarter, 14:45, 0-6.
Green-Chubb Small 11-Run (Anthony Binswanger kick), 1st quarter, 0:00, 7-6.
Green-Cody Slate 46-Pass from Bernard Morris (Binswanger kick), 2nd quarter, 5:45, 14-6.
Green-Emmanuel Spann 23-Pass from Morris (binswanger kick), 2nd quarter, :15, 21-6.
Green-Spann 9-Pass from Brian Anderson (Binswanger kick), 3rd quarter, 9:40, 28-6.
Green-Darius Lewis 2-Run (Binswanger kick), 4th quarter, 14:24, 35-6.
Green-Shawn Lauzon 16-pass from Wesley Beardain (Albert McClellan run), 4th quarter, 4:00, 43-6.
Team Stats: Green-43 White-6
First Downs: Green-18; White-4
Rush: Green-40; White-19
Pass: Green-443; White-50
Total Offense: Green-483; White-69
Rush: Green/Bernard Morris 2-25, Chubb Small 4-14 (TD), Antoine Cabarrus 3-6, Darius Lewis 2-7 (TD); White/Wesley Beardain 3-19, Lewis 5-1, Cabarrus 4-1, Tyler Shick 1-1, Anderson 1(-2), Andy Elcess 2(-9).
Pass: Green/Morris 19-11-1, 199, 2 TD, Anderson 14-11-0, 115, TD, Beardain 11-5-1, 30; White/Beardain 9-2-0, 32, Elcess 3-1-0,(-2), Anderson 2-1-0, 10.
Receiving: Green/Cody Slate 6-157, TD, Courtney Edmonson 6-115, Emmanuel Spann 4-39, 2 TD, Darius Passmore 3-52, Small 3-28, E.J. Wynn 2-48, Shawn Lauzon 2-20, TD, Bryant Milligan 1-13; White/William Barber 3-42
Punt: Green/Jake Fields 5-175 (35.0), long 40; White/Elliott Boyd 5-123 (24.6), long 30.
Green Defense: Josh Johnson 5 tkl, tfl; Will Albin 5 tkl; John Jacobs 5 tkl; Ashton Hall 4 tkl, pbu; Howard King 4 tkl, tfl; Ryland Wilson 4 tkl; Zearrick Mathews 3 tkl, 2 pbu; Bilal El-Amin 4 tkl, tfl ; Albert McClellan 4 tkl, tfl; John Saunders 3 tkl; Byron Tinker 2 tkl; Bryant Milligan tkl; Aaron Johnson 2 tkl; E.J. Wynn tkl.
White Defense: Cody Tominack 8 tkl; Chuck Roberts 5 tkl, int (47 TD), 3 pbu; Pete Culicerto 5 tkl, pbu; Michael Janac 3 tkl, tfl, qbs(-3); D.J. Wingate 4 tkl, int, pbu; Kevin Perry 2 tkl; Daniel Wells 2 tkl; Kyle Echols 2 tkl; Brett Traylor 2 tkl, pbu, qbh; Antonio Smith tkl; Mahala Wiggins 3 tkl; James Burkes tkl, qbh; Bradley Roberts tkl, qbh; Clint Eakles 3 tkl.
Defensive key: tkl-tackles (unassisted and assists); tfl-tackles for loss; qbs-quarterback sacks; qbh-quarterback hurries; pbu-passes broken up; int-interceptions.