HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - After just four carries in the first two games, Marshall running back Kevin Grooms is good to go Saturday against Ohio.
Holliday announced during his Tuesday press conference that Grooms, who played sparingly against Miami University and did not play versus Gardner-Webb, is fine to face the Bobcats this Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPNews.
"He should be fine," Holliday said. "He could have played last week, probably. He should be fresh, that's for sure."
Grooms, the 2012 Conference USA freshman of the year, carried the ball four times for 51 yards against Miami after spending most of the preseason recovering from a sprained ankle. But when a Miami defender caught Grooms from behind on a 39-yard run, Holliday figured he might not be 100 percent.
The Bobcats have no experience with Grooms and very little experience with the rest of Marshall's running backs. In last season's 27-24 loss to Ohio, Marshall gave Steward Butler two carries, Remi Watson one carry and Grooms and Essray Taliaferro no carries. Grooms finished last season with 737 yards and eight touchdowns on 121 carries.
"I had the big picture in my mind," Grooms said of sitting out the Gardner-Webb game. "I knew that once we got the 'W,' it'd help me out by sitting out that game and not risk me getting hurt and letting my ankle get better. I'm here now, so I'm just ready to roll."
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ELSEWHERE ON the injury front, Holliday said defensive tackle Brandon Sparrow, who sprained his ankle in the third quarter of Marshall's win over Gardner-Webb, won't play against the Bobcats, but shouldn't be on the shelf for long.
Cornerback Keith Baxter (undisclosed), offensive lineman Cameron Dees (concussion) and linebacker Stefan Houston (ankle sprain) all should practice this week, Holliday added, but linebacker Billy Mitchell's football career likely is over because of concussions. Mitchell, a fifth-year senior from Navarre, Fla., missed six games last season because of a concussion and suffered another one this preseason.
"If he was my son, I wouldn't let him play," Holliday said. "The quality of life you're going to have after football is more important. There's a lot more important things down the road for him than football."
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