Sndyer Meets With Media For UNH Game

Mark Snyder had his weekly press conference on Tuesday and encouraged Marshall fans to turn out again for an important game. The Herd is seeking its first win of the 2007 after losses to Miami, 31-3, and at home to No. 4 West Virginia, 48-23. Marshall quarterback Bernard Morris is questionable right now with a boot on his right foot with another case of turf toe, but on the other foot from 2006.

Chuck Landon of the Charleston Daily Mail is reporting Bernard Morris may not go this week. Snyder will see how he responds to treatment this week, but may have to have red-shirt freshman Brian Anderson and sophomore Wesley Beardain ready to step in. Morris was coming off his best performance in two years. "It's been a long time coming, having some guys to pitch the ball too," said the senior who threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns on Saturday. "The offense is finally coming together, like we should have when Coach Snyder got here two years ago. We looked pretty good for three quarters, but in the fourth quarter we had three three-and-outs and we have to keep working on that."

Morris, who met with the media on Monday, said he is reminded of the 2003 team, when he was a freshman, of the togetherness the 2007 Herd has developed. "On that team they were all friends and they worked together well," said Morris of that 8-4 Herd team quarterbacked by Stan Hill. "It kind of fell apart the next year, but that year was great. There is no one on the team who hates anyone else, we all hang out together. Even our family members hang out together. The coaches, Mrs. Tara Helton, everyone on the staff is hanging together."

Snyder loved the electricity in the air for the WVU game. "It was a very exciting environment. I enjoyed it and our kids enjoyed it. We just came out on the wrong end of the score," said Snyder. The turning point in the game, according to Snyder, was during the third quarter, when a Darius Marshall fumble at mid-field took West Virginia out to an 11-point lead, instead of Marshall being able to cut the lead to one, or even take the lead, after a great special teams play by junior Chubb Small.

"The coaches did a good job getting Chubb up there to handle the squib kick and he returns it to the 50. First play there, we fumble. If we go in and score, it's a whole new game. Coach Rodriguez did a good job. He put the ball in the hands of Pat White and ran the clock to get out of here with a win."

Snyder sees in New Hampshire this week a team from the Football Championship Subdivision that is well coached and should remind Herd fans of the Marshall teams from 1987-1996. "This week we play a very good New Hampshire team. New Hampshire is not a stranger to any of us. We know what it was like to be I-AA. They are a very good I-AA team with some very good players. We need the crowd to be as loud as they can be, because football is a game of emotion. I think we saw last week what's it like when the crowd is into it and the emotion the kids took from them." Snyder was asked how important is getting the first win from UNH. "A lot. It's vital, it's critical for all of our wellbeing. We are sitting here at 0-2 and it doesn't feel very good. We need to make sure we as a whole continue to push." Snyder is impressed with the Wildcats' defensive scheme. "If you try to run the ball, they stop the run. At least we saw that in the James Madison film. They are very sound."

Snyder is also a big fan of watching film of Ricky Santos, the New Hampshire quarterback who won the Walter Payton I-AA Player of the Year award for 2006 and finished in second in the voting by five as a sophomore. "He's sneaky, he's fast and quick," said Snyder, who said Santos zig-zagged a touchdown run of 35-yards on JMU. "He looks like a pretty good athlete and he's enjoyable to watch on film. He does somethings with the ball in his hands that are enjoyable to watch, although maybe not on Saturday, but watching him against other teams he does some neat stuff with the ball." Santos has 101 touchdown passes in his career, a Colonial Association record, and has thrown for over 10,500 yards thus far. He ran for a touchdown and threw for two more in the 41-24 loss to JMU, coached by former MU assistant Mickey Mathews, who was Jim Donnan's defensive coordinator from 1990-95 at Marshall.

Snyder also explained why he took a field goal at the end of the half against WVU instead of throwing to the end zone. "They were rushing three and dropping eight. If they had been bringing pressure, then, sure, we would have taken a couple of shots. But the field shrinks inside the 20-yard line, and they were giving us very few throwing lanes. That's why the chance of an interception goes up when you are down inside the red-zone. We made the decision to go for three, go up on the No. 3 ranked team in the nation by seven at the halftime with a lot of mo (momentum)." Snyder also said he spoke with Jim Leavitt of USF on Monday and said he also kicked a field goal in that situation, and that was the difference in the Bulls win over Auburn on Saturday. "Those are decisions you make as football coaches, not fans, and it was the right decision to make."

NOTES:The offensive player of the week was Morris; the defensive player of the week was John Saunders, from nearby Ona, W.Va., who played at Cabell Midland H.S.; and the special teams player of the week was Anthony Binswanger...Snyder will rest Binswanger today, after punting eight times for nearly a 41 yard per punt average and being perfect on place kicks - 3-for-3 for field goals and 2-for-2 on extra-points. Binswanger is 4-of-5 on field goals this year, after going 5-of-13 last season. "We'll let Eliott Boyd and Calvin Purchase kick some, and Marty Biagi will punt today." The doctors have not released Biagi yet to return to full-time duty...Doug Legursky has had a number of low snaps to Morris in the shotgun, something Snyder vowed the Herd would "clean up" this week...sophomore right tackle Daniel Baldridge might be feeling pressure as the coaches are going to also take a long look at red-shirt freshman Brandon Campbell the next couple of weeks. On the other hand, the coach was excited about the improvement of left guard and red-shirt frosh Josh Evans from game one to game two...Aaron Johnson was banged around a bit last week at the nickel, so the Herd may play Saunders there more this week. Saunders had 6.5 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss last week. Phillip Gamble will probably take Saunders place at strong safety...John Jacobs will have surgery on his broken right hand on Wednesday, and miss two to four weeks. The sophomore played both of the first two games with a cast on the hand...Terrell Edwards, who got back on the field last week thanks to the NCAA Clearinghouse finally processing his paper work, may still red-shirt this season, according to Snyder. "It will depend on how Chubb and Kelvin Turner play the next couple of weeks."


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