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Marshall football: McKelvey, Martinez likely out for season

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall Coach Doc Holliday said one significant contributor to the football team could be done for the season following Saturday's loss to Ohio, while another one who's been on the shelf since the offseason likely will stay there.

Holliday said Tuesday linebacker Evan McKelvey - who left Saturday's game putting no weight on his left leg after getting injured on kickoff coverage - needed an MRI, but was doubtful to return this season.

"He won't play this week for sure, and my guess is he may be finished up for the season," Holliday said, "which was a shame, because he was starting to mature and come along."

Herd running back Tron Martinez, last season's leading rusher who has been trying to return from offseason knee surgery, also is doubtful to return.

"Tron, I would guess, is a little bit like McKelvey," Holliday said.

McKelvey moved from the secondary to weak-side linebacker this season and was listed as the backup to Devin Arrington. He's played in all three of the Herd's games, recording 14 tackles, 1.5 for a loss. He posted a picture on his Facebook page of doctors draining blood and fluid from his knee. A torn ACL is feared.

Holliday said Raheem Waiters could see some time on the weak side in McKelvey's absence.

Martinez led Marshall last season with 649 yards on 160 carries, scoring three touchdowns.

In his absence, the Herd has mostly split carries between four running backs - Travon Van, Remi Watson, Steward Butler and Kevin Grooms.

Holliday did say defensive lineman James Rouse could be back in a couple weeks from his Achilles tendon injury, while corner Darryl Roberts (right leg) is "week to week."

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HOLLIDAY SAID he's been pleased with the way Boston College transfers Okechukwu Okoroha and Dominick LeGrande have acclimated to the Herd defense.

The duo has started all three games at free safety and strong safety, respectively.

"They're really starting to do some things and play well," Holliday said. "They're starting to feel comfortable."

LeGrande is the team's leading tackler with 34, including one tackle for loss and a pass breakup, while Okoroha is fourth with 22 tackles. Okoroha said he and LeGrande also feel like they're meshing well.

"Right now things are going really well," he said. "As a defense, we all as a team are starting to come together. It's amazing to see how everything's starting to come together, and we just have to build on that and keep going up.

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THE HERD faces its third straight mobile quarterback when it travels to Rice on Saturday.

Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.

Marshall lined up against Western Carolina's Eddie Sullivan and Ohio's Tyler Tettleton, but Holliday said Rice's Taylor McHargue is a little different, especially compared to Tettleton.

"Especially in the passing game, he's not afraid to pull it down and run with it," he said. "Where Tettleton was more apt to throw the ball and make plays on the perimeter, this guy will take it vertical and does a good job of rushing the football."

McHargue leads the team with four rushing touchdowns and is second with 206 rushing yards.  

 Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at or 304-348-1712. His blog is at



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