Marshall post-practice wrap-up, Aug. 16 scrimmage

August 16, 2014 by Derek Redd

So there has been talk of Marshall’s outside receivers needing to raise their level of play in 2014, considering they didn’t give slot receiver Tommy Shuler a whole lot of help in 2013. If Saturday’s scrimmage is any indication, that group is up to the challenge.

Those wideouts made plenty of pretty catches, and a heap of touchdowns, through the around-90-minute exhibition Saturday night in Joan C. Edwards Stadium. After a slow start for the offense, quarterback Rakeem Cato’s first completion was a jumping 27-yard touchdown strike to freshman Angelo Jean-Louis. Not one to let the youngsters get all the glory, redshirt junior Davonte Allen had two fantastic grabs, a 42-yarder down the visitors sideline that Cato threw from his own 1, then a 22-yard touchdown he caught over 2013 Conference USA co-freshman of the year Corey Tindal.

Of the six touchdowns thrown Saturday, four went to freshmen — Jean-Louis, Deon-Tay McManus, Rodney Allen and Emmanuel Beal. Craig Wilkins caught the sixth TD. Could the young tight ends and receivers be giving the upperclassmen such a run for their money that those veterans are stepping up their respective games to stay at the top of the depth chart? We’ll visit that in my next story, which you’ll be able to see Sunday night at and in Monday’s Daily Mail print edition.

Speaking of touchdowns (more about the guys throwing them), Marshall coach Doc Holliday didn’t officially name a backup after Saturday’s scrimmage, but look at these numbers:

Gunnar Holcombe: 11 for 22, 151 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT

Cole Garvin: 3 for 5, 36 yards, TD, INT

Holcombe threw more than four times more than Garvin, and even got some time with the first-team offense. As I said Friday, unless it’s absolutely necessary, I don’t see Marshall burning Garvin’s redshirt. My guess is Holcombe’s your No. 2.

As far as the running game goes, Devon Johnson got only five carries, but he gained 32 yards, an average of 6.4 yards a carry. The guy keeps his feet moving, has no problem with contact and runs with malicious intent.

Here are the scrimmage stats, courtesy of Marshall Sports Information:


Team 46-137


Johnson 5-32

Cato 1-(-3)

Butler 11-46, TD

Pittman 14-27

Watson 11-51, TD

Holcombe 2-4

Garvin 1-(-7)


Team 21-40-337, 6 TD, 2 INT


Cato 5-11-122, 2 TD

Holcombe 11-22-151, 2 TD, 1 INT

Garvin 3-5-36, TD, INT

Birdsong 2-2-28, TD



Jean-Louis 1-27, TD

Woodrum 1-3

Wilkins 2-46, TD

McManus 2-55, TD

Frohnapfel 1-15

Allen 2-65, TD

Shuler 3-16

Green 1-21

Yurachek 2-28

Foster 1-13

Knight 1-12

Beal 1-11, TD

Evans 1-12

R. Allen 1-13, TD


Houston 6 tackles

Waiters 5 tackles

Carter 6 tackles

Hunter 4 tackles

Gant 4 tackles

PBUs – Leggett, Tindal, Waiters, M. Johnson, Gant, Rowe, Myers

INTs – Gant, Shaver

Sacks – Dews, Keller


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