Marshall shuts out FIU, 38-0

Marshall football used a complete effort to defeat the Florida International Panthers 38-0 on a soggy Saturday afternoon at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.  

Coming off the bye week, first year head coach Charles Huff stressed to his team that it needed to clean up things in all phases of the game, as it prepares for its final stretch of the regular season in November. 

This was a game in which the team had zero fumbles, zero interceptions and just two penalties.  

“I thought tonight, the players did a phenomenal job of taking it from the practice field to the game field, executing consistently,” Huff said. “We’re starting to play a lot more consistent, which is good.” 

After the first quarter, the Herd led just 3-0.

A special teams play would help ignite the Herd offense.

FIU punter Tommy Heatherly booted a punt 63 yards that senior Willie Johnson returned a career long 38 yards, setting up a short field for the Marshall offense.  

After the first three drives ended on a punt, field goal and punt, the Herd offense rattled off three straight touchdown drives, each capped by a rushing touchdown by a different player.  

Quarterback Grant Wells scored from two yards out after Johnson’s punt return to give Marshall the 10-0 lead.

Running back Sheldon Evans scored a 41-yard touchdown run to end just a quick two-play drive and Marshall was up 17-0.

The Herd would complete the dominate second quarter with a Rasheen Ali touchdown run to put MU up 24-0 at halftime.

The 21 second quarter points came in a span of 5 minutes and 44 seconds. 

Ali, the nation’s leader in rushing touchdowns, scored again late in the third quarter, capping off a 16 play 80-yard drive that ate up 6 minutes and 56 seconds of game time.

That drive effectively put the game out of reach for FIU. 

Marshall’s offensive line dominated the contest, allowing four different players to score a rushing touchdown and as a team rush for 246 yards.  

“I feel like our offensive line, as the year has gone on, we’ve had people play in different sports and we’re starting to get some real chemistry up front,” Marshall senior offensive lineman Will Ulmer said. “The way we’ve practiced and the way we prepare really showed out there tonight.” 

On the other side of the ball, Marshall followed up strong defensive performances in wins against Old Dominion and North Texas by shutting out its first FBS opponent since UTSA in November of 2018.

FIU only had two trips to the red zone, with the first coming in the third quarter.  

“It’s hard to get a shutout in college football,” Huff said. “Hats off to (Defensive Coordinator Lance Guidry) Coach Guidry, the defensive staff and defensive players.” 

Linebacker Eli Neal led the Herd defense with eight tackles.

Defense lineman Koby Cumberlander added a sack with two tackles and cornerback Steven Gilmore intercepted his third pass of the season.  

 Wells was consistent, finishing 20-for-25 passing for 184 yards.

Ali carried the ball 26 times for 133 yards and two touchdowns.  

Marshall football wins its third game in a row, improving to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play.

FIU loses its seventh straight game to fall to 1-7 and 0-4 in conference play.  

Marshall now has its eyes set toward a big Conference USA matchup at Florida Atlantic on Saturday in Boca Raton, Florida.