HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Marshall offensive line coach Alex Mirabal knows that starting linemen don't like coming out of the game.
So, against Middle Tennessee, they didn't.
The five linemen the Thundering Herd started with against the Blue Raiders were the five Mirabal rode with the entire game. He plans on using that strategy again this week when Marshall (4-3, 2-1 Conference USA) hosts Southern Mississippi (0-7, 0-3 C-USA) at noon Saturday on CBS Sports Network.
Actually, Mirabal said he started sticking with five guys in the second half of the Herd's win over Florida Atlantic and decided to keep it up against MT. The Herd went with right tackle Clint Van Horn, right guard Alex Schooler, center Chris Jasperse, left guard Sebastian Johansson and left tackle Garrett Scott and left them in for 89 snaps over four full quarters. The concept has its benefits, Mirabal said.
"When you get the same five guys out there, they're able to see and communicate consistently," he said. "There's more continuity. They're able to notice the difference in the defensive linemen's stances and all that other stuff. It really helps those guys up front."
As far as the physical toll, Mirabal and the linemen aren't worried. Mirabal considers practice tougher than any game the Herd will play, so when a lineman might work 85 snaps, he'll have worked 150 during any one day in practice.
Scott said the group has been working on its conditioning since before the season began, so if only five linemen play, it won't leave them dragging in the fourth quarter.
"From all the summer workouts we did, we feel like we can run 100 plays and not have to rotate out," Scott said. "We'll be fine. In practice, everybody practices like they're going to play, so it doesn't affect the way we practice. You just know going into the game, you might have to play 100 plays. I know the body will be fine."
WHEN MARSHALL COACH Doc Holliday watches film of the Golden Eagles, he doesn't see any players sulking or trudging the sidelines. Considering Southern Miss is suffering through a 19-game losing streak, energy might not always be easy to generate.