The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

April 26, 2014

MU to hold Green-White game today

Five things to watch in today’s spring wrap-up

It has shaped up to be quite an eventful weekend in Huntington.

A day after Mullens native Danny D’Antoni was introduced as Marshall’s head men’s basketball coach, and after ESPN analyst and former NFL head coach Herm Edwards spoke at the Big Green Dinner, the football team will wrap up spring ball with the annual Green and White Spring Game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Kickoff will be 2 p.m.

The 2014 season, which opens Aug. 30 at Miami (Ohio), will be the Thundering Herd’s most anticipated since quarterback Byron Leftwich’s senior season in 2002. That was the last time Marshall won 10 games before last season, which was capped by a 31-20 win over Maryland in the Military Bowl.

Before the start of the game, the annual turning on of the Memorial Fountain will start at 11 a.m. Guest speakers will be Leftwich and Sam Botek, who was a member of the Young Thundering Herd in 1971.

Here are five things to watch for in today’s game:

1. Quarterback. No, not Rakeem Cato. He’s fine. But the battle for the No. 2 spot has been a point of emphasis this spring. Gunnar Holcombe, Kevin Anderson and Cole Garvin have waged the battle, and no one has separated himself. That probably won’t change today, but the three stand to see a fair share of snaps.

2. Kevin Grooms. The 2012 Conference USA Freshman of the Year, Grooms had a dreadful sophomore season. An ankle injury suffered in the preseason limited his availability throughout the year, and he was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules the morning after the Herd beat East Carolina for the C-USA East Division title. Grooms reportedly has had a good spring.

3. Offensive line. Other than Cato’s backup, the left tackle spot was considered a serious question mark that was addressed with February’s recruiting class. Offensive line play has been spotty, but coach Alex Mirabal attributes that to younger, inexperienced guys getting more reps than experienced players such as Beckley native Clint Van Horn and center Chris Jasperse.

4. Outside receivers. The one knock on Marshall’s high-octane offense was the lack of a true deep threat. Devon Smith came the closest, but Cato relied on slot receiver Tommy Shuler and tight end/slot Gator Hoskins in most situations. Sophomore Justin Hunt and senior Davonte Allen are two candidates to step up.

5. Team Pennington vs. Team Leftwich. What’s a spring game without a little fun to break up the monotony of 15 largely uneventful days? Leftwich and Chad Pennington, Marshall’s two legendary quarterbacks who will see their records eclipsed by Cato in the fall, will serve as honorary coaches. The two even drafted players for their teams last week. A number of other Herd alumni who played in the NFL could also be there.

— E-mail: gfauber and follow on Twitter


Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 072314 brand Bradshaw or the field?

    If a betting window were set up on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs for the 81st West Virginia Open Championship, which begins at 8 a.m. this morning, the most popular wager would probably be David Bradshaw against the field.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 justice Home sweet home away from home

    When Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was handed a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sunday, his eyes lit up like a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on a cold December night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 miners Miners take series with Paints

    The way the West Virginia Miners see it, they don’t have the luxury of planning for tomorrow.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 Legion.jpg Post 32 rips Parkersburg 19-3 in American Legion tournament

    The double play in baseball is said to be a pitcher’s best friend. If that is the case, an 11-run inning by the offense is a very close second.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072314 Gaddis.jpg Former Mountaineer standout Gaddis making career in MLS

    Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis may consider Indianapolis his hometown, but make no mistake about it, the Mountain State will always have a place in his heart.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • WVU's Fleming signs with Yankees

    Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.

    July 22, 2014

  • WVU to kickoff 2018 season against Tennessee in Charlotte

    The Charlotte Sports Foundation (CSF) announced Tuesday morning that it has secured a regular season college football game for the city of Charlotte pitting the University of Tennessee against West Virginia University.

    July 22, 2014

  • Beamer sees turnaround for Hokies

    Virginia Tech head football coach Frank Beamer painted a rosy picture of the Hokies’ prospects during Monday’s Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff press conference in Greensboro, N.C.

    July 22, 2014

  • saints Picnic with the Saints

    The New Orleans Saints are coming to town, and fans will have the chance to share in the excitement at Picnic with the Saints this Saturday at the AdvoCare Sports Performance Center at The Greenbrier. INCLUDES UPDATED PRACTICE SCHEDULE.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp