At 7 p.m. on Friday night, Marshall’s football team will start its first home game of the season and will look to earning its first win of the year as the Mavericks currently hold a record of 0-2.
In order to do so, the Mavericks will look to their defense which held Longview to 14 points a week ago.
“Our entire defense has got to play well just because the McKinney North defense plays really, really fast,” Marshall athletic director and head football coach Jake Griedl said. “They’re going to be snapping the ball before the sticks are set. That’s where they feel like they can gain the advantage. They’ve got a good quarterback (Gavin Constantine) who’s a dual-threat guy. If we don’t contain him, especially with how fast they play, that will hurt us. Our defensive has got to be really good. We’ve got to find ways to get off the field on third down. They’re not overly complicated on offense but the way they do it and how fast they do it makes it effective. We’ve got to be in shape, get our hand in the dirt, come off the ball, see our keys and line up correctly. That’ll give us a chance to get off the field on third down and keep them out of the end zone.”
The Mavs will look to guys like linebacker Terrell Davis and defensive lineman Gikovian McCoy, among others, to help slow down the Bulldogs offense.
“The offense runs through the quarterback so the things they like to do with him, with the RPO game, the run-read stuff, he’s got a live arm so we’ve got to get pressure on him but at the same time, if you don’t line up in your gap, with how fast they’re playing and you have a mental lapse within that, they’re going to make you pay in a big way,” Griedl added. “It’s important that we see our keys, line up and match their speed in terms of how fast they play and try to get off the field.”
All in all, the Griedl said his team is looking forward to playing its first game at home.
“They’re excited,” he said. “It feels like forever ago now. At same breath, for the seniors, I think it’s, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s already week three.’ I don’t feel like we’ve caught our stride yet. Hopefully we can this week but I know for our kids and getting in front of more people is going to be a good situation. They’re going to enjoy that.”