Chuck Landon: Holgorsen insinuates Herd was easy foe
Dana Holgorsen's middle name is somewhat a mystery.
Not James Patterson quality, perhaps, but a mystery nonetheless.
Check Wikipedia or Holgorsen's various profiles from coaching stops at Oklahoma State, Houston, Texas Tech and, now, at West Virginia University.
No middle name.
Well, judging by comments Holgorsen has made about Marshall's football program recently it must be "Richard."
Take his two-hour appearance on the "Dana Holgorsen Statewide Sportsline" on Aug. 30, two days before his Mountaineers played Marshall in Morgantown.
Holgorsen took questions from all over the Mountain State, including an email query from a fan named Chad who wrote, "Coach, I've heard that some Marshall players have been bragging at how much they have memorized your hand signals. Does that worry you?"
The fan was referring to the hand gestures used to signal offensive plays from the sideline.
"I'm just not going to show up to the game now," Holgorsen replied with obvious tongue in cheek. "They must have it all figured out. We're not even going to show up now."
Later he added, "I've got one really good (hand signal) for them."
A replay of that particular segment of the show is available on the Internet.
Then, Holgorsen struck again Monday while discussing the Mountaineers game against FCS program James Madison scheduled at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.
"We expect this to be a bigger test than what we faced a week ago," said Holgorsen, taking an obvious shot at Marshall, which lost to WVU, 69-34.
The comment was first mentioned by Patrick Southern, who writes for the Morgantown-based "Blue & Gold News." But, then, it also appeared on CBS Sports columnist Bruce Feldman's Twitter account.
REMEMBER THE PUNT: As if Marshall didn't have enough motivation for its game against Ohio at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, at Edwards Field, there's also one particular that still sticks in the Herd's craw from last season's 44-7 loss to the Bobcats
Ohio actually pulled a successful fake punt late in the game despite holding an insurmountable 37-7 lead.
That is a major breach of football etiquette that puts a buffalo-sized chip on the Thundering Herd's shoulder pads.
GOOD NEWS FOR CATO: There's an interesting statistic buried beneath the hoopla of Ohio beating Penn State, 24-14, in Unhappy Valley on Sept. 1.
Although Nittany Lions quarterback Matt McGloin had 48 pass attempts in the game, the Bobcats didn't sack him a single time.
That's a positive statistic for Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato. The sophomore has thrown 96 passes in two games while being sacked only twice.
It appears Cato will have plenty of time to throw Saturday.
FOUR AND COUNTING: Marshall has played four true freshmen in two games. The list includes starting punter Tyler Williams, starting long snapper Matt Cincotta and reserves Cameron Dees and Devon Johnson.
Dees is a 6-foot-2, 280-pound backup center, who switched over to right guard and played about 60 snaps in relief of veteran John Bruhin against Western Carolina.
Johnson, 6-2, 225, shifted from linebacker to tight end, but his real role this season is as a fullback in short-yardage situation. He made his debut in the I-formation against the Catamounts.
Any more redshirts smoldering?
Chuck Landon is a columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2827 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.