Grant Traylor: Anderson does bang-up impression of UTSA QB
Following Wednesday evening’s practice, Marshall University football head coach Doc Holliday called an individual to the front of the group at midfield to recognize him.
What remains to be seen is what name he called him by — Kevin Anderson, the Thundering Herd quarterback, or Eric Soza, UTSA’s signal-caller.
Anderson has the unenviable task this week of trying to mimic Soza, one of Conference USA’s best and most versatile quarterbacks, to get the Herd first-team defense ready for what they will see when the Roadrunners come to Joan C. Edwards Stadium at 2 p.m., Saturday.
“That’s what we had to have this week because there’s no doubt that it’s a great challenge for us to get prepared for what they do offensively,” Holliday said after removing Anderson’s red helmet stripe that represents “rookie.”
Holliday has said all along that he’s been high on Anderson, a freshman from Boca Raton, Fla.
Now, everyone is seeing why.
Anderson not only had to learn the complex variables of the UTSA offense to help the Herd get prepared, he has had to emulate Soza in every single way.
That includes Soza’s physical approach to the game and how hard he runs the ball when asked to in the UTSA scheme.
Because of Soza’s style, Anderson shed the red (no-contact) jersey most quarterbacks wear during practice to keep them from injury.
This entire week, Anderson has been live contact, and he’s not backed down.
During the live period with the defense, Anderson also threw out a little bit of contact as nickelback Corey Tindal converged to try and make a big hit along the sideline.
It’s that type of game that Soza brings to the table, and thus, it’s the same style Anderson has thrived in.
“This is a hard team to prepare for unless you get that scout team running the speed option and everything they do on the perimeter and pass the ball as well as they throw it,” Holliday said. “Their quarterback does a great job, and (Anderson) has sure done that this week for us.”
Anderson’s contributions won’t show up in Saturday’s box score or any statistical data for the season, but if the Herd is to get a victory on Saturday, he’ll definitely be a big factor why.
In a week where the Herd has needed it most, Anderson has earned his stripe.
BOOK SIGNING: Former Marshall defensive end Lester Hicks will be in Huntington this weekend to sign copies of his book “Against All Odds: 4th Down and Forever.”
On Friday, Hicks will sign from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Marshall Student Center Bookstore and 2 to 7 p.m. at Pullman Plaza Hotel. He returns to Pullman Plaza Hotel for a pair of signings on Saturday – the first from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and another from 5 to 6 p.m.
Hicks, who played for the Young Thundering Herd in 1972-73, penned the book about the 1970 Marshall plane crash and how it inspired him to embrace a life of service.
Now 61-years-old, Hicks lives in Powder Springs, Ga., and is an environmental safety engineer with Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in Marieta, Ga.
Grant Traylor is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or gtraylor@herald-
dispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).
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