Senior DT Bee’s return boosts Herd
HUNTINGTON — Marshall defensive tackle Ryan Bee had an extended wait to get his 2018 season underway.
After getting back into action last week against N.C. State, Bee is eager to amp up his play as the Thundering Herd gets into Conference USA action, starting with Saturday’s contest at Western Kentucky.
“It was great,” Bee said. “I was begging Coach (J.C.) Price to let me go sooner, but we were being cautious. It was killing me not being out there, but I felt great getting back out there and playing. I only played 30 plays, but just being out there felt great. Hopefully, we just keep it going.”
The Outland Trophy candidate was expected to be the Herd’s leader along the defensive front from the start of the season, but a knee ailment kept him sidelined for the first two contests. Marshall’s cancellation against South Carolina due to Hurricane Florence allowed for additional treatment during the unexpected off week and Bee returned to the field, logging two tackles and two quarterback hurries.
Marshall head coach Doc Holliday doesn’t want to put too much work on Bee too early as he works his way back, but Holliday pointed out that the addition of Bee helps the Herd fill a rotation that can keep many guys limited on snaps, which increases their effectiveness in the late stages of a game.
“Our goal was to play Bee 30 snaps against N.C. State and he played 32,” Holliday said. “With that, he came out of it pretty good. I think Malik Thompson is playing better. With (Channing) Hames in there, we have the option to throw Ty Tyler inside a little bit. You don’t want to get those kids to where they are playing 60-70-80 snaps a game. Hopefully, we can keep those guys around 45 or so and get a good rotation going. Bee being back helps that a lot.”
Bee’s focus this week was beyond just getting acclimated to game speed again for the first time in 10 months.
Now, he’s locked in on a Western Kentucky team that has played four quarterbacks, while starting three. The likelihood is that Marshall’s defensive front will see both Steven Duncan and Davis Shanley on Saturday evening in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
For Bee and the defensive line, that means film study and learning tendencies, so that once on the field, they are prepared for what they will see.
“One guy is going to scramble (Duncan), even if there’s no pressure so he’s more of a runner and the other guy (Shanley) wants to sit in the pocket and look down the field,” Bee said. “It’s tough to practice for that because you don’t know what you are going to get. We’ve just got to lock in.”
Bee said focusing is crucial because, even though his season got started a bit later than others, there is still only one goal in mind.
“Our goal is a conference championship and this is the first step to that,” Bee said.