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Yurachek’s three touchdown grabs help Thundering Herd upend Bearcats

Senior+tight+end+Ryan+Yurachek+%2885%29+lowers+his+shoulder+on+his+way+to+score+a+touchdown+against+the+Cincinnati+Bearcats+in+Nippert+Stadium+Saturday.+Yurachek+finished+with+three+touchdowns+on+six+receptions+and+77+yards.
Senior tight end Ryan Yurachek (85) lowers his shoulder on his way to score a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats in Nippert Stadium Saturday. Yurachek finished with three touchdowns on six receptions and 77 yards.

Senior tight end Ryan Yurachek (85) lowers his shoulder on his way to score a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats in Nippert Stadium Saturday. Yurachek finished with three touchdowns on six receptions and 77 yards.

Richard Crank

Richard Crank

Senior tight end Ryan Yurachek (85) lowers his shoulder on his way to score a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats in Nippert Stadium Saturday. Yurachek finished with three touchdowns on six receptions and 77 yards.

Kyle Curley, Assistant Sports Editor

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Senior tight end Ryan Yurachek did something Saturday against the Cincinnati Bearcats a Thundering Herd football player had not done in nearly four years.

Yurachek walked off the turf at Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium with six catches for 77-yards and a hat trick of touchdown catches.

Yurachek is the first player since Gator Hoskins to catch three touchdowns in a single game, when Hoskins accomplished the achievement at Florida International University on Nov. 23, 2013.

“Well, anytime you bracket somebody (like Tyre Brady), you play over and under or whatever you do,” head coach Doc Holliday said. “Somebody else is going to end up one-on-one. We had Willie Johnson on one, and of course Yurachek on a couple.”

Similar to the NC State game this season, home fans on Saturday night at Nippert Stadium were mostly silenced after the first half with Marshall leading 24-0 at the break.

“We started really first in both road games against good teams and in front of good crowds,” Yurachek said. “We took the crowd out this game, and we kind of took the crowd out of NC State for a while. It’s great to start fast, and that’s something we did not do a year ago and it’s great to see from our football team.”

Not only did Yurachek turn in one of his best performances in the Kelly Green and White, but Yurachek’s first quarter touchdown reception also extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 33 games.

Marshall scored two touchdowns in 11 seconds to solidify its dominance in the first half. Yurachek and Litton connected for the second of the combinations, just before the second quarter ended to give Marshall a 24-0 lead.

“The one before half was a big back-breaker for them and set up the second half,” Yurachek said. “It was good timing.”

Yurachek’s performance on Saturday night was the first time he had caught multiple touchdowns in a single game in a Herd uniform. He also set a new season high for receptions with six and a new career high for receiving yards with 77.

“Chase did a great job of getting me the ball, the cards fell where they did. It was exciting for sure.” Yurachek said.

The Myrtle Beach, S.C. native was not as involved in the Herd’s passing game in the first three games as fans might have liked. Yurachek had just eight catches for 56 yards.

“People have been asking me ‘Chek why aren’t you getting the ball?’ I just said I am going to keep plugging along, and things are going to happen and they happened tonight,” Yurachek said.

Although Chase Litton spread the ball to four different receivers, the chemistry between the two was on display at Nippert Stadium. In each of Marshall’s four games this season, a different receiver has led the game in yards.

“We just had so much chemistry going tonight,” Litton said. “I’m rooming with Chek (Yurachek). Obviously, he’s my roommate every weekend, and just talking about certain things and the prediction became right, that’s all I’m going to say.”

Marshall football now has three wins on the season, matching its total from last year. The impact of this feat has not gone unnoticed by Marshall’s football players.

“We needed this. It’s been almost two years since we had won a road game,” Yurachek said. “We start conference play next week. We couldn’t have scripted a better 60 minutes than we did tonight (Saturday).”

Marshall now opens conference play next Saturday at the Charlotte 49ers (0-5, 0-1).

Kyle Curley can be contacted at [email protected]

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