HUNTINGTON, W.Va.— Marshall was undone by first-half miscues in a 41-30 home loss to Florida International. A recap of Saturday’s scoring below:
FIU: 1-yard touchdown run by Napoleon Maxwell (13:22)
The miscues started right away for Marshall when Chase Litton went back to throw on the second play of the game and lost his grip on the ball. FIU took advantage of the short field with tailback Maxwell scoring four plays later.
FIU leads 7-0
FIU: 7-yard touchdown run by Alex Gardner (6:59)
After a three-and-out by Marshall’s offense, FIU systematically moved the ball down the field in a 10-play drive helped by an offsides on Chris Jackson on third-and-6. Tight end Pharaoh Mckever made catches on 17 and 21 yards on defender C.J. Reavis before Gardner went untouched into the endzone.
FIU leads 14-0
Marshall: Chase Litton 15-yard touchdown throw to Willie Johnson (7:37)
Tyre Brady came up with a 19-yard catch on the first play of the drive and later drew a pass interference flag in the endzone to put Marshall on FIU’s 15. Litton found Johnson on a fade route on the left side of the field to put the Herd back in the game.
FIU leads 14-7
FIU: Alex Mcgough 41-yard touchdown throw to Thomas Owens (4:55)
FIU didn’t take long to answer. FIU’s leading receiver Thomas Owens made big contributions on the drive with a 12-yard catch and then a 41-yard score that saw Marshall safety Malik Gant beaten on man-to-man coverage in the middle of the field.
FIU leads 21-7
FIU: Alex Mcgough 19-yard touchdown throw to Thomas Owens (:31)
It looked like Marshall would pull within 11 points before the half but a bobbled snap on a 36-yard field goal attempt by holder Jackson White gave FIU the ball back with field position and time to spare. A 34-yard run by Gardner was followed by a pass interference flag on Chris Jackson trying to defend Thomas Owens, who caught a 19-yard touchdown over Jackson on the very next play in a rough sequence for Marshall’s top cornerback.
FIU leads 28-7
FIU: Brad Muhammad 12-yard interception return (6:11)
Marshall’s offense continued to struggle in the third quarter, getting stuffed on a fourth-down conversion on FIU’s 32. Their next drive was even more disastrous for Litton. Cornerback Brad Muhammad jumped a route and returned the interception 12 yards for a commanding lead.
FIU leads 35-7
Marshall: 26-yard touchdown run by Tyler King (4:27)
Marshall’s run game had their most successful drive of the game a little over midway through the third. Tight end Ryan Yuracheck’s 20-yard catch softened up the defensive front, and running back Tyler King took advantage with an 18-yard scamper. King got the ball again from the 26 and zig-zagged his way through FIU’s defense.
FIU leads 35-14
FIU: Jose Borregales 30-yard field goal (8:15)
Another interception of Litton by Muhammad ended a promising Marshall drive. Napoleon Maxwell then flipped the field with a 36-yard run. FIU ran the ball three straight times after that content to run the clock and take a field goal.
FIU leads 38-14
Marshall: Litton 24-yard touchdown throw to Marcel Williams (7:00) Willie Johnson catches 2-point conversion
The Herd moved the ball 83 yards in just three plays thanks to a 59-yard Keion Davis run and a 24-yard catch for Williams in the endzone. Marshall went for a 2-point conversion and Litton found receiver Willie Johnson in the back of the endzone to keep the comeback hopes alive.
FIU leads 38-22
Marshall: Litton 8-yard touchdown pass to Tyre Brady (2:44) Johnson catches 2-point conversion
Tyler King almost single-handedly moved the Herd down field, touching the ball five out of the first six plays. A run of 17-yards, followed by Marcel Williams catch for 24 yards, put Marshall at the 8-yard line. On third-and-goal Litton found Brady for six points, then once again found Johnson for the 2-pointer.
FIU leads 38-30
FIU: Jose Borregales 38-yard field goal (:26)
After recovering the onside kick attempt by Marshall, FIU ran the ball three times and took the field goal, giving them a two-possession lead.
FIU leads 41-30
—By Troy Alexander