Coach Holliday was upbeat after today's workout and spoke about the grind that leads the team into week three.
"We come to practice every day and its important that we get better," Holliday said. "Right now there's a lot of teams that have to make a decision of whether they want to be average or want to be great."
As the team reported to practice today, it finds itself 12 days away from the season opener at Miami. Holliday said its important to make every practice count.
"They have to understand they have 29 practices before the first game and you have about the same amount the whole rest of the season," said Holliday of his team. "If you are going to have a good football team you have to get everything out of those 29 practices leading up to that first game. This is when teams are made. We have to make sure we come out and take advantage of every practice we have and get better as an individual and a team."
While the official team two-deep chart will not be released until next Tuesday, Holliday did comment on how positions were playing out.
"The two deep is starting to sort itself out," Holliday said. "We aren’t giving reps to the three’s anymore and some of the threes might become twos."
Holliday said the younger guys are forcing the vets to step up or step aside.
"They work really hard or they get beat out," Holliday explained. "Its really pretty simple, we are going to play the best players regardless of the class. Anytime you’ve got a lot of competition at one position everyone gets better."
Everyone who started camp with red stripe on their helmet still has it to this point but Holliday said it was possible a few would come off tonight. For more on the meaning of the helmet's red stripe and how it comes off, check out my article HERE.
Holliday continued to praise the freshman class and said he expects several to find a way on the field.
"I'm not sure I've had this many since I've been here ," said Holliday. There could be six or eight that may play and that’s true freshman. That’s probably one of the higher numbers since I've been here and that’s a good thing because that means we've got more talented players coming in."
Holliday has 27 true freshman on this season's roster.
Holliday also spoke about the team enjoying some entertainment last night before meetings.
"We had a little fun last night," Holliday said. "We had a musician come in and he was pretty good so they enjoyed it. We have a little fun every night around 8 o'clock before going into meetings. This is a team that likes each other, they work extremely hard and they are fun to be around."
Back it up
At the end of his interview today, Holliday officially named redshirt sophomore Gunnar Holcombe as Cato's backup. Holcombe was 11-of-22 for 151 yards with 2TD's and an interception in Saturday's scrimmage.
The Hype is nationwide
Several columnists released preseason rankings and predictions today with Dennis Dodd ranking the Herd as high as No. 8 by season's end. Simply put, several around the country are sipping the Kool-Aid but not many have taken a big drink. However, the consensus seems to be if the Herd loses one game, any chance of a major bowl is gone. Three of the seven CBS Sports experts had the Herd ranked in the Top 25.
Everybody's favorite person from last season, Jerry Palm released his Bowl Predictions today with the Herd headed to the Heart of Dallas Bowl for a match up with Minnesota December 26th.
CollegeFootballPoll.com released its season projection's today with the Herd picked to finish 12-0 and a No. 10 ranking. It also shows how favored Marshall is entering each game.
A backup no longer
Former Herd backup quarterback Blake Frohnapfel has won the starting job at UMASS and will start the season opener against Boston College. Frohnapfel transferred after obtaining his undergraduate degree from Marshall. Frohnapfel finished 35-of-45 for 386 yards with 5 TD's and 2 interceptions. He also had 164 yards on 24 carries and 2 TDs.
A new addition to the Herd family
Coach Todd Hartley announced today via his Twitter account that he and his wife will welcome their third child to their family tomorrow.