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Marshall football: Grooms rested, ready to go against Ohio

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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HOLLIDAY NAMED cornerback Corey Tindal, defensive lineman James Rouse, receiver Tommy Shuler and center Chris Jasperse as captains for the Ohio game. Shuler led the Herd with five catches for 85 yards and a touchdown against Gardner-Webb, while Jasperse went toe-to-toe with Runnin' Bulldogs nose tackle O.J. Le'iatua Mau.  

Rouse, who was a captain for the Gardner-Webb game, recorded two tackles (1.5 for a loss) and a sack last Saturday, while Tindal recorded five tackles, four solo, with a quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery.

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ANGELO JEAN-LOUIS' court case has concluded, according to his attorney, Mike Woelfel. Jean-Louis, a receiver in the 2013 recruiting class who enrolled in January, was arrested in April on three felony charges of fraudulent use of an access device and a misdemeanor charge of petit larceny. He was accused of stealing a wallet and cell phone and using the victim's credit card to buy pizza, plus items from a convenience store.

Woelfel said the felony charges will be dismissed and Jean-Louis is on a six-month diversion program for the larceny charge. Jean-Louis, who sat out this season as an academic non-qualifier, must complete 500 hours of community service, 186 already completed, and paid restitution, Woelfel said.

"Angelo has been humbled and is contrite," Woelfel said. "He understands he's been given a second chance. I firmly believe he'll make the best of it."

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A DAY AFTER it was announced that Virginia Tech and Marshall will kickoff at noon on Sept. 21, the Florida International University football program announced on its Twitter feed that the Herd and Panthers' Nov. 23 game will begin at 6 p.m. According to the FIU athletic department's website, the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.

Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at or 304-348-1712. His blog is at Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.



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