HUNTINGTON - Third-year head coach Doc Holliday is all set.
His players will officially report for camp on Sunday (although, truth be told, most of them have been here throughout the summer).
The fan base have been ready since the final play of the spring’s Green-White game ended, reading preseason magazines and talking football in the barber shop, in the grocery stores and on the internet with a building fever.
The big question is: Are you ready for Thundering Herd football 2012?
The Marshall football program released the open portion of its fall camp schedule on Friday, for a camp that starts on Monday, Aug. 6.
Holliday said August for his football team will be a lot like September, October and November.
Holliday was talking about how Marshall’s preseason drills – like the 12-game regular season – will both be all about competition.
“We have competition, good competition,” Holliday said . “The best thing in the world you can have is where every day in practice, they’ve got to go out and compete, where nobody can hold you hostage.
“We’ve gotten to the point where there’s going to be a lot of competition. There was zero my first year (2010).
“This is the first time since I’ve been here that I think there’s going to be competition at just about every position, which has to be a good thing.”
The Monday-Friday practices are open to the public and will last approximately two hours.
The first scrimmage on Saturday, August 11 is open only to Big Green members, 2012 season ticket holders and those participating in the “Choose-A-Seat” promotion.
“Choose-A-Seat,” in which the MU ticket office marks available season tickets so fans can check them out before buying, will run from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on August 11.
On Sunday, Aug. 12, the Thundering Herd will host “Fan Day” on the turf at the Joan C. Edwards Stadium.
The event will run 4-6 p.m. and fans can get autographs and take pictures with selected Marshall players and coaches following Media Day, and admission is free.
Those wishing to gain admittance to the scrimmage may do so by joining the Big Green and/or buying season tickets from Marshall’s customer service representatives at Gate A, the Northwest gate by Third Avenue.
Those participating in the Choose-A-Seat promotion should report to Gate A as well.
The Thundering Herd will host its Fan Day on Sunday, August 12 from 4-6 p.m. on the turf at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Fans will be able to sign autographs with selected Marshall players upon completion of their photo and media responsibilities. Admission is free.
The Saturday, August 18 scrimmage will also be held at 10:45 a.m. and will be open only to Big Green Members.
Once again, those wishing to watch who need first to join the Big Green will be able to do so by visiting customer service representatives at Gate A.
The first four practices will be split-squad practices, where the players are split into two equal groups to increase the amount of reps each player receives while the coaches, managers, trainers, video staff and other staff members work what would be considered a true “two-a-day.”
Holliday will start drills just as the Herd did last year, with the team split in half for 9:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. workouts.
“We split them up into Green and White so we have a mixture of offense and defense, a mixture of older guys and younger guys together, so the older ones can help coach the younger guys,” Holliday said.
“We’ll divide the squad pretty much evenly, so everybody gets plenty of reps.”
Marshall will practice for a couple of days in shirts and helmets only, then move up to “shells” (helmets and shoulder pads) before finally going full pads.
Marshall returns 13 starters (8 offense, 5 defense) from 2011, including All-Conference USA preseason first team selection Aaron Dobson at wideout.
One of those defensive returnees, senior Devin Arrington, has moved back, from strong safety to strongside linebacker.
Holliday used the running back position as an example of the kind of increased competition the Herd has for playing time.
Promising newcomers Steward Butler and Kevin Grooms join returnees Travon Van, Tron Martinez, Martin Ward and Essray Taliaferro in the backfield.
“That’s the kind of competition you want,” Holliday said, adding that a practice-starting depth chart “wouldn’t mean anything.”
The Herd has only eight seniors, the second-fewest in FBS football to Indiana’s seven, but the strength and speed increases on the club will be noticeable when drills begin.
Holliday said there will no particular emphasis on phases or schemes this month, but more a general preparation with a young team for a schedule with six home dates.
“I just think we have to grow as a football team, and we are, and that pleases me,” said Holliday, whose team is 8-3 at home in his two seasons, all three losses to clubs (WVU, UCF and Virginia Tech) that were ranked at one point during those years.
“I feel good about our skill level on offense, and I think our offensive linemen have made good strides, and we just have to continue to get better as a football team in all phases.
“I think our personnel is better. I know it is. We’ve got to continue to coach and play extremely hard and develop fundamentals and techniques.
“Just do what we do – go out and practice hard and get better every day. As long as we do that, we’ll be fine.”
Marshall Football Fall Camp Schedule — Practices last about 2-2.5 hours, on average — Special events noted
Sunday, August 5 - Team reports official for fall camp
Monday, August 6 - 9:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Tuesday, August 7 - 9:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Wednesday, August 8 - 9:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Thursday, August 9 - 9:45 a.m. and 3:45 p.m.
Friday, August 10 - 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 11 - 10:45 a.m., Scrimmage, Big Green, season ticket holders or “Choose-A-Seat” participants only.
Sunday, August 12 - Media Day, followed by Fan Day (4-6 p.m.) at Joan C. Edwards Stadium — No Practice
Monday, August 13 - 9:15 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Tuesday, August 14 - 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 15 - 9:15 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Thursday, August 16 - 2:30 p.m.
Friday, August 17 - 9:15 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Saturday, August 18 - 10:45 a.m., Scrimmage, Big Green members or new members only — Quarterback Club presents “Casino Night” at MU Memorial Student Union, tickets $100 each (available through the Big Green), 7 p.m.
Sunday, August 19 — No Practice
Monday, August 20 - 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 21 - 9:15 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Wednesday, August 22 - 2:30 p.m. — Resident Halls open for all freshmen/“Week of Welcome” kicks off at MU for frosh
Thursday, August 23 - 6:05 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. — “Paint The Capital City Green,” Embassy Suites, Charleston, W.Va. (Tickets available through Big Green on pre-sale only, no tickets at gate)
Friday, August 24 - 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, August 25 - 10:45 a.m. Scrimmage — Residence Halls open for upperclassmen
Sunday, August 26 — No Practice
Normal “Game Week” starts for practice, media
Monday, August 27 — First day of class for Fall 2012 for all Marshall University students
Monday-Friday, August 27-31 — Late registration and add/drop for Marshall students
Saturday, September 1 — Marshall Thundering Herd opener, Noon kickoff at West Virginia University in “Friends of Coal Bowl.” TV - F/X (Huntington Comcast Cable channel 65)/Radio - thundering Herd/IMG Sports Network, heard locally on The Dawg, 93.7 FM and SuperTalk 94.1 FM and AM 930, the Marshall flagship stations (air time 9 a.m. with Paul Swann and Woody Woodrum on “First Sentry Bank College Football Today,” featuring former MU head coach Bobby Pruett, Herd Insider Editor Jack Bogaczyk, The Herald-Dispatch columnist Chuck Landon and Mike Kirtner of Kindred Communications).
Marshall Football 2012 Schedule
Date Opponent Location Time-TV
9/01 at #11 WVU, Morgantown, Noon — F/X
9/08 W. CAROLINA, JCE Stadium, 6:30 p.m. — CSS
9/15 OHIO U., JCE Stadium (MU HOF Weekend), 6:30 p.m.
9/22 at Rice*, Houston, Tx., 3:30 p.m. — CSS
9/29 at Purdue, W. Lafayette, Ind., TIME TBA — Big Ten Net.
10/06 TULSA*, JCE Stadium, (MU Homecoming #111), 3:30 p.m. — CBSSN
10/20 at So. Miss* Hattiesburg, Ms. 7:00 p.m. — CBSSN
10/27 UCF* JCE Stadium, (MU National Championship 1992 Herd Football Weekend), 8:00 p.m. — CBSSN
11/03 MEMPHIS*, JCE Stadium, 2:00 p.m.
11/10 at UAB *, Birmingham, Ala., 4:30 p.m. — CSS
11/17 HOUSTON*, JCE Stadium, (MU Senior Day) Noon — CSS
11/23 (Fri.) at East Carolina, Dowdy-Ficklin Stadium, 2 p.m. — CBSSN
* - Conference USA opponents
Big Ten Network - available for purchase on Huntington Comcast cable
F/X - Fox’s F/X Network (Huntington Comcast cable channel 65)
CSS − Comcast Sports South (Huntington Comcast channel 68)
CBSSN - CBS Sports Network (Huntington Comcast cable channel 174)
Other Aug.-early Sept. Marshall Athletics events:
Men’s Soccer 2012 Schedule
Date Opponent Location Time
08/15 at Rio Grande ^ Rio Grande, Ohio, 7:00 p.m.
08/18 PITT^ Schoenbaum Stadium, Charleston, W.Va., 2:00 p.m.
08/24 WRIGHT ST. Schoenbaum Stadium, Charleston, W.Va., 7:00 p.m.
09/01 at BGSU Bowling Green, Ohio, 7:00 p.m.
09/03 at IPFW Fort Wayne, Ind., 12:00 p.m.
Women’s Soccer 2012 Schedule
Date Opponent Location Time
08/11 at Longwood ^ Farmville, Va. 7:00 p.m.
08/17 BALL ST. Huntington H.S. 5:00 p.m.
08/19 at JMU Harrisonburg, Va. 7:00 p.m.
08/26 at Ohio Athens, Ohio 1:00 p.m.
08/31 ST. FRANCIS Cabell Midland H.S. 7:00 p.m.
09/03 at Campbell Buies Creek, NC 4:00 p.m.
Volleyball Fall 2012 Schedule
Date Opponent Location Time
Thunder Invitational =
Aug. 24 WRIGHT ST. Henderson Center 7:00 p.m.=
Aug. 25 IUPUI Henderson Center 1:00 p.m.=
Aug. 25 MIAMI (Oh.) Henderson Center 7:30 p.m.=
Aug. 28 at ETSU Johnson City, Tenn. 7:00 p.m.
Cardinal Classic &
Aug. 31 Samford Louisville, Ky. 5:00 p.m.&
Sept. 1 at Louisville Louisville, Ky. 11:00 a.m.&
Sept. 1 Duke Louisville, Ky. 5:00 p.m.&
^ — exhibitions
home games — BOLD CAPS
NOTE: Men’s and women’s soccer will play on a number of regional fields for home games in 2012 before moving into new Veteran’s Memorial Marshall Soccer Complex in 2013.
Herd Insider Publisher Woody Woodrum added to this story.