OXFORD, OHIO—Marshall hung on for a 42-27 season opening victory Saturday against Miami (OH) but it was far from the domination so many were predicting.

“Anytime you go on the road and get a win, number one, you’re happy to get the win,” said Coach Doc Holliday following the victory. “I thought our team played extremely well in the first half then had a lull in the third quarter.”

Marshall built a 21-0 lead less than a minute into the second quarter and took a 28-3 lead into the half.  The offense was moving at will through the air and on the ground. Two of the first three scoring drives were three plays each, covering 54 yards and 73 yards respectively. Cato found Eric Frohnapfel for a touchdown from 11 yards out for the first score of the game extending his streak to 33 consecutive games with a touchdown pass.

Cato then connected with his favorite target Tommy Shuler with 2:53 to go in the first quarter. Cato again found Frohnapfel for a one-yard scoring toss and Marshall was rolling with a 21-0 lead.

The Herd extended its advantage to 28-3 going into the half thanks to a two-yard Devon Johnson touchdown run and a goal line stand to keep Miami out of the endzone in the final seconds of the first half.

“The defense really stepped up there to hold them with no points,” said Holliday.

As it turned out that defensive stopped proved to be huge in the second half.

Coming out in the third quarter, instead of putting the game away, Marshall was sluggish on both sides of the ball, turning it over on the first possession of the second half. Deandre Reaves coughed up the ball at the Marshall 42 yard-line after a pass completion, setting up the Redhawks first touchdown of the game, a two-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Hendrix to Alex Welch. For the rest of the third quarter the momentum was on Miami’s side.

The Herd was limited to just three first downs in the third quarter while the Redhawks outscored Marshall 17-0 to make it a 28-20 game.

Marshall’s offense finally started to shows signs of life in the fourth quarter after the first five drives of the have ended in a fumble, two punts and two turnovers on downs.

The Herd turned to its bruiser in the backfield, Devon Johnson, who broke into the open field for a 27-yard touchdown run to put Marshall in front 35-20.

But Miami answered back with a 40-yard touchdown strike from Hendrix to Rokeem Williams to close the game to eight.

Marshall turned to Johnson again on the next possession to wear down the Redhawk defense. Marshall ran nearly four-and-a-half minutes off the clock late in the fourth quarter, feeding the ball to Johnson. At the two-yard line, the defense was keying on Johnson, so Cato faked the hand-off the and scrambled for the touchdown to put Marshall up 42-27 and put the game out of reach.

“I thought in the fourth quarter our offense came back and did what we had to do to win the game,” said Holliday. “That’s a lot better football team than we faced in Huntington a year ago.”

Devon Johnson led the way for The Herd on the ground rushing for 152 yards on 19 carries and a pair of touchdowns.

Rakeem Cato finished the day 20-for-32 for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Eric Frohnapfel hauled in five catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns and Tommy Shuler added four catches including a touchdown grab.

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  • Mister Man

    Well, Dave, at least you have some comments on this thread. You do a fine job.

  • Wolfman

    Miami of Ohio has won 8 games in the last three years...lost 29. They have lost 17 in a row. Alabama is 37-4 in that same time. There is no comparison here.

  • Jdawg

    All MU fans think their team is so great, they trash the wvu hen they get beat. Trash wvu when they have a good performance against bama, I mean the herd had to hold off Miami of ohio!!!! Alabama Miami of ohio.... Big difference! How can a person not see that. The ND qb transfer sucks, tommy turnover started over him my goodness. You MU fans need brought to reality, your strength of schedule is pathetic, there is no denying that.

    • eerdiot patrol

      Lol. You LOST AGAINST BAMA. it was their first game and bama played at about the same level we did, very inefficient, and they still won. Just like we did. WVU played as good as can be and couldn't beat bama at 60%. Have fun going 3-9, youll have plenty of time to troll Marshall stories when your team is sitting on the couch in december and january, watching the flagship Herd!

      • hailey

        Idiot, you are one of the few people in the country who was not impressed with the Mountaineers effort. I was listening to Eli Gold from Alabama on the radio last week and he said WV fans love their team since they are the flagship and only major football program in the state.

        • Herd98

          Get off the ego trip. Maybe if you took the time to look at why MU fans dislike WVU fans so much you might understand how ignorant you sound. How about recognizing that despite not being the Land Grant School (not the "flagship" school as you state) and not receiving money form the sale of every soda sold in this state, and our conference not throwing the 10's of millions at us on top of that, we still manage to get players who are top's in the country, build facilities, win football games, and get national attention. We do it on our own. We dont have the easy road of being the Land Grant University as far as dollars go and support from the Legislature. But yet we have a rich, deep history that no other team in the entire country has. I could care less about WVU I really could and I dont dislike WVU's athletic programs. My dislike is the attitude of the fans and their bloated sense of importance in the world of college football. Notre DAme, Florida, Alabama, Florida State, all can have bloated ego's becasue they have actually won something called a title. Winning a few BCS games doesnt qualify as "great", shoot Boise State has done that. There are 2 teams in this state, root for who you want its your choice but snotty comments like yours are flat out ridiculous and uneducated.

  • An actual athlete

    Congrats to Marshall, you should win every game you play this year. However please don't call yourselves the flagship university of this great state. Props to doc on waking the fellas up in the 4th quarter. Hopefully you have some smoother sailing and don't get into to many tight games.

  • Herd wins!

    Good road win against an unknown team . Miami will win ome games this year. Miami's qb (notre dame transfer) is a good player and kept a lotof drives Alive.

    Wvu fans here to bash- it is good you got your bowl game out of the way early. I'm glad MU didn't have you juggernauts on the schedule this year as our SOS is already bad, as you point out.

    • An actual athlete

      Btw Notre dame hasn't had a decent qb in a long time so that qb transfer doesn't mean much

    • An actual athlete

      Last year was your chance to beat us if we were scheduled. This year is a different story. We look to be much improved, and will prolly win 8 games. Also by getting our bowl game out of the way, you mean like you guys did every year you played us? I wish you succuss on your season but you will always be little brother to the team up north. We would easily be the best team on your schedule this year by far, which isn't saying much.

      • eerdiot patrol

        8 games??? Hhahahahahaha. Gotta love the delusional fans in morgantown. You will win 3 games if you are lucky. Towson is gonna be a tough test for those bums. Marshall is the flagship. Marshall is in the AP poll, wvu? Nope. Not even close.

        • hailey

          Too bad 0-13 MU is not on our schedule... no one can dispute that it would be a guranteed win for the mighty mountaineers unless you have past evidence the the hurd can beat WVU.

  • Mister Man

    Congrats to the Herd for a good win on the road.

  • HerdJohn

    Even with Towson on their schedule, it is still more difficult than ours. Who cares, we'll play our schedule with success and see what happens at the end.

  • Junius

    First my coaches find success elsewhere( in my own state, for Petes sake!) then, my homeboy network Metro News( doing a great job ) covers said program, so, therefore I must vent and moan on this news site to make me feel better about the Holgy Hair I have to deal with.
    Herd schedule was not set up last month. It has been upgraded. I don't think juggernaut Towson was available.

  • James

    No disrespect Marshall fans, but I think the Martinsburg Bulldogs have a tougher schedule then the Thundering Herd, whoever put that schedule together should be fired

    • Rob

      Kind of like WVU's 1988 schedule?

      • BONDO

        Just be glad Marshall wasn't on the schedule in 88. You would have taken a major butt whopin too.

        • Rob

          You missed the entire point of my argument.

    • Brett

      I disagree. Marshall has no control of it's entire schedule. They majority of the games are conference games in a conference that was raided by the conference WVU used to play in. They are more teams in the AAC that are old CUSA teams than anything else. Louisville stood Marshall up this year because of their ACC schedule so Marshall was left holding the bag.

  • Arch

    Diamond Dave: The same way you translate your close game with WVU a few years ago ! You remember, when you were up 15 in the 4th quarter and lost. "We should have won".

    • Diaspora

      Greatest comeback in WVU history, by far. They got exactly what they deserved that evening, in Huntington!!!

  • wsteac01

    What is wrong with you people Marshall wins and WVU fans dog them because they didn't play anyone what a joke I rooted for both WVU and Marshall today why can't it be like that instead of all this bashing grow up! We Are Marshall! Let's Go Mountaineers!

  • Karl

    A good win for WV's flagship university! A little sluggish in the 3rd quarter but expected due to it bring the first game. Possibly looking ahead to RI!

  • Diamond Dave

    Nice "moral win" WVU fans. Now tell me... How do you translate that into the W column???

    • FNP

      No it's a loss but at least we play somebody.

      • eerdiot patrol

        You have a good time celebrating your SOS, when you are 3-9 and looking for a new coach. Meanwhile, Marshall will be ranked and making national headlines.

      • Jake

        True, there are no moral victories. Win or lose, there are take aways from every game. Things that were done well and things that can be improved. Lose by 10 to the #2 ranked team who has won 3 of 4 NC....I'll take it.

  • Geoff

    Poor Mike. Hurts win Marshall wins & wvu loses, doesn't it?

    • FNP

      At least we played somebody today. Miami Ohio? Haha

      Bama would beat Marshall by 40.

      • Geoff

        Just like Maryland last year?

      • Slingblade

        Bama beat MU by 40? Well, there is a chance we may see that matchup on New Year's Day. Stay tuned.

      • CFB News

        Ok, have fun watching Towson Saturday. Tough.

      • GREG H

        Enjoy your moral victory...loser.

        • FNP

          Enjoy your crappy schedule and remember no matter if you're 13-0, you're not getting into a major bowl. Enjoy your highschool conference.

          • Rob

            Major bowl or not, going 13-0 seems to be getting under the skin of most wvu fans. If we were to win our bowl, a win is a win. Better than setting home for the holidays.