Charles Huff wasn’t happy with Marshall University’s first football scrimmage.
Not at all.
Well, except for one aspect.
The Thundering Herd’s first-year head coach was very pleased with the performance of quarterback Grant Wells. That emotion probably isn’t going to change much when Marshall holds its second officiated scrimmage of preseason camp at 1 p.m. Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington.
“I thought it went well,” said Wells, after MU’s first scrimmage. “This was the first time this whole team had the mentality that this was a game. This is tackling, this is special teams, this is everything that we normally don’t practice. So, with all that being said, I thought it went very well.”
What Huff was pleased with in particular was how Wells kept a really good tempo going throughout the scrimmage.
“Sure, that is one word — tempo — that has been used a lot around here ever since he stepped on campus,” said Wells. “And I thought we did that really well.
“Like I said, this was like a game mentality. We were going against the [first-team] defense, so to see us play at that high tempo and that high execution rate was very encouraging.”
So, just how fast was the tempo? Was it uber-fast? Was it super-fast? Or was it medium-fast?
“I don’t think there is too fast of a tempo that we can play at,” said Wells with a knowing grin. “The faster we go, the more the defense is going to be on their heels and the less time the defense has time to think and make checks and stuff like that. One read and go is pretty much our mentality going into the season.”
Imagine playing a hurry-up offense for an entire game. That’s what Marshall is doing. Hurry to the line of scrimmage. Hurry to get the snap to Wells. And expect Wells to get rid of the ball in a hurry.
“Yeah,” said Wells, “it’s as fast as possible.”
Everyone has seen hurry-up offenses on occasion. Particularly at the end of halves and games. But this is on every play, all plays.
“It’s like a two-minute drill on every play,” said the 6-foot-1, 203-pound second-year quarterback. “It’s usually one read and that’s about it. One read takes you through the whole play.
“And when you have an offense like that, we can play at such a fast tempo. The faster we get the play in, the faster we can score and the faster we can win.”
Not to mention the incessant pressure it puts on opposing defenses.
“Like I said,” explained Wells, “the faster we play, the less the defense can check and think and adjust.”
That’s the name of the game for Marshall’s offense now. So, expect more of the same during the Herd’s second scrimmage on Saturday.
Oh, and here’s a piece of advice while watching Marshall’s offense.