FIU Panthers end Marshall football win streak

Brigham Warf, For The Parthenon

Richard Crank

The FIU Panthers traveled to Huntington and stunned Marshall’s football team with a final score of 41-30 to end the Herd’s five game win streak and undefeated conference record.

​The Herd was plagued by turnovers throughout the course of the game, one of which occurred during the second play of the game when the snap went off the hands of quarterback Chase Litton and was recovered by the Panthers deep in Marshall territory. The play seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game as FIU went up 7-0 early and weakened Marshall’s high energy. Litton’s 168 consecutive passes without an interception was also snapped as he threw for two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

“When I put the defense in a situation on the first drive of the game where they have to stop a team that needs fifteen yards, it’s just not good football,” said Litton.

After FIU was set up with a great field position, it was Napoleon Maxwell who captured the first points of the contest with a one yard run. Maxwell’s touchdown snapped Marshall’s defensive streak of not allowing a touchdown in the first quarter of a game this season. Quarterback Alex Gardner of the Panthers kept it himself and propelled the Panthers to a quick 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

The Herd got on the board for the first time when Willie Johnson caught an impressive throw from Litton in the corner of the end zone. However, Marshall was held to only one touchdown until late in the 3rd quarter. The Herd seemed to click late in the game as Litton threw a pair of touchdowns to Marcel Williams and Tyre Brady, but the Herd couldn’t overcome the large deficit.

“We didn’t quit, but anytime you get down 38-14 with ten minutes to go in the game there isn’t a whole lot you can do,” said Ryan Yurachek. “We didn’t make plays when we needed to make plays for the first three quarters and that really hurt us.”

FIU quarterback Alex McGough didn’t make many mistakes in the game. He was 14-18 with a pair of passing touchdowns and ran for 30 yards. The junior has been the Panther’s go to quarterback for four seasons and is number one in FIU history for passing touchdowns, with a total of 48.

“He’s a four year starter for them and has played some good football,” said Marshall head coach Doc Holliday. “They’re a 5-2 football team and Butch has them playing really well right now.”

With the loss, the Herd now drop to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference. Their hopes of making the conference championship are still very much alive, but they have some tough matchups down the road. The Herd will get back to work in the morning as they have another short week.

The Thundering Herd will travel to Florida next Friday and look to get back on track as they take on the newly coached Florida Atlantic University Owls at 6 p.m.

Brigham Warf can be contacted at [email protected].