Spring game to showcase Huff’s Herd

Redshirt+sophomore+quarterback+Grant+Wells+throws+to+redshirt+senior+tight+end+Xavier+Gaines+in+warmups+prior+to+2020%E2%80%99s+season+opener+against+Eastern+Kentucky.

Richard Crank

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Grant Wells throws to redshirt senior tight end Xavier Gaines in warmups prior to 2020’s season opener against Eastern Kentucky.

Providing a first look at the revamped Marshall football team, the 2021 Green-White spring game at 3 p.m. Saturday will showcase the direction the program is headed under first-year head coach Charles Huff. 

The game will also allow the team to simulate a gameday experience and routine of a Saturday in the fall.

By Saturday, the team will have completed 14 spring practices. Huff said, as of Monday, that the team was in a good position football-wise, and that most of the system installs were completed.

“Players have a pretty good knowledge and grasp of the system that we’re trying to run,” Huff said. “They are not masters of the system yet. That is what the next phase is for, but they do have a good feel for it.”

The system Huff has been installing offensively is different than what the Herd ran last season, resembling more so the style of play seen by Alabama. That means more run-pass options and stretching the field vertically and horizontally in the passing game. 

Integral to that style of play succeeding is the quarterback position, and in Marshall’s quarterback room, Grant Wells is the number one guy.

“He’s playing with a lot more confidence,” Huff said about Wells. “I want Grant to operate with an attack mentality; we’re trying to score.”

Wells and the first team offense will line up against the first team defense on Saturday, providing the best competition for each side of the ball. 

The players have been phenomenal, without giving pushback. Even when they don’t understand why we’re asking them to do something, they’ve tried to do it to the best of their ability.”

— Charles Huff

Huff said that he wants his staff to “let the kids play,” allowing the players to figure what they know and what they do not know.

“This is a good opportunity for us to see, myself included, how we’re going to act in the arena,” Huff said. “How are we going to act in a game-like simulation? Some players – when the lights come on – anxiety goes way up, and they do things that they haven’t normally done.”

Monitoring that, Huff said, will be one of his key roles Saturday. 

But if his experience with the players so far is any indication of how they will respond to direction, he will have no problem creating teachable moments.

“The players have been phenomenal, without giving pushback,” Huff said. “Even when they don’t understand why we’re asking them to do something, they’ve tried to do it to the best of their ability.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. and tickets are on sale for $5. Seating is reserved, with no general admission. Tailgating is not permitted. 

For students, tickets will be available for pickup at 1 p.m. at Gate C.

Grant Goodrich can be contacted at [email protected]