The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

July 24, 2013

Marshall defense will get plenty of attention

A number of topics were thrown at Marshall coach Doc Holliday at Conference USA Media Day on Wednesday. One of them, of course, was the defense and how much it needs to improve.

Unfortunately for Holliday, that will likely be a recurring theme, from his first press conference after the first practice on Aug. 5 until the season opener Saturday, Aug. 31, at home against old Mid-American Conference rival Miami (Ohio).

That comes with the territory when your defense is among the worst in the nation. Marshall had one of the most productive offenses in the Football Bowl Subdivision, but the defense could not keep up — with the Herd’s offensive production or the opponent’s.

Marshall was 101st in the nation with 456.6 yards allowed per game and 119th out of 120 teams with 43.1 points allowed per game.

“It’s frustrating,” Holliday said. “You’ve got to play defense at some point to get yourself in position to play for championships.”

The Herd, 5-7 in Holliday’s third season, lost its top two tacklers in safeties Dominick Legrande (132 tackles) and Okechukwu Okoroha (108), but seven of the top 10 return to give Marshall at least a nucleus of experience.

“We’ve all got to step up and do our jobs,” said senior defensive lineman Jeremiah Taylor, sixth last season with 54 stops.

Marshall gave up 253.5 passing yards last year, which is something that will definitely be addressed in the preseason.

“The defense has to put more pressure on the quarterback,” Holliday said. Marshall had just 19 sacks in 12 games. “You look around the country at all the spread offenses that put up big numbers.”

Holliday is confident in his secondary, particularly with the move of D.J. Hunter from linebacker back to safety. Hunter was third on the team last year with 102 tackles.

“He got back to his natural position,” Holliday said. “We expect big things from him.”

Taylor said the defense is excited to play under new defensive coordinator Chuck Heater, who was hired before the start of spring practice.

“He has pretty much changed the attitude of the defense,” Taylor said. “He’s got a go-get-it attitude.”

“The defense showed great improvement in the spring,” Holliday said. “To get to where we need to be, we’ve got to have a great preseason camp.”

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • Still in playoff hunt, Miners host Paints tonight

    The West Virginia Miners are running out of time, but the race for a playoff berth still isn’t over.

     

    August 2, 2014

  • mccown McCown thankful for his chance, no matter the role

    Luke McCown would still love to be a full-time starter in the NFL, something he hasn’t really experienced in a nine-year NFL career. 

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • ingram Saints pumped for first real scrimmage

    With a scrimmage set for this morning, Friday’s New Orleans Saints football practice at the new Greenbrier training camp site focused heavily on red zone and special teams work, trying to get all the players on the same page for the first true scrimmage of camp. 

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Richmond rallies to defeat Miners 7-3

    West Virginia’s hopes of a three-peat  title in the Prospect League are in serious jeopardy after a 7-3 loss to the Richmond RiverRats  Friday night.

    August 2, 2014

  • trickett WVU’s Trickett focused on staying healthy

    With his Twitter account no longer active — West Virginia University head coach Dana Holgorsen forced him to disable the heavily followed account after some controversial Tweets during the offseason — Mountaineer starting quarterback Clint Trickett is free to focus on one thing: doing whatever it takes to stay healthy for the 2014 season.

     

    August 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clark makes voice heard in return to Redskins

    Ryan Clark has been a showman, entertainer, spokesman, pontificator, critic, leader, mentor and fashionista — and that's just from one week of Washington Redskins training camp.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers WR Antonio Brown aims for repeat of 2013
    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van. It's fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad — OK, maybe slightly older brother — to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers sign K Suisham through 2018 season
    The Pittsburgh Steelers have given kicker Shaun Suisham a four-year contract extension that runs through the 2018 season.

    August 1, 2014

  • RH 080114saints1.jpg Intensity reaches new level at Saints training camp

    Following their first day off from training camp on Wednesday, the New Orleans Saints reported to their new $30 million practice facility at The Greenbrier Thursday full of energy and with an edge that hadn’t been seen through the first five practices.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holliday.jpg Backup quarterback battle one to watch at Marshall

    Marshall has a pretty decent quarterback in Rakeem Cato, a Heisman Trophy candidate who is expected to lead the Thundering Herd to its most successful season in more than a decade.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp