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Grant Traylor: Defense takes exception to 'shootout' prediction

Nov. 08, 2012 @ 12:36 AM

In anticipation for the Marshall-UAB football matchup Saturday at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., one word has become the synonym for what is expected -- shootout.

Heck, even Marshall coach Doc Holliday said so when Herald-Dispatch columnist Chuck Landon asked him about the prospects of the 'S' word.

Well, almost.

"I hope not, but you're probably. ...' Holliday stopped. "You know, it does. Like I say, both offenses -- ours and theirs -- have seemed to be able to score some points."

It's not something defensive players for the Thundering Herd like to hear.

"As a defense, we do take offense to that," Marshall safety Okechukwu Okoroha said. "We just know that someone has to make a play on defense every drive. That's how we approach it."

Okoroha followed by saying when the team went to Southern Miss, they had a bit of a chip on their shoulder as well after fielding questions on the defense's inability to stop the opposition.

They responded by going into Hattiesburg and limiting the Golden Eagles to just one offensive touchdown with the first unit out there in a 59-24 blowout.

UAB does bring several weapons to the table with running back Darrin Reaves playing well in his last two games and quarterback Austin Brown having eclipsed the 2,000-yard passing mark during last week's win.

The Blazers also have several receivers that can stretch the field and challenge a defense.

Holliday feels that his offense is going to make a lot of plays, but the onus is on the defense to make sure the Blazers aren't able to go stride-for-stride with the weapons they possess.

"It's going to be important that we go in there and play defense," Holliday said. "We have to be able to get them stopped and get off the field."

QB CLUB: This week's Quarterback Club meeting is Thursday in the Foundation Hall at the Erickson Alumni Center on campus. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. with lunch scheduled to begin at noon. Cost is $15 for non-members and $12 for members.

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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