By Rasheed Marshall | 1:15 a.m. Wednesday
Former West Virginia quarterback -- and Pittsburgh native -- Rasheed Marshall spent 2001-04 in Morgantown attempting to manufacture seven points on each drive for the WVU offense. Each Thursday only at 'Eers to the Ground, Marshall, a personal trainer and strength and conditioning coach in Pittsburgh now, gives his take to the Post-Gazette's Colin Dunlap on 7 points pertinent to Mountaineers football:
Point 1 - You were a righthanded quarterback, just like Jarrett Brown. That said, how much does an injury to a left shoulder impact what he wants to do?
Rasheed Marshall - Don't let a injury like this fool you. Although it is a left shoulder injury, sometimes this can be just as painful as having a right shoulder injury when it comes to a throwing a football. For righthanded quarterbacks, your left arm can be used to help get that extra zip and extra distance when throwing downfield. Not so much on shorter passes and screens. So it can possibly play a factor in Jarrett's throwing motion and/or in the velocity and distance on some throws.
Point 2 - An off week. Good or bad? Do you like them or not?
Rasheed Marshall - An off week can be a good or a bad thing. A time like now, where West Virginia is nursing a few injuries, it is a good thing. But an off week early in the season usually means you won't have another one until later in the season or any for that matter. With that being said, it is all about the timing of when it comes. If you have a team that is healthy and ready to play, sometimes an off week can be a bad thing compared to later in the year where more guys are prone to get hurt. I never liked them personally, especially if you are riding high and playing well.
Point 3 - The overtime loss against Colorado was stunning last year, just like last year's East Carolina loss - a game WVU felt, going in, it should have won. Does coach Bill Stewart take the same line of thinking into this one he took into this year's ECU game? That is to say there is no need to bring up last year's Colorado game?
Rasheed Marshall - I think that is a very good question. Unlike the ECU game where WVU was coming off a win, the dynamics of this game have changed a little. Not saying that WVU is feeling any kind of pressure to win this game, but after a loss against Auburn, a loss against Colorado last year and Colorado coming in and feeling pretty good after beating Wyoming last week, it could turn into a good game. As a coach I see no reason to address this game as any more important as the last one, or the next one, BUT playing at home on a Thursday night (and we all know what a "special" place Mountaineer Field turns into for Thursday night games) and a little revenge factor on WVU's end should make this a game, that as a player, nobody should have to say a word to you. You should come ready to play...bottom line!
Point 4 - Simply put, did Noel Devine carry the football enough against Auburn? And if you were the offensive coordinator, how many touches would you get him a game?
Rasheed Marshall - The easiest way to answer that question is -- NO! Fifteen carries against a defense that he basically shredded at times, and it comes down to the wire, and he's nowhere to be found? Sometimes coaches can get out of a rhythm when calling plays. I've seen it done and I've been in locker rooms where coaches admit to it. Not saying this was the case, but when trying to play catch-up in a game like Auburn, you can't forget about your homerun hitter in the ground game.
Point 5 - Did the Auburn loss have much to do with Reed Williams and Scooter Berry not playing?
Rasheed Marshall - I wouldn't contribute a loss to two missing defensive starters, because every player on the team contributes. Some may make more of an impact than others, but as Coach Stew would say "when one soldier goes down, another one picks up the rifle and keeps on marching." Who is to say that Reed Williams would've made that interception that Ovid Goulbourne made or Scooter Berry would've made the sack that Josh Taylor made. No knock on Scooter or Reed, but my point is other players are supposed to step up and make plays when they are called upon.
Point 6 - What is up with Wes Lyons? Apparently he ran a bad route or two at Auburn and hasn't been the impact player many expected. What are you seeing with him?
Rasheed Marshall - As a person, I like Wes a lot. But, when he steps on the field it is time to turn that switch on and play ball. When I watch Wes, I just see a lackadaisical, laid back player with no urgency. I want Wes to do well, but from his actions, you can't tell that he wants it for himself.
Point 7 - I want a serious answer, do not B.S. me on this one. On these Thursday night games in Morgantown, does anyone go to class on Thursday or Friday?
Rasheed Marshall -- HAHAHAHA....well, basically for most students, Thursday night games are like free tickets to campus holidays and it calls for an extra long weekend. With that being said, Wednesday magically starts a four-day weekend. But, anyone who has traveled to Morgantown for a Thursday night game knows that it's one of the best college football atmospheres in the country. You usually get a packed stadium and the students seem to be in full effect after a nice long day of tailgating.
An extra point - Erin Andrews is the sideline reporter for ESPN Thursday night games. OK, your thoughts.
Rasheed Marshall - Well due to my work schedule I wasn't gonna be able make it but I just hung the phone up from cancelling all Friday morning appointments with my clients after finding out she was covering the game. No, she's definitely the best looking female commentator in the business. I've seen her on television plenty of times and had a chance to see her a time or two in person and she easily attracts more attention than the game itself.
Rasheed Marshall, also a former NFL player, is a certified strength and conditioning coach and a personal trainer in Pittsburgh who can implement a workout program for the casual athlete but also works one-on-one or in a group setting to refine football skills for the serious football player of any age. Rasheed works to maximize the potential of athletes by incorporating position specific skill development, speed and agility training and a strength and conditioning program where you get results.