Doege works diligently to implement Air Raid offense

— By Bill Cornwell

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Spot the ball.

That’s been a common cry of coaches and players operating in Air Raid offenses over the years, meaning they want to utilize an uptempo attack that can create explosive plays through the air and on the ground.

First-year Marshall offensive coordinator Seth Doege has played and coached in Air Raid systems, and now he’s in the early stages of installing the system in Huntington as spring practice progresses.

Doege was the tight ends coach at Purdue last season and he’s had other coaching stops at Southern California, Ole Miss and Bowling Green.

Doege was a standout quarterback at Texas Tech and threw for more than 8,200 yards with 67 touchdowns in the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Doege was a 2012 semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award, which is given annually to the top quarterback in college football.

Doege was hired at Marshall last December following the dismissal of former offensive coordinator Clint Trickett. 

“We’ve been contending for a championship the moment I got here,” Doege said. “We’re trying to do a great job of challenging the mentality here that no matter where the ball is put, the expectation is to score and we’d better do it.”

Doege is currently working with four quarterbacks in spring drills — returning signal-callers Cole Pennington and Colin Parachek, Tulsa transfer Braylon Braxton and true freshman JacQai Long from Hurricane High School, a December graduate and early enrollee.

Another transfer quarterback will join the other four this summer in Mitch Griffis of Wake Forest.

“Cole has some ability or he wouldn’t be here,” Doege said. “When he wants to do things the right way, he’s pretty special, but he’s also got some development left to do. Colin has a strong arm and can get the ball where it needs to go. Braylon is an athletic freak. He’s big, fast and talented, but this is a new system for him.”

Doege admits there’s a learning curve for the quarterback room this spring as they get used to his coaching and he adapts to their skills.

“There’s a development and growth in the scheme for the quarterbacks in just learning how I do things, the drop mechanics that I teach, how I read certain plays, the timing and the rhythm of the concepts and when the ball is supposed to be delivered,” Doege said. “Them getting used to me and the way I teach and how I want things done is gonna be a process.”

While Doege has past experience working at Power 5 programs, he’s soaking in the early experiences in Huntington and a greater degree of responsibility.

“I tell them that you have to be a tough dude to survive Marshall,” Doege said. “If you want an opportunity to bet on yourself and prove to the world that you’re better than what you are and if you want to come to a place with tough people and a tough mindset that’s going to make you a tougher person, and if you want to come to a place that expects you to win, then Marshall is the place for you.”

Marshall will conduct its third spring practice Friday afternoon at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

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