Cobb emerging as LB presence
HUNTINGTON — Marshall University linebacker Omari Cobb returns to his home state this week and the 6-foot-4, 223-pound junior from Port St. Lucie, Florida, might appear to be standing a little bit taller when he steps off the plane in Miami.
Cobb is coming off one of his best games in a Marshall uniform last week when he led the Thundering Herd defense in a 23-0 shutout of UTSA. Cobb’s performance included eight tackles with three tackles for loss, including two sacks, as the Herd limited UTSA to 137 total yards. He received a Conference USA Co-Defensive Player of the Week award.
Cobb said he couldn’t ask for much more in Thanksgiving week when he will play in front of friends and family when the Herd (7-3, 5-2 C-USA) and Panthers (8-3, 6-10 meet at noon Saturday.
“It feels amazing knowing that you get that confidence in a game to be able to go down there and fly around — especially playing in front of your family,” he said. “You’ve got the chance to perform and do things. They don’t get to see me play as much, so just to go down there and play for them feels good.”
Cobb’s presence in the Marshall defense has increased over the last few weeks in a starting role vacated by injured linebacker Artis Johnson.
With Cobb in the lineup, the Herd defense has not missed a beat, continuing its strength at the linebacker position while continuing to rack up tackles for losses and quarterback sacks.
“Its good to see Omari Cobb go in there and take Artis’s place and become Conference USA Player of the Week,” Marshall head coach Doc Holliday said. “That’s good to see. Any time you get into your 11th game of the year, which we’re in right now and, of course, 10th a week ago and you lose a running back, and (Brenden) Knox steps up or you lose a linebacker and Omari steps up.
That’s what’s got to happen to continue to be successful.”
Cobb is sixth on the team in tackles with 45 and he’s also a disruptive force with 5.5 tackles for losses and 3.5 sacks.
Marshall linebacker and senior leader Chase Hancock said Cobb is really coming into his own and showing leadership. That was shown this week when Cobb rattled off information about FIU before the team had done its positional film study.
“I watched them a little bit in their tempo, so I got a good feel for them,” Cobb said. “They are confident in what they are doing and they are putting up points. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing — putting pressure on the quarterback and getting to him, put him on the ground and keep being the defense that we are. As a defense, we’ve just got to strap it down.”
Following Cobb’s UTSA performance, he said he enjoyed being on a defense with so many play makers because the opposition doesn’t know who is going to step up at any given moment.
MARSHALL (7-3, 5-2) AT FIU (8-3, 6-1)
WHEN: Noon Saturday
WHERE: Riccardo Silva Stadium, Miami
TV: Stadium Facebook
RADIO: WDGG 93.7-FM, ESPN 94.1-FM and 930-AM