HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall’s offense and defense went back and forth doing the second scrimmage of the preseason Saturday night at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. The Herd offense ran 87 plays racking up 452 yards along the way but it was defense that Doc Holliday wanted to talk about following the scrimmage.
“I thought the defense was physical. I thought for the most part they played pretty well. Overall I was happy with the way the defense ran around out there,” said Holliday.
The defense did create some problems for the offense bring a new blitz packages and creating turnovers. Linebacker Raheem Waiters had two interceptions and ran one back for a touchdown. He also chipped in with a pass break-up.
“Raheem Waiters keeps showing up. He’s playing several different positions for us and providing some great depth at linebacker for us,” said Holliday.
“I do think we have some guys on defense who can blitz and they do a good job of it and Chuck dialed up some good blitzes this evening,” said Holliday.
However the offense certainly made strides in the week since the first scrimmage. Rakeem Cato completed 13-of-21 for 141 yards and touchdown while backup Blake Frohnapfel went 12-for-20 for 136 yards with a touchdown and interception. The duo of Essray Taliaferro and Remi Watson shouldered most of the load in the backfield with the first string offense and combined for 74 yards on 21 carries.
“Until I watch the film and grade it, I won’t know for sure, but I saw some kids do some really nice things out there tonight and I saw some things we need to improve on and that’s what this scrimmage was all about,” said offensive coordinator Bill Legg. “Us getting off the field and letting the kids play and getting out of their ear and helping them with a call or helping them with a read.”
Devon Smith was the star of the night in the receiving corps, grabbing 10 balls for 103 yards and a touchdown. Smith, one of the fastest players on The Herd’s roster, ran away from defenders and created mismatches in space.
“He’s pretty fast. He gives us another weapon and there’s never anything wrong with having another weapon,” grinned Legg.
Overall, Legg was pleased with the improvements the offense made during the past week of practice.
“We’re still not there but I feel like we’ve taken strides forward and we’re headed in the right direction,” Legg said.
87 plays, 452 yards (5.2 per play)
Rushing (32 carries, 96 yards)
Cato 4-3 (TD)
D. Johnson 2-2
Passing (31-55-356, 3 TDs, 2 INTs)
Cato 13-21-141 (TD)
B. Frohnapfel 12-20-136 (TD, INT)
Holcombe 6-14-79 (TD, INT)
D. Smith 10-103 (TD)
D. Johnson 5-93
Garrett 2-38 (TD)
King 1-14 (TD)
Leggett 4 tackles, 1 TFL
Thomas 2 tackles, 1 PBU
Roberts 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU
Tindal 3 tackles, 1 PBU
Rouse 3 tackles
Waiters 3 tackles, 2 INTs-1 for TD, 1 PBU
Letman 4 tackles, 1 FF
Hunter 6 tackles
M. Johnson 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU
C. Wilson 2 tackles
McKelvey 2 tackles, 1 TFL
Reichle 1 tackle
Lovett 3 tackles, 1 FR, 1 PBU
Myers 4 tackles
Hewitt 6 tackles
D. Mitchell 1 tackle, 0.5 TFL, 0.5 sack
Pickett 1 tackle
Holmes 2 tackles
Carter 1 tackle
Turene 5 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 0.5 sack
Bazzie 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU
Taylor 3 tackles, TFL, 1 PBU
Thompson 3 tackles, 2 PBUs
Gilchrist 1 tackles, 1 TFL
Dillon 1 tackle, 1 TFL
Sparrow 1 tackle
J. Brown 4 tackles