HUNTINGTON - Punter Tyler Williams saw enough action Saturday in Marshall's scrimmage to let the fans know that he's alive, well and owns the tightest stranglehold on a starting position. His attempts against a live rush included a 61-yarder, another of 58, one of 51 with eternal hang time and a 53-yarder that he didn't hit solidly. He finished the exhibition with a 52.4-yard average. Any questions? Only one - his back. He said he spent the summer in a rehab that kept a disc problem from becoming a disaster. "It has its good days and its bad days, just like anything else," said the sophomore from Fort Wayne, Ind. "A lot of it, sadly, is weather - when it's colder, it's tighter; when it's warmer, it's better to be outside. "I like to work out a lot, I like to run, lift weights a lot. A lot of it is staying active, keeping my back moving all of the time, not letting it get tight. Definitely, stretching it a lot and exercising a lot helps out."
There were more interruptions of scrimmage plays for field goals, and the news there wasn't always good.
Toward the end, the two kickers challenging Justin Haig for field goal duties missed twice each on 49-yarders - Amoreto Curraj and Nick Smith. Both have shown strong legs, and also stand to push (or overtake) Haig on kickoffs.
All three hit from 30 yards, but Haig hit the left upright from 35, then made the second try. The challengers needed just one attempt, but their day deteriorated afterward.
Haig hit from 42, then Curraj hit two of three from that distance. Problem was, his first attempt was yanked left, bouncing off coach Doc Holliday's office.
Kickoffs were handled by the JUGS machine, so that contest skipped a day.
Add another walk-on to the roster, though his name had not been revealed as of Saturday evening. Working with the linebackers, he will have to wear no pads for one more practice, then work in "shells" for two more.
Watching the scrimmage from the sidelines were receivers Tommy Shuler, Davonte Allen and Jack Gammon, along with running back Kevin Grooms and offensive linemen Cam Dees and James Huhn. Dees' absence sent Tyler Combs from tackle to center on the second unit.
Rushing: Watson 7-34, Taliaferro 6-12, Cato 7-26, Butler 6-40, Rodriguez 5-18, B. Frohnapfel 2-8, Carter 2-2, Holcombe 1-0, Evans 1-13. Total 37-153.
Passing: Cato 10-16-1, 97; B. Frohnapfel 9-18-1, 69; Holcombe 6-12-1, 127, TD; Anderson: 0-3-1. Total 25-49-4, 293.
Receiving: Garrett 2-21, D. Smith 1-7, Butler 2-25, E. Frohnapfel 4-31, Evans 5-66, Watson 1-0, Hunt 1-8, Reaves 3-33, Johnson 2-23, A. Scott 2-50, Knight 1-51, TD, Taliaferro 1-9.
Defense: Leggett 7 tackles, INT, Thomas 1 tackle, TFL, Houston 4 tackles, Tindal 2 tackles, Daniel 4 tackles, Waiters 2 tackles, Letman 4 tackles, Roberts PBU, Shaver INT, Lang 2 tackles, Hunter 1 tackle, INT, M. Johnson 1 tackle, Wilson 2 tackles, PBU, McKelvey 1 tackle, Helow 1 tackle, Reichle 1 tackle, PBU,
Myers 1 tackle, Hewitt 5 tackles, Pickett 1 tackle, TFL, Holmes 4 tackles, Turene 1 tackle, Bazzie 2 tackles, TFL, sack, Plantt INT, PBU, Taylor 3 tackles, TFL, sack, Thompson 5 tackles, 2 TFLs, 2 sacks, Gilchrist 1 tackle, Massaquoi 1 tackle, Blackmon 1 tackle, Dillon 3 tackles, Sparrow 1 tackle, Williams 1 tackle, Brown 4 tackles, TFL.