HUNTINGTON - Herd Insider owes all of you a great big round of applause.
For a website that had averaged about 300-400 pageviews a month, we have exploded with the additional content from our Editor, Jack Bogaczyk; additional content from HerdZone.com; and additional new content generated from the main office here at Kindred Communications.
Alex Hackney, our KindredKonnect.com IT guy, gave us the numbers for this week and this month, and they were staggering.
Page views up last week to 5,547 - total visits in at 3,423 - and uniques comes in at 1,954 ... wow! For the month, 7,090 - 4,200 - 2,300 ... again, wow, and again, thanks!
Marshall's roster still in flux, as Isaiah Haskins has left camp. The sophomore safety from Pleasantville, N.J. was new for 2012.
MU just lost junior safety Zach Dunston on Monday, who had fallen to third team and looked to be behind the two Boston College transfers - Dominick LeGrande and Okechukwu Okoroha - and D.J. Hunter and Derek Mitchell, who were running second team.
The Herd still has freshman Andre Scott, redshirt freshman Corie Wilson and Shawn Samuels and sophomore Stephen Roush.
Albert McClellan is getting some love after starting at outside linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens in exhibition number one.
The former MU defensive end, who had 19.5 sacks, 39.5 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles and 230 tackles in 48 games at MU, had a sack, a tackle for loss and five tackles against the Atlanta Falcons.
McClellan led the Ravens special teams last season with 12 tackles in 2011, and his only start (replacing injured Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis) on the inside led to four solo tackles in a 16-6 Thanksgiving night win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Looking at former Herd players in the NFL, McClellan and safety Omar Brown of the Ravens are back in action this week on Friday when they host the Detroit Lions in Baltimore.
Tight end Lee Smith and the Buffalo Bills travel to Minnesota Friday to face the Vikings, while the Jacksonville Jaguars and offensive tackle Daniel Baldridge are also on the road, at the Superdome, against the New Orleans Saints on Friday.
Saturday, it is the "Battle of the Big Apple" when G-Man running back Ahmad Bradshaw and the N.Y. Giants are the visitors against the New York Jets at the Meadowlands - in New Jersey.
Defensive tackle Delvin Johnson is hoping to get some game time this Saturday, when the Washington Redskins travel to the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Also on Saturday, safety C.J. Spillman had three assists but Randy Moss caught no passes for the 49ers, something he is looking to fix when San Francisco travels to Houston to face the Texans.
On Sunday, Byron Leftwich, Doug Legursky and the Pittsburgh Steelers look for their first exhibition at home against former Marshall linebacker Mario Harvey and the Indianaplis Colts and new quarterback Andrew Luck, who's dad Oliver is A.D. at WVU, only an hour or so from Pittsburgh.
Monday's game is the New England Patriots hosting Vinny Curry and the Philadelphia Eagles, and Curry had five tackles, three for loss, in the win over the Steelers last week.
Speaking of former Marshall players, Dan Straily will get his third start with the Oakland A's, scheduled for 8:10 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16 at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City when he faces the Royals.
Straily, Marshall's first MLB player since Rick Reed hung up his spikes after 15 years in 2003, pitching for the Pirates, Reds, Twins, Rangers and Mets - and Marshall's fourth since 1972, including Joe Goddard with the Padres and Jeff Montgomery with the Reds and Royals - has no decisions in two games, but the Athletics did win both of those games.
Currently, he still leads all professional baseball with 185 strikeouts at Class AA Midland (Texas League), at Class AAA Sacramento (Pacific Coast League) and with the A's, where he has 10 strikeouts in 10.2 innings, allowing 13 hits, six runs and walking only two, with a 5.06 ERA.
College Football News (cfn.scout.com) has put WVU and Purdue on "Upset Alert" this month in their games with Marshall. "This figures to be Doc Holliday's best team in Huntington" said CFN.com., adding, "That's not saying too much, but the Thundering Herd should not be taken lightly this season … If the Herd can solve its problems along the lines, its capable of capturing the East, and playing for the Conference USA Crown."
Nice words from a website that hasn't always been the biggest booster of the Herd.
Also on the list from C-USA in 2012 or 2013 are FIU-2013 (Louisville Sept. 22); Houston-2012 (UCLA Sept. 15); Louisiana Tech-2013 (Texas A&M, Aug. 30, Illinois, Sept. 22 and Virginia, Sept. 29); SMU-2012 (Baylor, Sept. 2, Texas A&M, Sept. 15 and TCU, Sept. 2); Tulsa-2012, 2013 (Iowa State, Sept. 1 and Arkansas, Nov. 3); UCF-2012 (Ohio State, Sept. 8 and Missouri, Sept. 29) and also the Herd's game three opponent, Ohio, in a game with Penn State, Sept. 1.
San Diego State coach Rocky Long has a novel idea for this college football season - to not punt on the other side of the 50-yard line. Long developed the 3-3-5 defensive scheme West Virginia used so well under Rich Rodriguez when he was at New Mexico, and this idea is from a coach with an amazing record.
Kevin Kelley (not the former Herd assistant) is the coach at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Ark. After months of looking at stats, he started his team always on-side kicking and never punting on the opponents' side of the 50.
He is 104-19 in nine years with three state titles in the Diamond State.
Long told the San Diego Union-Tribune, "It makes sense. Additional plays would allow you to score a lot more points. It also puts a lot of pressure on the defense."
Long said he will take the theory, "day to day." It could be the next big thing, said Dr. Saturday, Graham Watson, at sports.yahoo.com.
Don't forget to get your ticket for Saturday night's Quarterback Club membership party, "Casino Night," at the Marshall Memorial Student Union at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $100 each, and the funds go to the Marshall football program.
Call the Big Green for tickets at 304-696-4661.
Come and party with celebrity dealers like former Herd stars John Gregory, Madison Sayre, John Grace, Aaron Ferguson and Troy Brown and Doc Holliday and his football staff this Saturday night, with music by "Santa Cruz", dinner and lots of prizes, including a trip with the Thundering Herd football team this season!