Marshall football has become bowl-eligible after Saturday night’s 28-13 road victory at Florida Atlantic in Boca Raton, FL, extending the team’s winning streak to four games.
With the win, the Herd becomes bowl-eligible under first-year head coach Charles Huff, moving its record to 6-3 overall and tied for first in the east division of Conference USA with a 4-1 conference record.
“I thought we did a really good job of playing complementary football,“ Coach Huff said. “The defense stepped up when we needed it to, the offense made some plays when we needed it to, and obviously special teams continues to improve.”
The Thundering Herd got another complete effort in all three phases of the game.
Marshall started the game with a statement, Vanderbilt transfer Jayden Harrison took the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to put Marshall up 7-0.
FAU would answer with 13 consecutive points.
Quarterback N’kosi Perry threw a touchdown pass to Brandon Davidson and place kicker Aaron Shahriari booted home two field goals to give the Owls the 13-7 advantage early in the 2nd quarter.
“I think our red zone defense has continued to be good,” Huff said. “Early in the game, we gave up a couple field goals there instead of touchdowns that ultimately probably made a huge impact on the back end.”
Those 13 points would be the only points Florida Atlantic would score the rest of the game.
Running back Rasheen Ali scored two rushing touchdowns in the second quarter to put MU up 21-13 at the half.
Late in the third quarter, quarterback Grant Wells found Willie Johnson deep for a 65-yard touchdown pass to help finish off FAU.
FAU’s best scoring chance in the second half came on a drive that started at its own 1-yard line.
The Owls drove 75 yards, but Marshall safety Cory McCoy stripped the ball loose of FAU running back Johnny Ford to end the offensive possession.
Marshall’s defense sacked Perry 6 times and also made 8 tackles for a loss.
The defense did not give up any points in the final 43:31 of game action.
Defensive lineman Owen Porter and Koby Cumberlander led the charge up front, as both recorded 1.5 sacks.
“We go out on the field and it’s like ‘They don’t score. They don’t score,” Cumberlander said. “That’s where we keep the mentality. We have to make every single tackle, I know today we didn’t make every single tackle, but when it came down to it, we made crucial stops.”
Wells finished 26 of 38 passing for 352 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Ali recorded 85 rushing yards and two touchdowns, as well as a career-high 70 receiving yards. Johnson led all receivers with a career high 140 yards.
Marshall is 9-2 in November games the past four seasons.
The November slate continues on this Saturday when the Thundering Herd welcomes UAB back to Joan C. Edwards Stadium in a rematch of the 2020 C-USA Championship game. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm.