HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— Saturday night’s scrimmage will go a long way to setting the 2-deep for the Thundering Herd heading into the final week of preseason camp and game preparations for the opener against Miami (OH) on Aug. 30.
Coach Doc Holliday wants to get a look at some of his younger players with coaches on the sidelines and not in players’ ears before and after each play. In a sense it is time to see if all their coaching is paying off.
“I think the one thing I want to do is I see some young kids out here making some plays but I want to get off the field and not coach them every snap,” Holliday said. “I want to get the coaches off the field and let them go out and continue to make plays on their own, which I think they can, and just let them go play.”
Holliday says it will be a good workout for all his players to be playing with conference officials that can make sure each position is playing within the rules of the game and said the players and coaches will get an opportunity to sit through a rules clinic with the officials allowing time to clarify any questions about situations or rule changes for this season.
With the announcement of the two-deep closing in, Saturday could be a final chance for a young player to make a difference. Holliday is not watching a specific position, but there are some young guys who have the ability to play.
“I see the Yurachek kid, he’s going to be a good player,” said Holliday of the freshman tight end. “We just want to find out exactly who can play because once we get back here Monday the two-deep will pretty well be set.”
Marshall could end up with as many as seven true freshmen contributing this season, Holliday notes but insists he won’t burn a redshirt seasons for a player who will only be a role player. Holliday insists if they’re going to play they’re going to see a significant role.
Holliday addressed the increased attention his program has received this season and how he has to police how the team embraces it.
“They’ve done a good job of embracing it but they also know it’s their responsibility to go to work every day and get better,” Holliday said of the heightened attention. “Bottom line is those goals and expectations go out the window pretty quick if you don’t take care of business and prepare every day and make sure you are a vested football team.”
“I think it’s great they are talking about us.” Holliday added. “Four years ago nobody was talking about us and even three years ago. So now for us to be mentioned in those kinds of terms, its and honor and a privilege for our University.”
Saturday’s scrimmage is scheduled to begin at 7 and is open to the public.