The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

October 10, 2012

Marshall needs to shore up tackling

There are things that drive Marshall coach Doc Holliday absolutely nuts, and one of them is what has plagued his team’s defense this season.

Missed tackles.

The Thundering Herd has had a slew of them this season — Holliday estimated the defense had an entire game’s quota of whiffs in the first quarter alone against West Virginia.

Much of this, a bye week, will be devoted to trying to shore up a defensive unit that could stand to shave a few numbers off its Conference USA-worst 44.5 points allowed per game. Of course, it’s not easy when you have as many players restricted in practice because of injuries.

“You have to go out, be physical and do some live tackling,” Holliday said. “When you’re standing out there in red jerseys tagging off all the time you can’t get better at tackling. If you are out in the red jersey and you can’t work on tackling, fundamentals and techniques, then you will regress as a player. That’s why it’s so important that we get these guys back this week and move ahead.”

Marshall’s players were given Sunday and Monday off before returning Tuesday.

Holliday said practice this week will have a “physical” tone, but some of the focus will be on getting players healthy in time for next week.

“We have a lot of guys out there playing, but didn’t practice (during the week),” Holliday said. “You look out there during the week and there are a lot of red jerseys. Those guys aren’t tackling and doing things you have to do to become better football players. We have to be smart as coaches this week so when we line up on Sunday and start that week of game preparation, those guys are able to tackle and go do the things we have to do to become a better team.”

Holliday has said he still believes defense wins championships, even in this day of offensive explosion. He also said Marshall (2-4, 1-1) has a lot of work to be done.

“I’ve talked all along that our defense is nowhere near where we want it to be,” Holliday said. “I think some guys have become better. We have to continue this week and next week to build on the progress that our players have made. We have to go out there every day and get better. Are we there yet? No. But we have to continue to work hard to get there.”

— E-mail: gfauber@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo