Memphis Falls to Marshall 28-13
Memphis Falls to Marshall 28-13; The Tigers sprinted out to a 10-0 lead, but 28 second half points by the Thundering Herd proved too much for the Tigers.
By: Preston McClellan
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HUNTINGTON, W. Va. – Memphis scored on its first drive of the game on a 43-yard pass from Ryan Williams to Jermaine McKenzie and took a 10-0 advantage into the half, but it wasn’t enough as the Marshall Thundering Herd used four second half scores to pull away 28-13.
McKenzie finished with career highs in both catches (six) and yards (109) to go along with one touchdown, while Williams finished 14-of-32 for 201 yards and one touchdown.
After gaining 124 yards in the opening quarter, the Tigers managed just 117 yards for the remainder of the game. Marshall scored 28 second half points behind quarterback Brian Anderson, who finished with 251 yards on 20-of-28 passing, three touchdowns, and one interception.
A Dontari Poe sack on the first defensive series of the game forced a Marshall punt, giving Memphis a chance to draw first blood. The Tigers would do just that, marching 82 yards in six plays and 3:02 on a drive that was capped by Williams finding McKenzie down the right sideline to take a early 7-0 lead.
DeRon Furr intercepted an Anderson pass on the next Marshall possession and returned it to midfield.
The Tigers capitalized and extended their advantage to 10-0 with 10:26 left in the second quarter on a 25-yard field goal by Paulo Henriques that finished off an 11-play, 41-yard drive that spanned 3:25. Neither team could get anything going on offense for the rest of the half, and Memphis preserved its 10-0 margin going into the break.
It didn’t take Marshall long to get on the board once the second half started. After a stalled Memphis drive, Tom Hornsey kicked a 28-yard punt, allowing Marshall to take over at its own 40-yard line. The Thundering Herd marched 60 yards in eight plays and 3:10 and scored on a 13-yard run by Troy Evans to cut the Tiger lead to 10-7 at the 9:05 mark.
A fumble by Williams on the ensuing possession gave the Herd the ball on the Tiger 24-yard line. Marshall capitalized as Anderson tossed the first of his three second-half touchdown passes to Courtney Edmonson to give the Thundering Herd its first lead of the game, 14-10.
Marshall extended its advantage to 21-10 less than 15 seconds into the fourth quarter. After an offside penalty on 4th-and-one gave Marshall a first down, Anderson found Brian Lee on the next play for a 32-yard score at the 14:43 mark.
After each team failed to get anything going on their next two drives, Memphis got the ball back with 11:19 to play and good field possession at the Marshall 44-yard line. The Tigers used five plays and 15 yards to set up a 45-yard field goal by Henriques to pull within 21-13 at the 8:41 mark.
Marshall effectively put the game out of reach on its next drive as Anderson threw the final of his three touchdown passes, this one for 62 yards to Troy Evans. Evans finished with three catches, 81 yards, and a touchdown receiving in addition to 28 yards and a score on the ground.
The Tigers were hindered once again by self inflicted wounds as they were whistled for 11 penalties which cost them 95 total yards.
Memphis did force two turnovers, however, as DeRon Furr registered a second quarter interception which led to Henriques’ first field goal. Corey Jones also recorded a forced fumble when he sacked Anderson in the second quarter. Frank Trotter recovered for the Tigers.
Memphis plays its final road game of the season when it travels to Birmingham, Ala. next Saturday, Nov. 20 to take on UAB in the annual “Battle for the Bones” matchup. The game is slated for 3 p.m. (CT).