Doc Holliday is hoping his defense will see the kind of turn around from 2012 to 2013 as the offense experienced this past season. Following the 2011 season some were doubting Marshall had the talent necessary to be successful on offense as Marshall struggled to score points and finished 102nd in the country in total offense.
Fast forward to 2012 and Marshall was sixth in total offense and jumped from 99th to ninth in scoring offense.
Marshall’s next defensive coordinator will be hoping for a similar jump in 2013. Chris Rippon stepped down at the end of the year as Marshall finished 102nd in total defense and 119th in scoring defense. Despite having raw talent the defense never came together.
“We want to be very aggressive defensively. We want a guy in here that’s very technique sound, fundamentally sound,” Head Coach Doc Holliday said. “We’re going to have some players and we’ll be fine.”
Marshall will return eight starters on defense in 2013 but there will also be new faces in the mix that had to sit out the 2012 season. Players such as Josh Brown, who at one time signed with Clemson and Larry Jefferson will factor in along the defensive line.
Holliday also expects linebacker/safety Kent Turene and Corey Tindal to also play important roles on defense. Cornerback A.J. Leggett will also battle for playing time in the secondary.
“I think right now in this league with what we’re seeing, you have to be able to create pressure on the quarterback with your front four and be very athletic at the second level to match up,” explained Holliday. “There are a lot of questions being asked out there right now about what you want to do defensively.”
Holliday says there are several candidates interested in the job and excited about the chance to bring their scheme to Marshall.
However, don’t expect a new coordinator for Christmas.
“There’s just so much going on with the bowls being played,” explained Holliday. “I think after Christmas when the bowls are finished up we’ll have that solidified in the second week of January.”
Marshall’s next defensive coordinator will undoubtedly be under pressure from day one. With the type of offensive firepower The Herd possesses, no one wants to waste it with another season of sitting at home during the holidays instead of playing in a bowl game.
The good news for the new defensive coordinator, Marshall can only get better defensively.