HUNTINGTON -- Marshall's midseason siesta really is in the middle of the season -- six games are in the books with six to go.
For the curious, that has happened one other time in the era of 12-game schedules, in 2008. To preserve the sanity of Thundering Herd fans everywhere, we'll skip over the before-and-after results of that year.
Coach Doc Holliday can't skip over this week, as he ruminates over the Herd's 45-38 loss to Tulsa last weekend and tries to apply the appropriate lessons to the Oct. 20 game at Southern Mississippi.
Players were given Sunday and Monday off as Holliday's assistants hit the road on targeted recruiting visits. The team returned for lifting and running Tuesday and will practice in shorts today. Physical workouts follow Thursday and Friday, with players getting Saturday off and the coaches meeting.
It is a week of healing all the way around - physically, mentally, fundamentally and emotionally. The Herd is 2-4 with two excruciating losses at home.
"My standards and expectations are extremely high," Holliday said Tuesday at his weekly press conference. "For us to get where we want to go, we have to be able to beat teams like Tulsa that are one of the better teams in our league. It has to happen. It didn't happen and it is disappointing, but we have to get back to work and get better.
"Our goal has always been to win the conference championship. To be able to do that, we have to be able to line up against teams like Tulsa and find a way to make plays to beat them."
Getting the walking wounded into better health will help. Holliday cited the case of Chris Jasperse, who has played every snap of the last four games despite wearing an orthopedic boot during those weeks. Garrett Scott and John Bruhin are other linemen battling injury.
And they're not the only ones. Players wear red shirts at full-pads practices when they have such injuries, signaling them to stay out of full-contact situations. Some days, it has looked too much like Christmas, but Holliday doesn't expect to see a lot of red next week.
"Our two [starting] corners have been in red jerseys for three weeks," Holliday said. "They haven't been able to go through tackling drills and things they need to do to become better players.