HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall football team's offense needed to tinker during its month of spring practice. The defense needed an overhaul.
And both sides reached some of those goals this spring, culminating in Saturday's Green-White Game.
The offense won 55-38, both teams earning points through a number of accomplishments including first downs, plays of at least 20 yards, tackles for loss and turnovers recovered.
With three touchdowns through the air and one on the ground, the offense showed the 5,115 in attendance at Joan C. Edwards Stadium that it hadn't forgotten how to rack up yards and points. But with 11 tackles for loss, five sacks and nine pass breakups, the defense showed energy and tenacity it needs to carry into the fall.
The Thundering Herd's defense needed the work after a 2012 where it allowed an average of more than 43 points per game. New coordinator Chuck Heater arrived in January, and with him came an almost entirely new defensive staff. A new defensive scheme, employing five defensive backs, came with him, too.
Heater said he was happy with the progress the defense made this spring, especially since a new base defense doesn't always make for an easy transition.
"I'm really proud of where they've come," Heater said. "I told them that today. They're taking the coaching, and it's been hard coaching. The coaches have done a great job with them. They have confidence now to get something done. I think we're right where we need to be."
Heater singled out several players who impressed him this spring, including defensive lineman Steve Dillon, linebackers Stefan Houston and Derek Mitchell and cornerback Corey Tindal.
Houston and Mitchell racked up stops Saturday. Houston led the defense with seven tackles and broke up one pass, while Tindal recorded four tackles.
What impressed rising senior defensive end Alex Bazzie about the defense this spring was its ability to quickly embrace and understand Heater's new scheme.
That allowed communication to improve and that in turn made for a more efficient defense.