HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- For as much as Marshall's football team works on punting, Coach Doc Holliday said it's been frustrating to see the problems that have cropped up on that unit.
"There's nobody that works on punt team more than we do," Holliday said. "My coaches get upset with me because we spend so much time on punt, whether it's meetings or practice."
After last week when Marshall allowed its second touchdown on a blocked punt this season, the Thundering Herd will spend even more time with that department as it prepares for Saturday's noon game at Joan C. Edwards Stadium against Southern Mississippi (CBS Sports Network).
Holliday said that blocked punt, with 5:13 left in the first quarter, wasn't the only reason the Herd (4-3, 2-1 Conference USA) lost 51-49 to Middle Tennessee State, but it certainly played a factor. A blocked punt for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Herd's triple-overtime loss to Virginia Tech did the same. That hasn't been an issue for Marshall in a long time. Before this season, the last blocked punt returned for a touchdown came against Southern Miss on Nov. 25, 2006.
There is no specific special teams coordinator on the Marshall staff, Holliday said. Special teams are coached by committee, though Holliday declined Tuesday to say which coaches oversee which categories. Holliday did say he found nothing wrong with the punt scheme, though it was up to the coaches to make sure the players understand it.
"There's nothing, scheme-wise, that we did and that's what frustrates me more than anything else," he said. "But you know what? The bottom line is I've got a big old sign in the coaches' meeting room that says, 'You've got to see what you coach on the film.' You've got to see what you coach there, and if you're not, you failed. The scheme part is fine. It's got to be executed by the players and we have to do a better job of setting it up in practice.
"I don't mean to make it simple, but do your job," Holliday added. "I don't have a lot of slogans, but as coaches and players, we need to do our jobs. And whatever it is, you make sure you get it done in practice."
It's been almost a full calendar year since Southern Miss (0-7, 0-3 C-USA) has blocked a punt. The last came against the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Nov. 3, 2012. The last time the Golden Eagles returned a blocked punt for a touchdown was against Nevada on Dec. 24, 2011.