The Herd played under the lights for its second scrimmage of the season, which was a little more even of an affair between the offense and the defense. The offense was significantly better, scoring four touchdowns after scoring just one in Marshall’s first preseason scrimmage last week. The defense was still pretty good at takeaways, picking off two passes and recovering a fumble.
Among the night’s highlights:
– Devon Johnson was in, as the young kids call it these days, “beast mode” for the entire night. He caught five passes for 93 yards and had a 29-yard touchdown catch and run called back when the play was blown dead, and punctuated the proceedings with two hellacious stiff arms. One came against freshman All-American D.J. Hunter and the second came against Corie Wilson. Johnson showed a ton of versatility, splitting out and lining up in the backfield for a couple of carriers. They’re going to make it tough to keep him off the field.
– Devon Smith had a heck of a night, too, catching 10 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. He might have conked his head on the turf on the touchdown catch, but he looked fine after the scrimmage. Smith is another guy who will be tough to keep off the field. He showed the ability to get open and make things happen after the catch. A two-slot package with him and Shuler could give defensive coordinators nightmares.
– Raheem Waiters now looks the part of a linebacker, gaining about 15 pounds of muscle from last season. He’s playing the part, too, with two picks, including one where he waltzed in for a touchdown. Waiters said after the scrimmage that his teammates told him he kind of hesitated when he looked down and saw that first pick in his hands. If Stefan Houston is laid up with that ankle injury — he wasn’t putting any weight on his right leg as he was being helped off the field Saturday night — it’ll be good for the Herd to have Waiters getting into the groove.
– Speaking of linebackers, Evan McKelvey laid the boom on Essray Taliaferro on a screen pass on the offense’s second series. He doesn’t look like he’s lost a step after last year’s knee injury.
– I’d say the offense is waiting with baited breath for the return of Kevin Grooms from his ankle sprain. The offense averaged three yards a carry, going 96 yards on 32 carries. The Herd could use the 2012 C-USA freshman of the year’s speed and elusiveness.
Here are the stats from the night:
87 plays, 452 yards (5.2 per play)
Rushing (32 carries, 96 yards)
Cato 4-3 (TD)
D. Johnson 2-2
B. Frohnapfel 1-10
Passing (31-55-356, 3 TDs, 2 INTs)
Cato 13-21-141 (TD)
B. Frohnapfel 12-20-136 (TD, INT)
Holcombe 6-14-79 (TD, INT)
D. Smith 10-103 (TD)
D. Johnson 5-93
Garrett 2-38 (TD)
King 1-14 (TD)
Leggett 4 tackles, 1 TFL
Thomas 2 tackles, 1 PBU
Roberts 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU
Tindal 3 tackles, 1 PBU
Rouse 3 tackles
Waiters 3 tackles, 2 INTs-1 for TD, 1 PBU
Letman 4 tackles, 1 FF
Hunter 6 tackles
M. Johnson 2 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 PBU
C. Wilson 2 tackles
McKelvey 2 tackles, 1 TFL
Reichle 1 tackle
Lovett 3 tackles, 1 FR, 1 PBU
Myers 4 tackles
Hewitt 6 tackles
D. Mitchell 1 tackle, 0.5 TFL, 0.5 sack
Pickett 1 tackle
Holmes 2 tackles
Carter 1 tackle
Turene 5 tackles, 0.5 TFL, 0.5 sack
Bazzie 3 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 1 PBU
Taylor 3 tackles, TFL, 1 PBU
Thompson 3 tackles, 2 PBUs
Gilchrist 1 tackles, 1 TFL
Dillon 1 tackle, 1 TFL
Sparrow 1 tackle
J. Brown 4 tackles