HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall defensive end Jeremiah Taylor would love to see his coaches take the handcuffs off the offense and defense and give Saturday's Green-White spring football game more of a regular-game feel.
"I'm hoping they let us go and let us play a little bit," he said.
Taylor will get his wish - kind of - when the team takes the Joan C. Edwards Stadium field at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The starting offense and defense will go at it for the first two quarters Saturday, the final in-pads practice for the Thundering Herd until August and the last chance for players to impress coaches under full-contact conditions until then.
"I think we've gotten about as much as we can get out of the 14 days (of spring practice) to this point," Coach Doc Holliday said. "We only have 15 and with 13 of them being padded, you can't waste one of them. We've got to come out here Saturday, take care of business and walk out of here a better football team. It has to happen with the amount of practices we have."
The green-clad offense and white-clad defense will go toe-to-toe for the first two quarters with the game clock running normally. A scoring system is in place in both offensive and defensive categories.
The offense can score with first downs, plays over 20 yards and touchdowns. The defense can earn points with forced turnovers, forced punts, sacks, tackles for loss and defensive scores.
The offense and defense entered the spring with different missions.
The defense, under new coordinator Chuck Heater and an almost entirely new staff, was trying to rebound from a dismal 2012 and learn a new system.
The offense, with coordinator Bill Legg still at the helm but a lot of new assistants under him, was trying to evolve its scheme, yet maintain the explosiveness that made it one of the most dangerous groups in college football.
Taylor, a rising senior, said the defense has grown a great deal under Heater's tutelage.
After an initial getting-to-know-you phase, the unit has settled down and Taylor feels it will give the offense a run for its money on Saturday.