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Herd's Special Teams May Look Familiar

In the late 1990s, when Mark Snyder was an assistant coach at Minnesota, Coach Glenn Mason sent him to Blacksburg to learn special teams from a guru named Frank Beamer.

Twenty years later, Synder is Marshall’s coach but still emulating everything Beamer taught him. Now Snyder is preparing the Thundering Herd (1-0) to play No. 14 Virginia Tech (0-1) on Saturday. He hopes, of course, that Marshall can beat Beamer and the Hokies at their own game.

Snyder spent three days with Beamer and soaked in advance – “everything,” Snyder said with emphasis – that he has resonated since he took over at Marshall.

Since becoming the coach in 2005, Snyder said he has had the team practice special teams every day. In an interview in his office on Wednesday, Snyder held up that day’s practice schedule to prove his point. It included a section on special teams, he said.

Snyder said Marshall arranges and utilizes its special teams units the same as Virginia Tech. The two special teams units, he said, were essentially reflections of each other. He said a number of other programs have emulated Beamer’s special teams practices.

By Mark Viera  |  September 11, 2009; 8:01 AM ET
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