Herd Turns Up "Thud" For First 2-A-Day

Marshall turned up the hitting with the first true "two-a-day" practice day of the August 2008 camp. Mark Snyder was happy with the "thud" practice that is hitting without taking offensive players down to the ground, and there was some very good plays on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, which is exactly how Snyder would have it during the third day in full pads.

Practice for college players has definitely changed in the last 15-20 years, as players used to endure three-a-day practices, in full pads, right from the get-go of camp. Hitting, scrimmages and injuries were as much a part of getting a team ready as sprints, no water and three-hour workouts. "With the scholarship reductions and studies on injuries, times have changed," said Snyder, who remembers having three-a-day practices as a young coach at UCF in 1989. "You have more and more young people with problems that we didn't used to see. I can hardly ever remember a young man passing away on the football field as a player or young coach, and now it is happening...those are the reasons we are scaling back. Those are the reasons."

Marshall went 25 periods today, and there were big plays on both sides of the ball. On-target passes were broken up by T.J. Drakeford, DeNathian Robinson, Kellen Harris and Brandon Burns. Kevin Perry intercepted a pass and returned it for about a 65-yard touchdown, while Johnny Jones had an interception on pressure from Mario Harvey, and returned that for a 30-yard score. Bringing pressure to all three quarterbacks (Wesley Beardain is still out with personal issues) was Jones, DeMetrius Thompson, Delvin Johnson, John Saunders, Harvey and Burns.


QB Mark Cann, shown this spring, still is working with the ones but is being pushed by both Brian Anderson and Johnathan Garner. photo by Greg Perry/HI staff

But the offense was not without some big plays. Craig Rantanamorn ended the practice with the "Win The Game" play, nailing a 37-yard field goal. Mark Cann had some passes in team that went for big gains to tight end Lee Smith (ten yards) and Darius Passmore (27-yard completion). Brian Anderson also made some good reads, hitting Tavaris Thompson for six yards and E.J. Wynn for 10-yards on a blitz.

Later in the final two periods, Cann came back to hit Bryant Milligan for 20 yards, but then gave up the Perry interceptions and was sacked by Ashton Hall on a blitz. Johnathan Garner was under a lot of pressure with the twos, but hit Milligan, Emmanuel Spann and Passmore for short gains around the Jones pick for six. Jamie Hatten made on of his first catches in team, as the freshman picked up 10 yards from Cann late in practice. With Maurice Graham still out, the Herd experimented with Antawn Booker at tight end to bolster the depth, and the linebacker caught one pass for six yards. Cody Slate had a short catch for a first against the blitz and Milligan ended the period with a 15-yard gain from a perfect pocket by the second team offensive line against the blitz and a strike by Anderson across the middle.

Marshall will workout this afternoon in shells (shoulder pads and helmets), and equipment manager Rich Worner pulled all the pads and set them in the end zone in the sun to dry out for about one hour after practice...the Herd will go hard again on Tuesday, then have two practices on Wednesday and Friday...Marshall's Saturday practice will be open to the public at 10 a.m., and the MU Ticket Office will mark all the seats for sale for the first "Choose-A-Seat" of the year during that practice. Fans are reminded there are no pictures, video, recording devices or texting from cell phones or other such items allowed at practices and anyone found doing the same will be banned or will end any practices from being opened to the public.

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