Meadows steps up for Herd
HUNTINGTON -- It wasn't exactly the way he wanted to get called into action.
But, when Marshall University sophomore linebacker Deon Meadows heard his name last week he was ready.
Meadows had been waiting for his opportunity all football season, and he wasn't about to let it slip through his fingers. He entered the UCF game in the first half after starting weakside linebacker Devin Arrington went down injured.
He responded with seven tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
"It felt good, but at the same time, Devin went down so I knew I had some shoes to fill," Meadows said. "It was great getting out there and getting into game speed and making plays."
Meadows credited his success to game-week preparation.
Prior to the Oct. 20 game at Southern Miss, Meadows had been used more as a special teams player while getting limited time at linebacker. When Arrington was injured that day, Meadows got some game experience.
That experience enlightened him on what he needed to work on in practice, and he went into the UCF game week with a different perspective.
"I went into the week knowing that last week, Devin got a little dinged up and I went in for a little bit," Meadows said. "I went into practice with a better mindset, knowing that any time given could be my time."
Marshall head coach Doc Holliday was impressed with how Meadows played, saying he did everything expected of players coming in behind a starter.
With Arrington's injury likely sidelining him for at least the next two games, Meadows might have a chance to show what he can do quickly.
"The more he plays, the more confident he'll be," Holliday said. "He went in there and did some good things. He didn't have any M.A.'s (missed assignments) so that was good to see."
Meadows' involvement will be crucial Saturday when Memphis (1-7, 1-3 Conference USA) plays Marshall (3-5, 2-2 C-USA) at 2 p.m. in Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
Memphis likes to try to create chaos along the line of scrimmage and get opposing defenders out of position.
Despite the added responsibility, the 5-11, 223-pound sophomore from Smyrna, Tenn., said he's going into the contest with the same mindset as he does every week.
"You've got to seize the day because you're trying to win a game like anyone else," Meadows said. "Anybody can go down, but you can't feel sorry for the guy that just got hurt. You have to try and win the ballgame. When you get in there, you don't have that many plays, so you have to make anything possible."