What was the resounding message after Marshall’s 49-7 win over Navy?
Obviously, there is an excitement factor to be had for the Thundering Herd after a quality road win. However, there is a bit of fool’s gold — or rat poison, as Charles Huff puts it — in the victory. Marshall had several mistakes in the win — fumbles that the Herd recovered and missed defensive assignments that Navy did not capitalize on — that loom large against quality opposition. And, with respect to Navy, the team Marshall faces this weekend is sound enough to take advantage of those miscues.
What is Marshall’s biggest concern this week?
Complacency. With NC Central doing similar things to Marshall in terms of offensive schematics, there is reason to believe the Herd could be well-prepared for what the Eagles will bring to the table. However, a dominant 49-7 road win plus an opponent dubbed FCS who was 4-8 a season ago are the exact types of tests in discipline and consistency that Huff has preached over the last month. On paper, Marshall should win this game handily. Whether they do or not is on them.
Who was the most impressive breakout player that you saw against Navy?
Perhaps the most surprising player was defensive lineman Jayshaun Coffman — not because of ability, but because he made enough of an impact in preseason to penetrate the lineup of a deep, deep defensive line for the Herd. Coffman, who played for former Marshall star Nate McPeek at Frederick Douglass High School, made the most of his repetitions against Navy, finishing with eight tackles, including one for loss and a quarterback hurry.
What needs to be the Herd’s biggest improvement from week one to week two?
In looking at film, the running backs are the group that I think need to see the biggest leap. Again, that may sound dumb after the team’s first game in which they rushed for six touchdowns since 2012, but alas, here we are. Between Rasheen Ali and Sheldon Evans, the ball also hit the turf three times and, upon watching film, there were a few runs that could’ve gone for big gains with holes available if vision was what it needed to be. An average of 3.4 yards per attempt on the ground is not what the team is looking for.
What should fans look forward to the most this weekend against NC Central?
Being back at 100 percent capacity (honestly, enjoy it while it lasts) and getting to take in some of the game-day atmosphere that Huff has brought with him to inject some life into each Saturday. “Thunder Street” is a cool concept, if executed right, and, if the following at Navy was any indication, there should be a great atmosphere on Saturday, as well.