HUNTINGTON, W.Va.—It was clear that Marshall had something to prove against Southern Miss. When The Herd won the toss, it chose to defer and wanted to get the defense on the field and exercise the demons from the game against Middle Tennessee State.
Marshall gave up a season high 585 yards of total offense to the Blue Raiders. Southern Miss would get nowhere close to that Saturday at The Joan.
From the outset, The Herd’s defense made it evident it was going to be a long day for the Golden Eagles, forcing a turnover on the first series. Tiquan Lang forced a fumble on Southern Miss’ third play and Brandon Sparrow came up with the football.
“Actually Bazzie got it first and he lost it so I just went in there and took it from both of them,” admitted Sparrow with a grin after the game.
That was just the beginning of a long day for the Southern Miss offense. Freshman quarterback Nick Mullins was sacked four times and hit, knocked down, and pounded on countless more times throughout the afternoon.
“I was just trying to get back there and hit him as much as possible,” said Sparrow.
Marshall’s defense had a message to send that the Middle Tennessee game was a fluke and a one-time lapse, not the rule.
“It felt good. It got us going and it sent out a message but I don’t think statement has been made yet,” said defensive end Alex Bazzie.
That message can be sent this weekend against a UAB team that will employ the same gameplan used by MTSU. The Blazers ran the ball 26 consecutive times before throwing its first pass last week against Middle Tennessee State. The strategy nearly paid off as the Blue Raiders needed a late field goal to snatch the win.
“We want to redeem ourselves from the Middle Tennessee State game and show we can stop a power run team,” insisted Bazzie.