Rested Herd goes back to work
HUNTINGTON — As Doc Holliday settled into his chair Tuesday afternoon, that look was back in his eye.
That gleam was the focused look of preparation for an upcoming game.
He and his Marshall University football team are back to game-week after taking a week off from play between the non-conference and conference portion of the season’s schedule.
Holliday said the bye week was good for his team to heal up after a physical triple-overtime loss to Virginia Tech, but everyone surrounding the program is eager to get back on the field and hoping to end a two-game skid when the Thundering Herd takes on UTSA at 2 p.m., Saturday, at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
“They are excited to get the opportunity to come back and play at home against an excellent football team,” Holliday said.
At the beginning of his weekly press conference, Holliday named this week’s captains — two of which are making consecutive appearances.
Offensively, center Chris Jasperse is making his third consecutive appearance as a game captain. Jasperse said the focus of this week is especially large, given that it’s the Herd’s first conference game of the year.
“We get two wins each week now — one for overall and one for conference,” Jasperse said. “It’s a two-for-one. It’s serious now and it’s much bigger than just a win or a loss. We have to take pride in getting as many wins as we can.”
In addition to Jasperse, cornerback Darryl Roberts was named as a captain for the second straight week as well.
Roberts was one of two cornerbacks named as a captain for this week’s contest against UTSA. Monterius Lovett, who also previously served as a captain, will also serve as a defensive captain against the Roadrunners.
Joining Jasperse as an offensive captain is running back Essray Taliaferro, who was a captain for the season-opener against Miami (Ohio).
That means all four captains have previously been voted as captains by the Herd coaching staff — a promising sign, according to Holliday, who said he’s happy with the new approach to choosing captains on a week-to-week basis.
“It’s not a popularity contest,” Holliday said. “It’s who plays extremely well and who leads. I think at the end of the year when they vote on the permanent captains, chances are it’s going to be a guy that’s been a captain multiple times.”
The four captains will lead the Herd into their Homecoming 2013 contest against UTSA (2-3), who is coming into the game after a 59-28 loss to Houston in which the Cougars scored 28 unanswered in the fourth quarter.
While the game will be Marshall’s Conference USA opener, the Roadrunners are 1-0 in league play. UTSA earned a 32-13 road win over UTEP on Sept. 21.