Fans will also be able to watch an open football practice that begins at 12:30 p.m. on the James F. Edwards Field. The Thundering Herd's home schedule includes games with West Virginia, New Hampshire, Southern Miss, Rice, East Carolina and UAB. Marshall has already set a school record for season ticket sales with an estimated 19,400 tickets sold and only a few thousands seats remain. Snyder is going to do this week's scrimmage a little different than last Saturday's closed scrimmage.
"I'm going to feature the younger guys. My ones will get about 20 plays, then pulled them out, and really (get) reps for those for our fans so they can see those younger guys play." Marshall will be without two of those younger players, Vinny Curry and Terrell Edwards. Those players were pulled after two weeks practice due to NCAA Clearing House issues. Their calender to return after being cleared academically is something Marshall can only wait on the Clearinghouse."
After Thursday's only practice, head coach Mark Snyder talked about the punting situation and bringing back Herd punter Marty Biagi, who injured his knee in spring. "Marty's scheduled return was on Monday," said Snyder, "but after the kicking scrimmage, we moved the timetable up a couple of days." Biagi will spend two days in shorts, then two days in shell before going to full pads. He kicked some yesterday, and worked as a holder as well. "He feels really good...kicking about three-quarters."
For the time being, Snyder is back to plan B. "Anthony Binswanger will be our punter," said Sndyer. "He's pretty good at that. In a perfect world, that would not be the case, but we have made our decision." Binswanger will also handle kickoffs and place-kicks this season. Binswanger will punt because Jake Fields, one of the players looking to punt for the Herd, was hurt when he dropped a ball, then tried to punt into a crowd in Wednesday's kicking scrimmage. "He's got a hyper-extended knee," said Snyder of the punter from Hargrave Military, originally from Hurricane. "He'll be back in a week or two."
On the offensive line, starting left guard from last season David Ziegler returned to practice, marking the second guard back this week after Matt Altobello returned earlier in the week. It leaves only center Doug Legursky and guard Josh Evans, who got all the snaps at left guard in the spring when Ziegler was out after shoulder surgery, the only players to return to te line. "How about Zieg coming back," asked Snyder.
Snyder also spoke about the cornerbacks, one of the concerns heading into camp. Marshall looks set to go with sophomores Ashton Hall and Zearrick Mathews as the starters. Hall had two starts last season, while Matthews was an All-Conference USA Freshman team member with 12 starts. "I'd say behind them is J.J. Johnson and the freshman, DeQuan Bembry. As of right now, those are our top four corners." Snyder is high on his starters, but cautioned they still have room to improve. "I think Ashton is a good player, a very, very talented football player. He could play anywhere in the country. (Zearrick) is getting better and better and better. They've came on. We'll know after the Miami game, they have speed and talented wide outs so we'll have a good feel for those guys after the game."