Grant Traylor: Training regimen pays off
HUNTINGTON -- Marshall linebacker Jermaine Holmes admitted he had asked himself the same question as many players on the Herd's roster in the preseason.
"I asked what does yoga have to do with football, but it helped out a lot, I won't lie," Holmes said.
It was all part of the off-season regimen of Marshall strength and conditioning coach Scott Sinclair -- a regimen that yielded significant gains, according to Marshall's players following Saturday's 52-14 win over Miami (Ohio).
Those gains were never more evident than in the third quarter when the game was in the balance.
The teams entered the second half tied at 14, but Marshall came out and physically whipped the RedHawks after halftime, outscoring them 21-0 in the third quarter with another scoring drive underway as the frame ended.
Offensively, the Herd finished with 214 yards -- 107 rushing and 107 passing -- while amassing 15 first downs en route to three touchdown drives.
Even from up in the press box, it was visible.
The Marshall players -- whether offensive or defensive -- were busy cheering each other on and running off the field following possessions.
The Miami (Ohio) players, especially along the defensive front, stood with their hands on their hips in an effort to catch a breather as Marshall churned out 31 plays in the quarter.
"We just looked at each other like 'Hey, we're going. Let's keep pushing,'" Marshall center Chris Jasperse said. "We were still strong and that's what the offseason did for us....Dominate and discourage them. That's what we tried to do."
It is all a credit to Sinclair, who came in with a unique system that incorporates many variables into the workout regimen -- yes, including yoga for flexibility.
Many of Sinclair's workouts are football-based, meaning that they utilize movements which will be used on the football field.
For example, many teams go through a "stretching" period, but not Sinclair's group. Instead, they do football-related drills which end up stretching out the players' muscles and get them ready for play while also serving as technique drills for on-field performance.
"When Coach Sinclair came, we were like 'I wonder what this guy has for us,'" Holmes said. "We didn't know how it would fit us really, but he brought in things like drills in flexibility that have helped us. Now, we've got to keep it going."
C-USA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Conference USA released its first Players of the Week for the 2013 season on Monday.
The offensive player of the week was East Carolina's Shane Carden, who finished 46-of-54 for 447 yards and five touchdowns in leading the Pirates to a 52-38 win over Old Dominion.
Defensive player of the week honors went to linebacker Zach Orr of North Texas, who finished with 11 tackles, including a sack and a tackle for loss in the Mean Green's 40-6 win over Idaho.
Special teams honors went to Jamarcus Nelson of UAB after the junior finished the day with 367 all-purpose yards in the Blazers' 34-31 loss to Troy. Nelson had a 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Grant Traylor covers Marshall football for The Herald-Dispatch. He can be reached by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (304) 526-2860. Follow him on Twitter (@GrantTraylor).
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