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Herd football defeats Charlotte, tops last season’s win record

Adam Rogers, Sports Editor

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Richard Crank
Ryan Yurachek leaps in the air after catching one of his three first half receptions. He now has a 34-game reception streak.

CHARLOTTE, NC – Marshall’s defense continued its strong start to the 2017 season in the Thundering Herd’s 14-3 Conference USA win over Charlotte in Jerry Richardson Stadium Saturday night.

The Herd (4-1, 1-0 Conference USA) limited the 49ers (0-6, 0-2) to just 212 yards of total offense and did not give up the field goal from kicker Nigel Macauley until the 5:20 mark in the third quarter.

“You look at the yardage at the end of the game, and you take that one big play they had on that one big pass and they did gain a whole hell of a lot,” Herd head coach Doc Holliday said. “So, I thought our defense played really well to hold them to three points.”

That one play Holliday is referring to came on the 49ers lone scoring drive in the game with a 42-yard pass from Charlotte quarterback Hasaan Klugh to receiver Trent Bostick.

The Herd defense ultimately held the 49ers to the Macauley field goal from 30-yards out.

Marshall offense had an easy time moving the ball against the Charlotte defense, but only found the end zone twice, both through the air to wide receiver Tyre Brady.

“That’s the second time we’ve rode the defense’s tail,” Herd quarterback Chase Litton said. “We can’t do that. I’m sure they love it, but we can’t keep putting them out there in bad situations.”

Brady had scoring grabs of 37 and 11 yards for the Herd, his first multi-score game this season and first touchdowns since the NC State road loss in week two.

The Herd’s biggest problem moving the ball came as it got close to the red zone. Drives stalled and Marshall had to settle for field goal attempts or punts from Kaare Vedvik.

“End of the day when you go on the road and win a game that’s a good thing, especially in conference play,” Holliday said.

Charlotte quarterback Klugh was the team’s offensive leader coming into the game. He was responsible for all 10 touchdowns (five rushing and five passing) the 49ers scored coming into the game, and the Herd kept pressure on him the entire game.

“We knew coming in we were going to have to stop the quarterback running the football,” Holliday said. “I thought we did a good job doing that. We had to get pressure when he threw it, and I thought we did a good job doing that.”

The Herd finished with just two sacks in the game, but was in the backfield early and often. Marshall also had five tackles for loss and seven quarterback hurries on Klugh.

“I tell Chase and the offense all the time we got their back,” defensive tackle Ryan Bee said of the Herd defense picking up the offensive void. “We know that they have our back. When something isn’t firing, you’ve got to rely on the other side to pick you up and make up for that slack. That’s what we did tonight.”

With the win over Charlotte, the Herd has now eclipsed its win total from last season’s 3-9 record.

Marshall will next play at home against the Old Dominion Monarchs on Saturday, Oct. 14 for homecoming with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. ET at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

Adam Rogers can be contacted at [email protected]

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