Derricott to have hand in plans

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 1999

The Associated Press

Derricott, who leads the Mid-American Conference in interceptions, will have both hands in working order when No.

Tuesday, October 12, 1999

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Derricott, who leads the Mid-American Conference in interceptions, will have both hands in working order when No. 15 Marshall meets Toledo on Thursday night.

Derricott broke his hand in the preseason and wore a cast for the first four games. Even so, he managed one interception.

The cast was removed before Marshall’s Oct. 2 game at Miami of Ohio and, despite some swelling and soreness, Derricott had two more interceptions.

”At first I was a little scared, but I got out there in the game and I was so hyped, it didn’t even bother me at all,” he said. ”I looked down to make sure it was still there, and it was. It just felt great to have both my hands back.”

Derricott has received a good dosage of ribbing from teammates over the performance.

”What’s the injury for this week?” linebacker Andre O’Neal asked Derricott recently.

Derricott said he wanted the cast removed as early as possible.

”I told myself that I haven’t been making plays,” he said. ”The first four games of the season I thought they were throwing my way because I had the cast on.

”When I got my cast off, I guess they’d throw it knowing my hand still bothered me. I went out there and proved them wrong.”

O’Neal said Derricott surprised him against Miami.

”I turned around and saw the ball in the air and wondered who’s going to be there. It’s Danny,” O’Neal said. ”He sucked it up during the time he had the injury. He had to do the things he needed to do to get healthy and help the team out.”

The latest interceptions are a continuation of a stellar career for the player known as ”Lucky Charms.”

A year ago Derricott had six interceptions, two of them in the final minute. He also blocked a field goal attempt to preserve a victory over Wofford and returned a fumble 20 yards for a score against Toledo in the MAC game.

”It seems like any time we need a big play, he’s there to make it,” said Marshall quarterback Chad Pennington. ”It’s great to have a guy like him on the team. It definitely gives the offense more opportunities with his defensive playmaking ability.”

Derricott says it’s important for him to be focused for Thursday’s game.

”I could play a lot better than Miami. Every week, you’ve got to improve on something,” he said. ”I’m going to hustle to the ball more. And I hope they throw my way this week again.”