The Herald-Dispatch |

Word on the Thundering Herd
Marshall University owns a unique tradition in college football. The program has overcome the tragedy of the 1970 plane crash to capture repeated conference and bowl championships. Follow the Herd here.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Game day atmosphere

Game day festivities are under way on this muggy afternoon at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The paratroopers’ fly-in was executed to perfection, the band was on its game and the entire senior class led the team out as team captains. Marshall football is under way, but the actual football wasn’t an ideal kickoff with a Thundering Herd three and out. The defense, however, is impressive early.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Depth chart highlights

Here are some interesting notes from Marshall football’s depth chart, released Tuesday by head coach Mark Snyder. Mark Cann, of course, is the starting quarterback and will be protected by first team offensive tackles C.J. Wood and Ryan Tillman. Delvin Johnson, a 300-pound sophomore who impressed throughout preseason camp, has earned a starting defensive tackle spot. True freshman Ahmed Shakoor is listed as a second team cornerback.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Breaking news on Herd TV coverage

Here’s some late-breaking news on television coverage of Saturday’s Marshall-Illinois State season opener. In addition to WOWK (Charleston-Huntington), WVNS (Beckley-Bluefield) and WBOY (Clarksburg) will televise the game live. Kickoff at Joan C. Edwards Stadium is 4:30 p.m.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kitchens, Bembry return

Senior linebacker Maurice Kitchens returned to practice Friday morning following a mid-week break. Cornerback DeQuan Bembry (groin) also returned, taking a few first team snaps. John Bruhin’s strong return featured time at second team left guard, and coaches continue to mix and match offensive tackles C.J. Wood, Brandon Campbell, Daniel Baldridge and Ryan Tillman in first and second team lineups.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bruhin, Bowers stepping up

John Bruhin’s return to practice has been impressive. The redshirt freshman, who wore a protective boot for an injured foot as recently as last Friday, stood out in live pass protection drills at right and left guard Wednesday morning. Bruhin primarily has worked as Brian Leggett’s backup at center. Chad Schofield now is taking second team center snaps, and former Cabell Midland High School standout Chris Bowers is lining up as the third team center. Johnny Jones (defensive tackle) and Kellen Harris (middle linebacker) worked with the first team in place of Ian Hoskins and Maurice Kitchens, respectively, who are being rested.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday morning practice report

Daniel Baldridge and Brandon Campbell, the most experienced of Marshall’s offensive tackles, earned first team snaps during Monday morning’s practice. Baldridge’s run was interrupted, however, when he exited the field for the Shewey Building with an apparent forehead injury. Backup center John Bruhin, meanwhile, shed his protective boot and was fully dressed; true freshman wide receiver Cory McCutchen, who did not participate in Saturday’s scrimmage, did not dress on Monday.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Offense sharp during Saturday scrimmage

Marshall’s first and second team offenses have flexed their muscles early in Saturday’s jersey scrimmage. After being bullied for much of preseason camp, a fast-paced attack scored three early touchdowns. Darius Marshall broke through a C.J. Spillman tackle attempt en route to a 49-yard scoring run. An 11-yard Mark Cann-to-Bryant Milligan connection set up Cann’s 1-yard scoring sneak, and the second team followed with another quick scoring drive. Brian Anderson threaded a 27-yard pass to E.J. Wynn, preceding Terrell Edwards’ 3-yard TD run between the tackles.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Saturday scrimmage preview

Position battles heat up Saturday morning with a jersey scrimmage practice beginning at 10 a.m. Mark Cann has been the presumed starter at quarterback, but Brian Anderson is making a strong push. Both offensive tackles positions, meanwhile, remain wide open. “I think offensive tackle is the one position, and I think Brian Anderson is doing a good job right now,” Marshall head coach Mark Snyder said. “There’s a lot of competition at quarterback, I think, and at tackle right now.” The scrimmage is open to the public and coincides with a Choose-A-Seat Day season ticket sales event. A lower level chairback seating section will be sectioned off for Quarterback Club members and Quarterback Club officials will be in attendance to process new memberships.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tackling the tackle issue

Thursday’s afternoon practice featured position battles at both offensive tackle spots. Brandon Campbell and Daniel Baldridge shared reps at left tackle and right tackle, respectively, after spending much of preseason camp in reserve roles. Redshirt freshman Ryan Tillman (left tackle) and C.J. Wood (right tackle) remain in the mix for starting roles, however. True freshman Demetrius Thomas, meanwhile, continues to make a relatively smooth adjustment from tailback to wide receiver.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"He looked like Albert again"

For the first noticeable time during preseason camp, Albert McClellan enjoyed a return to form during Wednesday’s practice. Conference USA’s 2006 Defensive Player of the Year, who missed last season with a knee injury, again showed the burst that led to 11 sacks and 19 tackles for loss two seasons ago. “He looked like Albert again,” Marshall head coach Mark Snyder said.

Wednesday practice report

Noteworthy from Wednesday’s morning practice was a relative return to health. Cornerback T.J. Drakeford and tight end Cody Slate, who missed most or all of Tuesday’s workout, each dressed but didn’t practice. Reserve center John Bruhin now is out of his protective boot and is rehabbing his injured foot. Depth-chart wise, Brandon Campbell now is taking second team left tackle snaps ahead of Branden Curry. What are your top questions/comments through more than a week of preseason camp?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Knock on wood; health is holding up

No news is the newest news from Marshall University preseason football camp. And that’s more than fine with the Thundering Herd coaching staff. Real depth throughout the roster is being realized in equal parts because of recent recruiting and the team’s relative health through eight-plus practices. Wideout Tavaris Thompson finally appears fully healthy, helping comprise a potentially potent group of receivers including Emmanuel Spann, Darius Passmore and Courtney Edmonson.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Two a days under way

Preseason camp experiments continued Monday morning when reserve defensive end Antawn Booker spent time at tight end. Highlights from the first of two Monday practices included a Kevin Perry in-stride interception of Mark Cann, and defensive lineman Johnny Jones’ return of a tipped Jonathan Garner pass 20-plus yards to the end zone.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Saturday's practice productive

Highlights from an eventful Saturday practice in full pads included breakout performances by first-year defensive linemen Delvin Johnson and Vinny Curry. Johnson, a 300-pound tackle already known as a weight-room standout, parlayed that work to the field, overpowering offensive line teammates. Curry, a speedy end at 255 pounds, totaled a pair of sacks before an enthused crowd of approximately 500 fans. For those in attendance and those reading/hearing about Saturday’s action, what were your impressions of the afternoon session?

Friday, August 08, 2008

Roberts leaves team; Bruhin remains in boot

Chuck Roberts has left Marshall’s football team. The junior from Guyton, Ga., split time in the secondary and at wide receiver during his Thundering Herd career. Roberts saw limited time last season after playing in 10 games in 2006. Senior tailback Kelvin Turner left the team prior to preseason camp’s start. As for practice news, backup center John Bruhin remained in a protective boot Friday. On Wednesday, head coach Mark Snyder said Bruhin might return for Friday’s practice.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Let's talk preseason football

Yes, this blog again is up and running and full-time so let’s hit the turf running (sorry, for the lame pun, bad start). Early impressions through two-plus Marshall football practices focus primarily on skill positions. After two confounding seasons of battling injuries and the NCAA Clearinghouse, junior wide receiver Tavaris Thompson could well be steered toward a breakout season. He’s physically matured into a sturdy 6-foot-2, 198-pound frame. True freshman Corey McCutchen also looks the part at wideout, but true tests begin Saturday when the team first dons full pads. Maurice Graham, a 6-5, 306-pound junior tight end, continued his August routine of splitting days focusing on football and academics. After a day off from the field, Graham practiced on Thursday.